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Useless Email Petitions & Currently Circulating Petitions

 

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Evil Atheists have a petition before the FCC to stop all references to God and all religious broadcasts, so sign this email petition to stop them before the government holds hearings on this!  It's actually a hoax that is OVER 30 YEARS OLD!

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Congress voted to give Social Security benefits to illegal aliens, so forward this petition

 

Useless Email Petitions

Email petitions are a waste of your time.  Many petitions are for hoaxes.  Some are for very real problems, like the one about treatment of women in Afghanistan (pre 9/11).  The petition itself is still useless.  Some are useless and so old that they are no longer applicable.  A couple of college students, upset at threatened cuts of governmental funding of the arts and afraid of threatened cuts at PBS/NPA many years ago, created a petition to get lawmakers not to do this.  The petition is still on the net despite the fact that the cuts didn't happen then and aren't even being threatened now.

Real petitions to the government have several elements:  A name, a verifiable address, and a signature.  Genuine internet petitions will require the same (except for the signature).  A petition MUST be verifiable in order to be legal. 

In general, the best way to express your ideas and feelings to a political representative is to call or write them.  Email is as good as snail mail for this as long as your name and full postal address is on the mail.  Congress.org allows you to input your zip code and find the phone number, physical address and email address of all of your representatives.  You can email them right then and there from within the website. It also allows you to contact the President, Vice President and your local state leaders. This is NOT a waste of time. 

Petitions for imagined problems are just as bad.  There's the one about prayer in public schools being illegal.  I know that the writer meant well, but his basis for creating a petition was incorrect.  Prayer is not illegal in public schools.  School sponsored prayer during school hours is unconstitutional (not criminal). Children have the right to pray anytime they want at school, as long as they are not disrupting class or school activities.  The courts continue to uphold this. Many schools have made attempts to keep children from even praying over their meals, but it is the school that ends up with egg on their face as a result. As a Christian, I don't know that I want state sponsored prayer in public schools either. Who wants the government to institute prayers?  All religions would have to be given equal opportunity, including Wiccans and Satanists.  It is a fact that kids CAN pray at school, either by themselves or in a group (as long as no one is forced to join them), so, this poor misguided person's whole petition was based on something that didn't exist.  Further, the "petition" wasn't a petition at all, just a forwarded email and addressed to the President of the United States, who has no power to doing anything about it.

I also received a petition where a man claimed that witnessing would be outlawed and this petition (to unspecified "government officials) was to ask the government not to outlaw it.  He based this on an article in an e-newspaper.  The Southern Baptist Convention had just been held in his area.  Southern Baptists throughout the area had been doing door-to-door and street corner witnessing.  The man interviewed in the article thought it was wrong for them to do this and wanted it stopped.  He intended to ask the government to agree with him and ban the practice.  The petition writer took this to mean that witnessing could be outlawed by the federal government. Fortunately, we still have the first amendment to the constitution, something the courts have general upheld.  The article was about a particular man who would like to see it be illegal to talk about religious things to people.  How the writer ever got out of that article that the government was going to make it illegal, I don't know.  It may one day be illegal and we are near that mark now as people are already jailed and financially ruined for speaking the truth about either homosexuality or Islam in other so-called free societies.  It is coming to the U.S., but an email petition won't fix the problem.

Finally, most of these "petitions" are either vague in wording, lack a specific target or target the wrong governmental official.  I saw one after 9/11 that was supposed to go to the President.  It had a great deal of information claiming that Muslim terrorists were not extremists, but were the mainstream of their religion.  Fine and dandy, but nowhere did it specify what they wanted the President to do with that information.  Another petition asks the President to reinstate prayer in schools (see two paragraphs above).  However, the President doesn't make laws.  The request should have been aimed congress.  Worse, the petition made no issue about what they were really requesting.  Did they want the President to allow school children to pray by themselves at a specified time?  Did they want the President to allow children to vocally lead in prayer?  Did they want the President to restrict this to only certain religions?  Worse, this same "petition" didn't include any wording for a petition.  It only claimed that it was asking for prayer to be reinstated in schools.  This could have come from anyone of any religion.  Without a specifically stated wording, you could be signing something you don't approve of.  The originator could then write their own words (which is true of every email petition) about anything and send it to the official with hundreds of signatures that people thought were meant for another purpose.

One word of caution about email petitions:  Unlike on online petition, where personal information is placed into a database to be used only for the petition, any personal information (name, city, email address) that you put on a forwarded email petition can be seen by up to thousands of people, depending on how the email is forwarded and how many generations are attached.  I consider this a dangerous practice.

Please don't sign any email petition.  Write your elected representatives whether by email or snail mail, or call them.  Even with on-line petitions (see info below), representatives say that this is the last thing they look at.  Some do not look at them at all and simply throw them away.  All representatives continue to say that phone calls and mail DO get their attention.  Their response will be based on the amount of effort you make about an issue.

Click here to read Dr. Rich Buhler's (Truth of Fiction) excellent article on the uselessness of email petitions

Online petitions are different than email petitions.  A legitimate on-line petition will ask for your name, address and email address.  This is not to say that ANY on-line petition should be signed.  First, does the site directly say who this petition is going to?  Are you able to view the text of the message they intend to send?  Does it address a specific and real issue?  More importantly, do you know who is sending it?  If the site sending the petition is not a known entity such as BreakPoint, Concerned Women for America, etc., who are they?  Does the group or person give adequate, verifiable information on themselves on the site?  Is there legitimate contact information (either name, address & phone or email)?

NEVER sign an on-line petition unless you know this information!  You simply don't know who you are giving your email address out to, nor if the petition will ever be sent.  The person or group running the site could be harvesting address, or worse, be a group that you would never have dealings with if you knew who they were.

My advice would be to only sign petitions from trusted sources.  Even better, write personal messages to our lawmakers. 

Evil Atheists have a petition before the FCC to stop all references to God and all religious broadcasts

This is one of the oldest hoaxes on the internet and probably the oldest church passed around hoax I'm familiar with.  It was the first one I got when I went online for the first time in 1998.  It was what propelled me to start researching these type of lies.

I keep hoping that one day the 30 year old FCC hoax will stop.  During its long history, it has regularly been debunked by every denomination, in books and in several places throughout the internet, but it simply does not abate.  When Dobson's name became attached to it some years ago, he began debunking it as well, but to no available. Unfortunately, this is a silly hoax that makes us look like fools who will believe anything we are told without asking for a single proof that it is true.  Our religious freedoms are under fire from some very real sources.  We don't need to look for fake ones.  It's called "walking over dollars trying to find a dime."  It's an old trick of the Devil to keep us busy on nothing while the real stuff gets by right under our noses. The Apostle John wisely told us to "test the spirits."  Would that more Christians would. 

VERSIONS

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James Dobson is going to announce this on the radio

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CBS discontinued "Touched By An Angel" because of this

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All TV preachers, church services and Christian stations will no longer be aired

 

Here is the entire history, information and links about this old hoax:
Not one word of the message is true. Some versions a few years ago claimed that CBS had discontinued the series "Touched By An Angel" because of fear of this "hearing." Of course, CBS DID NOT discontinue "Touched By An Angel."  The cast and production crew chose to cease operation after nine successful seasons.  The proof of this silliness should be that the show is still popular in reruns.  The very next season, CBS had replaced it with a show that mentioned God each week and even had Him as a guest star, namely, Joan of Arcadia.  Joan of Arcadia was a hit in its first season but unfortunately somehow lost ground in its second season and was not renewed in 2005.  However, that decision, awful as it was, had nothing to do with this hoax either.  A little logic should prevail here.  Why would CBS axe one show for fear of this supposed "hearing" and then replace it with a show that includes even more references to God?  Just a bit of logic here

There is no federal hearing and no FCC petition.   This is an extremely shortened version of a 30 year old hoax.  For just over 30 years, this hoax has managed to be photocopied and forwarded by Christians without one single iota of proof that it is real.  For 30 years, hundreds of thousands of people have not asked even one question about it nor sought to find out if it were true before copying or forwarding it.  All these years of "bearing false witness" based on a single message or piece of paper.  In 2003 someone got the bright idea of adding Dr. James Dobson's name to the hoax.  Very few ever bothered to check his site to see it was true.  Turns out that he has been debunking for a long time - even before his name became attached to it.

HISTORY OF THE HOAX   The petition mentioned has never existed.  A petition about religious broadcasting was brought to the FCC in 1974 and quickly turned down.  This petition wasn't a matter of getting many signatures (as claimed in the message), but a request to do something. Madelyn Murray O'Hair was not the backer of the petition, and neither was the American Atheist organization. The request came from two men.  It requested a freeze on all new applications for reserved educational FM and channels by "all government owned and controlled groups," and by "religious, Bible, Christian and other sectarian schools, colleges and institutes."  This information is taken directly from the opening statement of the actual petition.  It was never about eliminating all religious content from the airwaves. The FCC turned down the petition in 1975. Shortly after this petition was turned down, the twisted message you now see (with two exceptions) began to circulate among churches around the U.S.  It was copied and recopied so many times that it was nearly unreadable in some cases.  Since 1975, the FCC says that they have responded to MILLIONS of inquires about this hoax. That doesn't count the number of people who simply signed the petitions!  What a waste of my tax dollars!   Oh, and that address this "petition" is supposed to go back to hasn't changed since 1998 and has never existed.

FCC Pages on this hoax:  http://www.fcc.gov/mb/enf/forms/rm-2493.html

Actual text of the FCC opinion on the 1974 petition:  http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/decdoc/letter/1975--08--13--religious.html

After it was proven that O'Hair was dead, that was added.  Next, the issue about the TV show "Touched By An Angel" was added.  In 2003 came the Dobson plea.  Then the O'Hair & American Atheist references were finally erased omit the O'Hair and the hoax said that Dr. Dobson would be going "on the air" or on CNN or some other station to talk about this.  Some versions have a subject line that reads "Response to CBS", which is quite puzzling since CBS is never mentioned as a conspirator, but more of a victim in this charade. The latest versions say that many popular TV preachers will be pulled from the air.

So, why is this hoax able to remain so popular after so many years?  I think that people want to believe such things.  They want to believe that the government is out to eliminate all Christian references in America.  They want to have something to rally against and rail about.  With so many real issues needing our attention, why pick a hoax?  One of the best reasons I can find is that it takes no effort and we are inherently lazy.  How much effort does it take to sign a petition or hit the forward button?  Next to none.  How much effort does it require to check out information?  A little more.  How much effort does it take to sit down and write a letter to elected officials about real issues?  Lots.  How much effort does it take to actually get involved on real issues?  Even more.  Our motto as Christians seems to be, "talk loudly and ignorantly, but never get really involved."

Sign this petition because Congress voted to give Social Security benefits to illegal aliens

The message about social security benefits and illegal immigrants is misleading and email petitions are absolutely worthless.

The list of those voting were those that voted on AN AMENDMENT to the pending immigrant legislation and this happened on May 25, 2006.  The original email was sent out the week after and has not been changed in the ensuing months and years. The real issue isn't quite what is presented in the circulating email.

The proposed amendment was not about giving (or denying) Social Security benefits to illegal aliens; it was about whether a select group of formerly illegal workers will be able to receive credit for payments they made into the Social Security system using phony Social Security numbers.  Such persons would still be eligible to collect Social Security benefits in the future; they just wouldn't receive credit for payments they had already made into the system.

The favorable vote that is detailed on the message was to TABLE (essentially kill) the motion.  In other words, the issue has not been dealt with yet. The entire immigration legislation never went anywhere.  It will come back up. 

 
 

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Truth Miners is run by, owned by, written by and maintained by Cathy Holden - all articles, unless noted, are written by me.  Ask for reprint permission please.  Thanks!