Who Was Madalyn Murray O'Hair?

Ten years after her mysterious disappearance and gruesome murder, the legacy of the famous atheist is still up for grabs.

tayloralameter

01/22/2013 06:55:37 PM

The only thing that I thought of was the old hair school in the area. Maybe it's just the name. Still, this is a very good story. Thanks a ton!

Alman2012

12/16/2012 01:37:37 PM

turk22 I will pray that you will accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior before it is too late and you meet Jesus at your final judgement.

turk22

04/27/2011 10:08:23 PM

While I have the right to practice my religion in my home and at my Church, I do not feel it is a necessity to force my beliefs on anyone else. I like the "group" of people that think that Christians were here for hundreds of years before the Muslim's came over in the last few decades. If we were to teach a course in "American Religions" in the 1500's it would need to have Islam taught too. You see while Columbus was the Captain of one of the three ships to the new world...The other two were brothers of a prominent Muslim family in Castile & Aragon.You must remember that 1492 was just after most of the Moors had gone over to Morocco. But there were many families that decided to stay. So we must teach our "Children" that Muslims were here in 1492 and that is before the Protestants who came over on the Mayflower. So let's teach a course in American Religions...Catholic & Muslims who came over about 128 years before the Puritans. Let's teach our Children exactly what they should be taught. That is that the God of the Muslims, IS the God of the Christians, is the God of the Jews. I know that this post is a few years after the first..But we today are seeing something that God would not be proud of and that is the Christians standing against Anti-Bullying Legislation especially when it comes to gay teens. It should be a sin for doing that...their stance and their child's slurs against gays may cause a few deaths by suicide..Wait...Is that what American Christians want? For a child to die because you want to allow your child to tease another student? It should be one of the times that the sins caused is what is called for...You drive someone to suicide, the person should be put to death..Don't you just love it when the death penalty is applied the way it should be. Yes, I know the Bible tells us that homosexuality is a sin (the act) not being gay. Everyone sins and falls short of the glory of God. Can we see the some teasing of straight couples at school? You know the ones that don't get made fun of even though them having sex before marriage is also a sin. Plus, please show me where in the 10 Commandments does it show that Gay sex is Worse than Straight Sex..

John525

06/16/2006 06:58:25 PM

Whoa, hang on Joey39. Not all atheists are anti-religious. In fact, no atheists I know are. Most atheists do support freedom of religion as long as it doesn't infringe on there's or other peoples' rights. And about the Christianity in public schools, I think it's a very bad idea seeing as how many kids aren't Christians or religious at all at we have to be fair to those kids and keep our public schools neutral on matters pertaining to religion, and in order to do that we have to keep from promoting any single or specific religion.

Joey39

06/09/2006 03:11:17 AM

I'm a Christian, and I find it amazing, and even quite appalling, that the Atheist community wants to take away our right to practice our faith in public, but at the same time, they cry and moan over how we're dominating them and taking away their right to be free of all religions (Christian and others), and they don't want us imposing any of our beliefs on them. Because of these Atheists, our nation's school children are being deprived of decent moral values and are in worse shape now than they were back when prayers and daily Bible readings were allowed in the classroom. Isn't it any wonder our morals have become corrupt over the years?

jcarlinbn

05/24/2006 07:31:49 PM

Would you be ok with a comparitive religion course appropriate for every grade? If it is taught like a science class? That is, The roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam can be found in the OT. These are the important stories. There will be a test tomorrow. Eastern religions, Native American Religions and others are not based on the deity depicted in the OT. Some are naturalistic, some use meditation to achieve control of self. Some are philosophical. Study them. The test will be matching on the above categories.? No prayers, incantations, or meditations would be permitted except as examples in the CR course. Sound like what you want?

toddfmlyblessed

03/30/2006 01:23:37 AM

When we look at why our country was searched for and fought for, how can we say religion does not belong in our schools. How?! Freedom of religion, I agree with, it also the freedom of religion we should be able to learn about in school. I don't want just one religion taught in school thats not right. Though the bible should be. It has more history in it and factual book you will ever find. Should religion be taught in school. I beleive so. This way we all can respcet and understand where everyone point comes from and know our own as well. If we don't know where we stand as a person then we could be standing in quick sand. One last thought should it be mandatory that kids take a bible history class? No. should it be anoption for the parents to decide. Yes.

jcarlinbn

02/16/2006 10:18:40 AM

Leight, proper usage would be “an atheist’s existence.” It is clear that atheism was not right for you, and apparently not for Mr. O’Hair. Nevertheless, generalizing from a sample of two to all atheists is disrespectful to those of us who find life without God or gods to be full of meaning, purpose and hope. J’Carlin

Leight

01/08/2006 11:22:17 PM

One of O'hair's son became/is a Christian Pastor...I think this is significant because it points to God's unchangable purposes unfolding even in and from the most hopeless of circumstances. He has written a book of his upbringing and life, that is clear and that lays open for critical inspection, the barren nature of an athiest existance.

BillThinks4Himself

09/27/2005 06:30:49 PM

I'm leery of hero worship, though I find inspiration in an ecclectic mix of stories that span the human experience. Jesus is as close to perfect as they come, but largely because he's written that way - although his meltdown at the temple looks a little erratic. Everybody else - Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the 12 Apostles themselves, come to us with warts. That includes Galileo, who might have had a little less persecution (but a lot less glory) if he hadn't gone out of his way to antagonize the Inquisition. Luther is the model for generations of religious and secular dissenters, who risk martyrdom by standing up for their beliefs, but he was also a jerk. The same man who stood against the Catholic Church, for its hypocrisy, publicly denounced the Peasants' War, less out of a distinction between his railings against the church and any railings against the nobility, and more out of fear that he'd alienate his new patrons.

GodKnowsWho

09/26/2005 09:18:10 PM

It is certainly gratifying to see that Marcus Dunavan, President of Seattle Atheists says of Madalyn Murray O'Hair "They (i.e. other atheists) see her as the atheist equivalent of a Christian fundamentalist." Regrettably Madalyn was by no means the only "fundamentalist atheist". I dare say that the Unitarian Universalist Association has rather too many such "fundamentalist atheists" amongst its members who take great delight in making life miserable for bona fide God believing Unitarians. . .

davidchai

09/26/2005 05:13:42 PM

As stated in another thread, it means nothing. By the mid-1600's it was just a legalistic phrase that had lost all religious meanings. It was not an affirmation of any reliious beliefs. Therfore it indicates simple boilerplate language.

imdancin

09/23/2005 10:04:19 AM

"The US Constitution has the FINAL word in this country not some diety." This is the last sentence in the Consititution, before listing the signers. "Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth. In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names........" I wonder what the signers meant by, "The year of our Lord?" Is Lord a diety? Or what is it? Would an athiest sign such a document if they did not agree with its contents? Had the sentence read, "In the year of Buddah or Muhammed," would that have been the same? Think the signers would have still signed it? I think the word "Our" appears before Lord, doesn't it.....Hmmmmm What does this indicate?

resist1

09/15/2005 12:12:14 PM

As to society's need of a government, I choose to have some. A good percentage of our young men students express a belief in "anarchy" as desirable. I always answer that, from their point of view as healthy, risk-taking males at the peak of their physical strength, anarchy might work for them. (It's a great life, if you don't weaken.) I, however, as an aging female with elders to care for, a living to earn, and daughters of child-bearing age, choose government because I like roads good and dependable roads to hospitals full of well-educated medical professionals who have passed certification tests. I like having law-enforcement keep the mayhem at the lowest possible minimum, by force if needed. I prefer to have someone overseeing the purity, health and safety of our air, water, food, machinery. It is vital that we all know the difference between nerely "public" and officially "government" or we might lose them both.

resist1

09/15/2005 12:02:17 PM

You can excuse a teenager who slept through gov. class for not knowing the difference betweeen it and other "public" places and institutions. But, I fear, that there are quite a folks of all ages, who might just be a little shaky on the concept. Also,anti-government bias is taught at home and brought to school for many reasons and by many kids. Some Southern die-hards probably are still fighting the War Between. Some hippies dads are still fighting the legalization battle. Some certain religious sects fall all over the map on this issue. Take ignorance of what government can and cannot do, and add to that various shades of hatred of government in general -- no wonder there is so much passion over the question of religion in "public".

resist1

09/15/2005 11:55:28 AM

"There is nothing wrong with “public” worship or religious activities. It is GOVERNMENTAL activities that are against US law" Exactly. And I know for a fact that some folks do not understand the distinction between "public" and governmental. A lot of this must come from ignorance. For example. I teach high school government at an alternative school for at-risk kids. Some of these young men have expressed (really!) that they are against churches for many reasons (including the hypocrisy they observe in the attendees)but most basically because they perceive church/religion as part of an overarching, inclusive, illusive Power that they call "the government". They hate "the Gove'ment", this amorphous, but all-oppressive entity, 'cos they feel that it's sole function is to keep them from having fun.

Arjuna1

09/15/2005 09:55:36 AM

The person of "little faith" is the one who needs others to validate their religion for them with conspicuous public displays. Also I think there may be a correlation between that group and those who have read the "Left Behind" series. End times paranoia...

brightmoon

09/14/2005 05:21:30 PM

Do people really think that their religions are so weak or invalid that they will disappear if the government does not engage in such activities yes, they do ..i see this nonsence about biology and evolution all the time ..especially with the "Intelligent Design" crowd...which is ONLY a theological constuct ..it's not science at all

davidchai

09/14/2005 04:09:27 PM

Do people really think that their religions are so weak or invalid that they will disappear if the government does not engage in such activities. Does not say much for their religions. The idea that prayers being kept a private issue in schools, instead of being lead by teachers or other students, will suddenly make some deity angry does not say much for that deity. What a weak-ass god that would have to be. Of course I don’t think that the Abrahamic God is so weak or childish to be upset by such laws. Only some of his weak**s followers have a problem with it because it makes them feel like they are not superior.

davidchai

09/14/2005 04:09:04 PM

There is no law that prohibits houses of worship from being built. The police provide them protection and do not harass their adherents when the enter the houses of worship. IF someone wants to put up a crèche on their front lawn or on their church’s front lawn, the government does not tell them to take it down (unless it is a very real safety hazard.) Anyone driving down the street can stop and look at the displays. The government gives broadcast licenses to religious broadcasters and gives licenses to stores that sell religious articles, and the police and fire services protect those stores.

davidchai

09/14/2005 04:08:40 PM

The thing that fascinates me is this fiction that religions is NOT in the public domain. There is nothing wrong with “public” worship or religious activities. It is GOVERNMENTAL activities that are against US law. So many of the RR are stating that we are becoming a less religious society BECAUSE the government is prohibited from having religious activities on state or federally owned property (which is referred to as “public” property). That is a lie. Religious belief has nothing to do with what the government does. IT is a personal, community based thing. Community being the church or neighborhood.

Arjuna1

09/14/2005 01:54:57 PM

Too bad about the hatred for Madalyn. I remember those days and I also distained her. In retrospect I think my disdain was more about my own fears than it was about her. She was sick of tax payers dollars supporting and promoting religion when there were many taxpayers who were not Christians or religious. I think Christians have missed the point. Why not just be content to live your religion personally. Public prayers and statues in government buildings are a poor substitutes for good examples.

Arjuna1

09/14/2005 11:49:07 AM

Voltaire's statement is all about respect. i.e....I respect your right to express yourself even if I don't agree with you..... One earns repect by giving respect.

JamesComerota

09/14/2005 11:38:08 AM

In a free and open society,respect is earned, not automatically granted. I think the respect for authority has been damaged by authority figures who prove they are not worthy of respect. BINGO! My point exactly!

Arjuna1

09/14/2005 11:34:53 AM

On the question of respect for authority......In a free and open society,respect is earned, not automatically granted. I think the respect for authority has been damaged by authority figures who prove they are not worthy of respect.

JamesComerota

09/14/2005 11:10:52 AM

I'm glad you agree:)

resist1

09/14/2005 11:05:48 AM

Yes?

JamesComerota

09/14/2005 10:57:35 AM

"Authority" is no longer taken on face value. Example: If pressed to prove his authority, the pope is merely a guy in a dress.

resist1

09/14/2005 10:54:28 AM

I thought that "rational" discourse meant that each side, without emotion, allowed the other its say before demolishing it. You apparently do not understand Voltaire's position (nor that of the drafters of our Consititution)that human rights, liberty and "domestic tranquility" require freedom of expression, and so requires that freedom be extended to both sides of arguments. Deny one side its freedom, and all freedom in negated. If that social contract has expired, then so has the very meaning of personal freedom. I, for one, plan on going down on that particular ship, however. Foolishly idealistic, and apparently outdated according to you, it still in one of the basic tenents of civilization upon which I have staked my claim.

resist1

09/14/2005 10:46:36 AM

"That convenient social contract has expired. Rational thought requires no such pact." And we wonder why respect for authority has declined and anarchy overwhelms our big cities.

resist1

09/14/2005 10:44:39 AM

The issues schools get pressured on change regularly. Public education was actively defined and created by Thomas Jefferson to create an educated, civil, citizen with an "American" identity. Just what that identity will be is decided by the people in each generation. So, in a generation struggling with religious issues, the schools will struggle also.

resist1

09/14/2005 10:43:53 AM

to James C.: I am a real educator, by the way. There HAS been a general decline in respect for authority over the past tree decades, but I do not think it started in the actual schools, but in society itself and very naturally affected the schools. Public education in America changes along with society, and we Americans frequently mandate the direction in which we want them to go. As an educator, I fervently wish that the actual teachers and administrators would no longer be the scapegoats blamed for making these decisions. Public schools teach what the local school and state school boards require. If those boards are told by judges to bann out loud public prayors, what does one do? Both "teacher led prayer" in the 50s through today's preferred "teacher agnostic silence" on the subject -- are not decided by individuals, but by social agencies and/or elected boards bending to social pressure.

JamesComerota

09/14/2005 10:38:33 AM

I might not agree with your beliefs, but I will defend to the death your right to have them. Spoken like someone with their own set of irrational beliefs to protect. Don't make fun of mine, and I won't make fun of yours. Notice: That convenient social contract has expired. Rational thought requires no such pact.

davidchai

09/14/2005 10:20:24 AM

Stacone, The US Constitution has the FINAL word in this country not some diety. The bible and god is irrelevant to the government and the law. And YOUR god is just one of many, and not better.

resist1

09/14/2005 10:18:46 AM

Oh, yeah, maybe I should make clear that I think participation in, or silence about, something that one's government, society, or culture is doing that harms people -- is wrong. On the other hand, I also realize how hard it is to divorce oneself from those institutions and survive. That is why the American experiment with goverment is so wonderful -- we all get to stuggle to have our view of integrity and morality prevail. The only folks I hate to see in power are the hypocrites who have no real integrity,who are only after power and control and advantage to pursue their own selfishness. Other than for hypcrites who exploit others, I say (to paraphrase Voltaire, i think): I might not agree with your beliefs, but I will defend to the death your right to have them.

trenobar

09/14/2005 10:07:32 AM

Be blessed and encouraged by 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. This country has gone down hill since taking prayer out of school. There is no respect for teachers, parents or any type of authority. We've become such a "Show and prove" society that neglect to see that God reveals himself to us EVERYDAY! The schools have gone down hill ever since they added "under God" to the pledge in the 50's, get your propaga...er "facts" straight.

resist1

09/14/2005 10:03:15 AM

Individuals do well to question the institutions of their culture as to what and who they honor. I never thought about how putting God's name on filthy money is a blasphamy. God might reign, but right now on earth, money rules, and not in the spirit of love, let me tell you. I believe that the evil money does, is something God wants us to do something about. Many horrible evils have been done in God's name. If God's name on money could redeem the evil done by it in some metaphysical way, go for it.

resist1

09/14/2005 10:02:36 AM

"The whole world is under God whether we're good or bad, whether you choose to believe or disbelive. What people do in the world is ultimately their own choice no matter what or who their God is." Oceana:Yes, but many, probably most, of the people of the world, including Americans, live under a political and economic system that does not honor God. Just like the oppressive and pagan rule of the Roman Empire and the oppressive and legalistic/hypcritical rule of the Pharissee in Jesus' time. He rebuked both of those institutions for their oppression and their "worship" of the wrong things -- putting gold and/or human legalisms before the Spirit of Love, which is God.

JamesComerota

09/14/2005 09:52:09 AM

I'd mind. The whole thing seems to counter the very purpose of school, which is to educate.

DharmicBohemian

09/14/2005 09:06:04 AM

I believe in freedom of religion and freedom FROM religion. It would be nice that if we are unable to have prayer in the morning, maybe a moment of silence so people can do their prayers, or maybe dedicate a room or two in each school to where people can pray in peace, away from the classroom. I am atheist, and Buddhist, I would not mind, I would just shut up and use the time to contemplate something or just read without interrupting others.

JamesComerota

09/14/2005 07:31:39 AM

Dan Barker, after 19 years of evangelical preaching, missionizing, evangelism and Christian songwriting, became an atheist after he realized what an empty life being an Christian really was. He wrote a book called Losing Faith In Faith - From Preacher To Atheist. You can read his story on http://www.ffrf.org/books/lfif/

gloriousblessings

09/14/2005 03:58:27 AM

William Murray O'Hair, Madeline's son, became a Christian after he realized what an empty life being an atheist really was. He wrote a book called Let Us Pray, a definitive work on school prayer. You can read his story on http://www.missionresources.com/atheist.html, and link to his site http://www.wjmurray.com.

stacone

09/14/2005 01:30:45 AM

What people do not seem to understand, is that God is tired of this world going against his holy sacred word. Until the people of this land stop and realize who has control and that he will have the final say....Tragedies will continue to roam this earth.

Tyrsson

09/13/2005 11:30:26 PM

And by the way, Oophelia, the case you're talking about has been resolved. The school corrected its original decision and the girl has been give access to an empty classroom so she can pray. So much for the lie that prayer is not allowed in schools. Keep repeating it, though, if it makes you feel better. Some people, I've noticed, seem to have a need to feel oppressed, even when they aren't.

Tyrsson

09/13/2005 11:19:16 PM

"This teenage girl only wanted a secluded place to pray for 5 minutes or so during her lunch time to face Mecca. Her school denied her this privilage." If this is true, I'm sure the ACLU would be happy to take on this girl's case. They regularly defend the rights of individuals to practice their religion. They have come to the defense of Muslims many times, Christians, too, for that matter. "I disagree with her religion, but the bottom line is--the ACLU hates all religion," This is a lie perpetuated, ironically enough, by the very religious practitioners the ACLU often defends. "and this prayer issue is NOT strictly a Christian issue." Indeed. It is also an issue for those of us who practice minority faiths. Most of us recognize that O'Hair's activism has helped protect our rights against the tyranny of the majority.

oophelia46

09/13/2005 10:17:24 PM

I am an evangelical Christian, but I would like to point out a recent issue from CNN concerning a Muslim. This teenage girl only wanted a secluded place to pray for 5 minutes or so during her lunch time to face Mecca. Her school denied her this privilage. I disagree with her religion, but the bottom line is--the ACLU hates all religion, and this prayer issue is NOT strictly a Christian issue. People are so close-minded about that. We aren't the only ones who pray or take our faith seriously!

edelphi

09/13/2005 04:15:51 PM

we need both atheist and mainstream religious leaders who can clear the acrimonious air. I am so sick of it. It works against both groups because they often work together poorly on the church-state separation, religious freedom, and social justice issues they often care about in common.

strefanash

09/13/2005 04:03:11 PM

I submit that the Religious right, in fighting the removal of false statements ("In God We trust" & "One nation under God") from public monuments etc, and in fighting over school prayer, are reacting against trivia, completely wasting their time and making fools of themselves. I do not need a set public time to pray, I pray whenever i want to in private (see sermon on the mount, Matthew 4-5). And as for public declarations of faith, if i have no love and mercy my utterances in the name of Christ are worthless (see I Cor 13)

JamesComerota

09/13/2005 03:47:05 PM

As for "moral decay", Paul? - I do agree w/ you there. My "xtian" friend and I concur that we had more boundaries to circumvent when we were growing up than exist in most modern households.

JamesComerota

09/13/2005 03:07:14 PM

Supposed "Christian hypocrisy": this is a simple deontic fallacy: what a person ought to do isn't always what they actually do. One may only pass judgment on a doctrine based on its ideals, not its practitioners. I beg to differ. A "doctrine" is only as good as its representatives. You're making excuses for "religious moderates", who IMO muddy the water and make it difficult to "call bulls**t" as often as it applies.

paul.bello

09/13/2005 01:37:26 PM

Wow, I'm stunned by some of the posts I'm reading from both sides of the fence. To address a few things, Supposed "Christian hypocrisy": this is a simple deontic fallacy: what a person ought to do isn't always what they actually do. One may only pass judgment on a doctrine based on its ideals, not its practitioners. Prayer in school and the country's moral decline: Well, mixed opinions here. I went to Catholic school through 8th grade, so prayer was mandatory, but in junior high and high school, I can't remember a single instance for even a nondescript "moment of reflection." Again, this is a difference between the laws the ACLU helped "defend" and if those laws are actually implemented. The laws themselves are perfectly acceptable. It's the implementation that's to be questioned. While I'm not willing to speculate too deeply, my guess is that moral decay stems from an increasingly less-demanding style of parenting, due to working moms & dads. Cheers, Paul

spinnerpom

09/13/2005 01:06:07 PM

The concept of school prayer is founded on the notion that we are all Christian. 'm trying to imagine "school prayer" in my kids' school and how they would handle Islam, Jewdaism, Christian, Sikhism, Jainism, Unitarianism, Catholic, Athiests, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses all in one "prayer" service. I'd like to be a fly on the wall at that one.

JamesComerota

09/13/2005 12:39:41 PM

He also discovered that, while he's been professing to be a xtian, his beliefs actually fall more in line w/ deism.

JamesComerota

09/13/2005 12:33:44 PM

However, this country was founded upon religious principles, and many of it permeates our laws and conduct today. I will continue to fight against having God taken off of the currency bills, and removing the 10 Commandments from the courthouse. Funny - I spoke w/ a guy 3 yrs my junior a few days ago. We went to the same H.S. He thought that "E Plurbus Unum" meant "in god we trust"; thought that IGWT had always been on our currency; and didn't know that "under god" was inserted in the the pledge in the 1950's! Fortunately, while stupidity is not curable, ignorance is. He got himself a history lesson.

Tyrsson

09/13/2005 12:21:13 PM

"I will continue to fight against having God taken off of the currency bills," You do realize, of course, that the strongest opposition to putting God's name on our currency came from Chrsitians who felt it blasphemous to profane God's name in that way? "and removing the 10 Commandments from the courthouse." And you realize, too, that displays of the 10 Commandments are a relatively recent phenomenon with no historical precendent among our founding fathers? "At some point, we've got to start standing for something, or everything we have will no longer be there." So a cornerstone of your faith is the display of religious icons in public buildings owned by all Americans? Strange!

Tyrsson

09/13/2005 12:14:31 PM

"In addition to that, I respect the right of atheists and other religions to believe the way they do." And yet you want your religion to have special pride of place above all others, thereby establishing your theistic stance as the "official" one of the nation. I must say, your support of our rights is underwhelming. "However, this country was founded upon religious principles, and many of it permeates our laws and conduct today." No, it was founded on the Enlightenment principles of Natural Law. Very few religious principles permeate our laws and conduct today.

WhisperWisdom

09/13/2005 12:06:31 PM

A pretty wimpy God? Ya'll are forgetting something here...God gave us free will. He can't force us to believe. In addition to that, I respect the right of atheists and other religions to believe the way they do. However, this country was founded upon religious principles, and many of it permeates our laws and conduct today. I will continue to fight against having God taken off of the currency bills, and removing the 10 Commandments from the courthouse. No, prayer is no longer a mandatory event in schools, nor is pledging allegiance to the Flag. At some point, we've got to start standing for something, or everything we have will no longer be there.

Tyrsson

09/13/2005 12:05:08 PM

"Like a card-carryin' active ACLU member told me, first, (like I pointed out in a post I made a few days ago), no one can stop a student from praying in school." And a point that is deliberately overlooked by the "They're taking God out of schools" crowd is the fact that the ACLU has actively defended the rights of students to pray in school on many occassions. "He also added that if God can be removed from public schools by Madelyn Murray O'Hair and the Supreme Court, isn't that a pretty whimpy God?" It certainly challenges the notions of omnipresence and omnipotence.

akbusch

09/13/2005 11:28:54 AM

I agree, Tyrsson. It is true that no one has "taken prayer out of public schools". Some even go so far as to say that God has been taken out of public schools. Like a card-carryin' active ACLU member told me, first, (like I pointed out in a post I made a few days ago), no one can stop a student from praying in school. He also added that if God can be removed from public schools by Madelyn Murray O'Hair and the Supreme Court, isn't that a pretty whimpy God?

Tyrsson

09/13/2005 10:51:00 AM

"This country has gone down hill since taking prayer out of school." I repeat, no one has taken prayer out of school!

havfth

09/13/2005 10:45:38 AM

Be blessed and encouraged by 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. This country has gone down hill since taking prayer out of school. There is no respect for teachers, parents or any type of authority. We've become such a "Show and prove" society that neglect to see that God reveals himself to us EVERYDAY!

strefanash

09/13/2005 03:30:26 AM

of course when we the people of god are such hypocrites that the scripture speaks truly of us: "the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles because of us" how can we really blame atheists for rejecting what we ourselves defile and abuse, namely the gospel of christ?

strefanash

09/13/2005 03:27:05 AM

when we realise that people often hate what they are tempted by but dare not acknowlege we see that Ms O'Hair was hated by religious people who themselves doubted God's existence and who were tempted ny atheism. (thus is the religious right exploded and exposed) as for their not daring to admit that kind of unbelief, how can they be set free from it and also be set free from hating unbelievers (who they secretly envy)if they will notadmit their sin to either themselves or God to be forgiven by him? christian hatred of atheists as seen in their hatred of O'Hair, is blasphemy against the living God

PersonSol

09/12/2005 06:40:46 PM

That's an interesting point...that we "have to be taught what to believe." Most of us were never taught how to find spiritual truths for ourselves, but rather what the "correct" and "false" beliefs for our culture are. That's why any attempt to develop a true personal spirituality so often has to begin with unlearning most of what we have always assumed to be 'true." No easy task.

rea_1219

09/12/2005 03:06:59 PM

"Well, if you want to be technical, we're all born atheists." Well, we cant really know that for sure, can we Jackny? In Islam, they teach that we would all know the one true God if we werent taught falsehoods. Amd lots of religions teach that God/Spirit is within us, and/or all around us. "We have to be taught what to believe." And it had to start somewhere. You just mentioned a site listing over 2500 Gods yourself.

jacknky

09/12/2005 02:37:19 PM

costrel, Here's a web site that features descriptions of over 2500 gods: http://www.godchecker.com/ It's an interesting overview of the many ways we humans choose to connect the dots.

jacknky

09/12/2005 02:34:46 PM

Well, if you want to be technical, we're all born atheists. We have to be taught what to believe.

costrel

09/12/2005 11:27:28 AM

Sorry, one more thing: like davidchai, I should have also mentioned the many religions that predated Christianity and Islam that are still very much alive (Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.), as well as the new relgions (Wicca, Eckankar, etc.) that are very recent and very much alive. And with that, I truly am done with my sermon!

costrel

09/12/2005 11:21:03 AM

NB: I don't "reject" God or Christ any more than I "reject" Krishna, Isis, Zeus, Hermes, Belial, Azrael, Michabo, Wakantanka, Odin, Venus, Dis…. I simply do not believe them to exist. Therefore, I'm not actually "rejecting" them. In fact, I find the stories of gods, angels, demons, etc., to be quite fascinating, even the really grotesque and sad ones (like that of Anneliese Michel [the real Emily Rose]). I just don't believe in the deities represented. [Finis]

costrel

09/12/2005 11:20:44 AM

I am an atheist who doesn’t believe in the “reality” of any gods or goddesses, angels or demons, while a Christian usually is an atheist towards everyone else’s god or goddess, and even towards other Christian’s views of God (many Protestants have a very atheistic stance towards the Blessed Virgin Mary, while other Christians reject her status of Theotokos, and many reject the Medieval view of God as the “God of the Plague”). While I’m at it, my apologies for the very harsh, self-righteous tone of my post. It’s just that I get very irked when believers gleefully assert that a non-believer is suffering in Hell. [continued]

costrel

09/12/2005 11:19:08 AM

My point was that I get quite tired of myopic believers who think only of their God, or their version of God, or their religion, and forget that theirs is not the only one, that there are many others out there that are just as equally valid as theirs, based on “faith.” Whose to say people don’t actually go to the Elysian Fields rather instead of to the Christian heaven? Whose to say the soul of the dead doesn’t dwell in the center of the earth awaiting the Resurrection? Whose to say the “soul” doesn’t die with the body, or is reincarnated into another life? It all depends on what one believes... [continued]

costrel

09/12/2005 11:18:01 AM

Godfactor, quoting on Costrel's "Christianity is but one of thousands of religions that have come and gone." Gone? I hardly think so. For every atheist that rejects God and Christ there are at least 1000 who accept Him. First of all, I apologize if my post seemed to imply that Christianity was dead. That was not my intention. My phraseology was done for the sake of space. I meant to say the Christianity is just one of thousands of religions (I assume there has been that many, though maybe it’s only hundreds or even more than thousands, I don’t know) that have been created over the course of human history; some are dead and gone, some have been dead for a long time and are now revived (like ancient Egyptian), others, like Christianity and Islam, are pretty recent, and are still in existence. [continued]

jontemplar

09/12/2005 11:13:07 AM

---Undeterred by the backlash (O'Hair received death threats and was the victim of vandalism long after the 1963 decision),--- What sad behavior from Christians. I have often said that the problems with the world are sitting right next to you in church. I wouldn't worry about O'Hair or anyone else, I would start with yourself and your own family and be a good example there. What she did had no effect on Christianity except to show the hypocrisy under the surface.

davidchai

09/12/2005 09:18:02 AM

Godfactor, And for every Christian who accepts Jesus as God there there many who reject him as such. Just a perspective. There are religions that pre-date Christiantiy and they are not going anywhere. In fact some of them are increasing in size. There are many paths to truth, yours is but one.

PersonSol

09/11/2005 08:25:33 PM

Speaking of myths - The thing I find most interesting is that so many people simply will not admit that the Pledge of Allegiance DID NOT originally have the expression "under God" in it - it was added in the 50's, allegedly to seperate us from the "godless communists." Obviously some public schools were having Bible studies in the 60's (or the suit would never have been filed) but it wasn't a nation-wide phenomenon - certainly none of the schools I ever attended back in the 60's ever had any, but they did have optional Bible clubs for interested students after school(and they are going strong today). Just to clear things up a bit - Bible readings and prayer in the public schools have NEVER been banned in any Supreme Court decision I have ever read (including Murray v. Curlett). Only MANDATORY participation in such activities was banned. This is fully in line with the Constitution which, as written, promotes both freedom OF and freedom FROM religion.

Godfactor

09/11/2005 06:50:23 PM

Christianity is but one of thousands of religions that have come and gone. Gone? I hardly think so. For every atheist that rejects God and Christ there are at least 1000 who accept Him. Oceana2, I don't know where you got the information that there was no prayer in schools. There was in a great number of schools especially in the southern states. O'Hare was insturmental in having it declared unconstitutional. You are correct that it is not okay to feed myths to a generation that wasn't there. Were you there?

informedattimes

09/10/2005 10:33:14 PM

The oppression, animosity, and hatred disseminated by the conservative religious in recent times is in keeping with the words of George Washington , who said""Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause."

Oceana2

09/10/2005 04:37:33 PM

Once again how could this woman take prayers out of schools at that time when there wasn't any going on! It's not okay to feed myths to a generation that wasn't there as that is NOT true.

costrel

09/10/2005 11:41:56 AM

Three_Lions: I seriously doubt that she is an athiest now. From an atheist's point of view, of course she is not an atheist now. She is dead, and there is no afterlife, no rebirth, no reincarnation, no soul (even Theravada Buddhists don't believe in a "soul" that survives death), no life beyond the grave except remembrance by the living. But if you're saying she isn't an atheist now due to a Christian bias that believes she's roasting in hell or dwelling in heaven (if you believe in universal salvation), just remember: Christianity is but one of thousands of religions that have come and gone. Someone could just as easily say "on faith" that she passed the tests in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, or was reincarnated into a tree, a bird, or even (in Vedic tradition) a God. She herself would have rejected all gods and all goddesses, and the Christians' God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is but one of them.

Henrietta22

09/10/2005 11:29:16 AM

Strefanash, "Clearly the term "one nation under God is a lie." The whole world is under God whether we're good or bad, whether you choose to believe or disbelive. What people do in the world is ultimately their own choice no matter what or who their God is.

etsryan

09/10/2005 04:22:32 AM

p.s. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord. Father forgive them, they know not what they do.

etsryan

09/10/2005 04:20:30 AM

I believe God prefers not to be forced upon folks by their government(s). Most understand that the 'decision' to believe/repent/follow God/Christ is best done from the heart of each individual. Accepting God must be done by one who is free to do so. Being forced to submit is not submission, it is oppression. Let (the little children/new believers) come to Me, do not hinder them says Jesus. He doesn't say force them to come over to Me either. (LET/do not hinder) As for civil/pluralistic government, I believe believers are in the majority, but that does not mean that walking all over unbelievers by legislating away their freedom to disbelieve is charitable. Catch more flies with honey than vinegar-promote the benefits of belief more than condemning disbelief. Jesus' peace! e.t./sue < :) (:

strefanash

09/10/2005 03:18:42 AM

America is "under God" when it launches a terrorist war against Iraq on as false pretext? Clearly the term "one nation under God" is a lie. AS someone said "the business of america is business", so the god of the USA is mammon. cut the pretense, americans, and be done with it

strefanash

09/10/2005 03:16:26 AM

QUOTE: Now the movement wants to remove in God we trust from our money? Strefanash: and why not. that one trusts in God is seen by his character ( te bible calls it "fruit"). Given the character of people the world over no one trusts in God so putting "In God we Trust" on a banknote is a lie. indeed saying or thinking one trusts in God when one does not is a dangerous lie, for it is a false security that will send them to hell in the end

Three_Lions

09/09/2005 11:27:12 PM

I seriously doubt that she is an athiest now.

nnmns

09/09/2005 10:58:38 PM

"one other thing I wonder if by now Madelyn OHair recognizes that the very God she shunned As ever existing ;knows now that he exists." Or not.

yankeedoodle

09/09/2005 09:24:35 PM

oceana2; you stand corrected that in1960 and before that there was no prayer and Bible reading in the schools.i do not know what country you came from.I graduated from high school in 1960 and as far back as i can remember in grade school I recall the teacher reading A portion of the Bible and asking us all to repeat the Lord's Prayer. There never seemed to be a kick back about it as i remember from any of my classmates. one other thing I wonder if by now Madelyn OHair recognizes that the very God she shunned As ever existing ;knows now that he exists.

darkmoonman

09/09/2005 08:40:23 PM

> O'Hair did not take prayer > out of public schools. She > petitioned the Supreme Court > to end compulsory, teacher-led > prayer and Bible reading in > schools. I was amongst those many who had Xtianity & the Bible rammed down my throat in public school in the Deep South until 1972 - I can well remember a history teacher telling us in class that we were all going to hell because we disagreed with his stance on G!d's place in WW2.

nnmns

09/09/2005 08:06:05 PM

And just imagine your local school board spending their time deciding what to pray for and how to do it!

MG1LBERT

09/09/2005 03:14:04 PM

I would like to address these comments to those pro-prayer zealots who would continually ponder "what possible harm is there in allowing prayer in schools?" First off to Oceana2 - I was raised in New York City, often considered a stronghold of "godless liberals", and back in kindergarten(that was 1961 for me). We prayed over our milk & cookies ("god is great, god is good and we thank him for our fud" - rhyming was more important than spirituality). I dared take a bite out of the cookie before the prayer was completed - My teacher grabbed me and threw me over the desk into a chair. My mother fought to get her fired but the best she could do was get me transferred to another class (they called it a "personality conflict"). Such is the behavior to be expected from fanatics. Harmless? Peddle that arguement somewhere else and go pray in your closet like you saviour told you to.

posterboy

09/09/2005 01:09:54 PM

Really, you have the most amazing concerns about your politicians, and their religious habits and personal lifestyle. When one of our ex-primeministers died a couple of years ago, both his wife and mistress and their children from him were at the state funeral and nobody batted an eyelid. Public economic policy is what everyone is concerned with here-not religion.

akbusch

09/09/2005 09:54:24 AM

We need only look at countries, e.g. in Europe, where there is not such separation, where in fact religion is state-supported, and see what shape those churches are in to see that keeping church and state separate is a good thing. And forbidding teacher-led prayer in public schools does nothing to harm religion's cause in the US. In fact, come to think of it, O'Hair and her organization probably did more than any evangelist ever did to galvanize religious people in America. To quote Saul Alinsky, "There is not greater organizer than a common enemy."

akbusch

09/09/2005 09:50:09 AM

What many of us don't realize is that the whole idea of "separation of church and state" was not originally the brainchild of anti-religionists, Deists (like Jefferson) or atheists. It was Baptists and other "free church" Christians such as Roger Williams who claimed that there must not be interference between religion and government, and that religion must be freely chosen. IMO, one of the reasons why religion is still so strong in America is because of our separation of church and state. What will deeply harm, if not kill, religion in America is not atheists like O'Hair but zealots who forget that non-interference and separation.

akbusch

09/09/2005 09:40:44 AM

O'Hair did not take prayer out of public schools. She petitioned the Supreme Court to end compulsory, teacher-led prayer and Bible reading in schools. Aside from a very few (and highly questionable) anecdotal reports of over-zealous teachers, there is not now, nor was there ever, any way, legally or otherwise, for a student in a public school to be prevented from praying. This was confirmed by a friend who is an active ACLU member, who said that students in public schools are not, nor could they be, forbidden from praying.

KIND6004

09/09/2005 08:58:37 AM

Deify her? Hmm, the only way they were able to identify her body after she was found murdered, was because she had a hip replacement, and the pins for her metal, parts were in her medical chart.

KIND6004

09/09/2005 08:56:12 AM

Now the movement wants to remove in God we trust from our money? Well I guess it should not be a question, why certain things are happening in America, and If we can not even recognize God in our finances where we are headed. While the church is sleeping the enemy is planting his tares and wheat. Wake up Body of Christ.

KIND6004

09/09/2005 08:46:37 AM

I remember that Madalyn O she took the case to the supreme court to remove prayer from our schools but it was our supreme court justices who actually upheld her case. I think that God will hold them just as responsible as her. I remember that it was my third grade teacher who taught our class the 121st Psalm. I remember being able to pray in school and say the pledge, every morning at the beginning of our day. And hearing the annoucement all coming across our schools intercom. I saw the difference of having the right to pray literally taken away. Now I have gone to graduations where kids do not even have a prayer said over them when they are graduating. I think its a big thing to God. If our president is a christian why has he not fought to get this changed?

sowrdsfishtrombone

09/09/2005 07:55:59 AM

O HAir was a radical atheist who took school prayer out of the united states school sytem I dont see what the big deal is though.

Oceana2

09/09/2005 03:09:31 AM

This is an very interesting story. Although I have one problem with it; in 1960's and before that, there was NO prayer in any public school I ever attended across the USA (and I lived all over the east coast to the west coast and the NE)? The only school I ever heard doing that was my freinds that went to a catholic school. Other than that all public schools did fire drills and the "get under your desk" drill in case of a nuclear bomb attack from the Russians at that time. And of course the Pledge of Alligence. There wasn't any prayers? Maybe in certain small cities they were doing prayers? Interesting story though!

rea_1219

09/09/2005 01:29:14 AM

It seems that her cause was, at least, in part a personal one, as she was very badly treated in her life, oftentimes by those who called themselves Christian (including her own family and the father of her first child). The people that were involved in her death did it for monetary reasons only. they meant to extort money from her. They did, and after holding them hostage for some time, they killed her, her son and granddaughter and stored the money in a storage facility. One night, some other crooks accidentally happened upon the money while they were randomly breaking into storage containers. They took the money and squandered it. So, it was a very tragic end to a tragic life, and all for nothing.

ElGabilon

09/09/2005 12:30:56 AM

Madalyn Murray O'Hair was the other side of the religious coin. She was just as sure that God does not exist, as the religious are sure that it does. And just as the religious she fought for her beliefs. The person who killed her in such a gruesome way think that he/she did it for God. The truth is that they did it for themselves and eventually will have to pay the price with the loss of their imortal soul. Those responsible are no better than the terrorists who in the name of their God kill men, women and children. In the dark of night, when all is quiet, their fears rise, and the horror of their actions continually warn them of what is to come when they die.

davidchai

09/08/2005 09:06:30 PM

Although I am not an atheist, I think that all-in-all her goals were patriotic and noble even if her methods were flawed and her personality was less than admirable. I guess that in order to force positive change (or at least the chagen she was fighting for at teh time she was fighting for it) she had to develop a fair amount of abrasiveness. Unfortunately, I think she may have stopped fighting for the cause and just wanted the PR. Luckily there are other who have taken up the mantle, really care only about the USA and the sanctity of the Constitution, and use better tactics.

Bravo88

09/08/2005 07:18:53 PM

Interesting article and a sad tragedy that she was so brutally treated; I don't agree with her beliefs but she should've been allowed to hold those beliefs without having to fear for her life. It just goes to show, sometimes public fame can be a curse whether you're O'Hair or Dian Fossey or John Lennon or any other famous person who has paid the ultimate price for their beliefs and or works.

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