01/05/2002, 11:00 a.m. - I would like to share with you something that I read in today's Omaha World-Herald, in the editorial section. Please note: This editorial does not have a name attached, so it's most likely copyright to them, and a link to their paper is here.

Find Out the Truth First

"Yet another urban-legend victim is the Federal Communications Commission, which has had 27 years of grief trying to get some people to believe that it has no problem with God.

"The rumor is this: Madalyn Murray O'Hair has filed a petition with the FCC to ban all mention of God from the airwaves, radio and television and that the FCC is somehow going to do it.

"It doesn't sound remotely reasonable. For one thing, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, perhaps the most famous atheist in the nation in her time, is dead and has been for six years. For another thing, there isn't now, nor was there ever, such a petition. For yet another, the FCC has no authority - none - to ban religious programming nor to ban the mention of anything or anyone from other programs.

"Unfortunately, this rumor is not totally harmless. The FCC has spent thousands of dollars on postage and envelopes responding to complains, many of which are form letters and petitions circulated by church groups. And thousands of hours of employee time have gone into reading letters and responding to the rumor. Goodbye, taxpayer bucks.

"Wouldn't it make more sense for church groups and the originators of form letters to find out the truth before spreading such foolishness?

"So why don't they?"

Why don't they, indeed? What is the problem with these gossip-mongers and fear-spreaders? It would be very easy to research something like this. Are the people spreading this rumor unfamiliar with Snopes.com? Snopes is a website that has hundreds of urban legends listed, and tells the truth. They do the research, debunking most of them. There are a few that are actually true, and when there is truth to it, snopes will tell you.

It's easy to believe everything you've read. I used to. No, really, I did. And then I came to the realization that most of what is printed is nothing more than b.s. written by people with way too much time on their hands, in an effort to get their jollies at other peoples' expense. This is one prime example.

I have been in the Church, believe it or not. I remember when the movie "The Last Temptation of Christ" was due to come out. Fear-spreaders came to our church, and stood in front of us, telling us how horrible this movie was, and how it should be avoided (warning bells going off) at all costs, we shouldn't see it, we should trust their opinion 100%.

I remember asking one of these people if he had actually seen the movie, and his response was "No, I would never subject myself to that trash, that misrepresentation of our lord and savior" ... I asked him how he could have an opinion on it, and spread that opinion, without having even seen a part of it. He said that I was too young to understand, and that it was an evil movie and if I saw it, I would burn in hell.

Um, k?

These same people spread fliers out and asked us to sign petitions banning the movie. They were specifically targeting the theater in Blair, Nebraska, the closest to us at the time. The petitions said that if the theater brought in the movie, we would stage a protest and do everything we could to shut the theater down, we would boycott the theater for a minimum of 10 years, so they'd lose business, and we'd tell our friends and family that the theater was an agent of Satan, because they showed it.

Well, needless to say, they never did show it. I saw a part of the movie not long ago on cable ... the acting was pretty bad, but there wasn't anything really wrong with it that I saw ... although I was flipping through channels and didn't see much. I probably saw more than those Fear-spreaders.

It is amazing to me how people will take such a limited, tiny amount of information and twist it beyond recognition to suit their purposes. The Fear-spreaders about did just that, but they are hardly alone.

How familiar are you with the Nazi state of Germany during the great World War?

One of the things Hitler ordered was the burning of books that he did not agree with. Christ Community Church in Alamogordo, New Mexico - Phone Number 505-437-4241 - has renewed Hitler's vision.

As hundreds protested nearby, this group of ... how do I put this? Nazis ... this group of Nazis burned Harry Potter books. In addition to Harry Potter, they burned books by J.R.R. Tolkein and Shakespeare, Star Wars, and even music cds. As they burned them, they actually sang "Amazing Grace" while saying that the books teach children how to get into witchcraft and become a witch, wizard, or warlock.

These Nazis, lead by Jack Brock, sent a letter to the Alamogordo Daily News inviting the community to attend the book-burning. Joann Booth, who protested the burning with her four grandchildren, said "It may be useless but we want them to know the community is not behind them!"

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times talks about Brock, saying "He is a genius and an idiot. A genius because we're even talking about him. An idiot because he has no idea what he's talking about."

Brock has never once read a single word written by Tolkein or J.K. Rowling (author of Harry Potter). Not one. So why doesn't he find out the truth about them, before forcing his uninformed opinion down the throats of his followers, and the world itself? He really has no idea what he's talking about. He is an idiot, and nothing more. How very sad for those who follow him.

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