Comment by DeSwiss on October 2, 2010 at 7:48pm
Tell it like it is Madalyn!

"Something lives as long as the last person who remembers it."
Comment by Jon Heim on October 2, 2010 at 8:41pm
can i trade grandmothers? lol
Comment by Cat on October 3, 2010 at 12:32pm
The more I see of this woman, the more I love her. In school (Baptist High School), she was reviled as Satan incarnate, the Devil's spokesperson, A Homosexual Atheist out to destroy America and take away our rights, yada yada yada. I remembered wondering how one woman could have so much power that she was able to anger so many (and it was obvious they feared her influence).
Years later, I am finally getting acquainted with the wonderful Madalyn.
Comment by Orange on October 3, 2010 at 1:05pm
Covert other life forms??......hahaha...oh dear.
Comment by D R Hosie on October 3, 2010 at 2:36pm
We should probably remember that, even though she practically single-handedly ended prayer in public schools, and went on to found American Atheists, when she, her son, and granddaughter suddenly disappeared, she was vilified by the religious and atheist community alike (having been suspected of absconding with a half-million dollars of AA's money).

It wasn't until 6 years after her disappearance (at the age of 76), that the truth of her grisly murder - at the hands of the person who had stolen the funds - was revealed.

Even then, the news was largely treated as 'who cares?,' by many who weren't all that shy about admitting they 'thought she had it coming,' and 'got what she deserved.'

I'm again reminded of this quote, by Simone Weil:

To write the lives of the great, in separating them from their works, necessarily ends by, above all, stressing their pettiness; because it is in their work that they have put the best of themselves.

Her legacy of advancing civil rights in our country really does deserve more than to be just forgotten.
Comment by D R Hosie on October 3, 2010 at 3:15pm
Madalyn Murray-O'Hair, yes! And her legacy goes far beyond her image as the devil incarnate for religionists. She might as well have been shouting in a vacuum - this being before the age of computers.

If, through her efforts, compulsory prayer had not been ended in public school systems, of the United States of America, as well as people made aware that it was, in fact, normal to harbor other views than those Christian religious views held by the ruling oligarchy everywhere, I can guarantee you, Fred, that we wouldn't be having this discussion today - where most atheists are still overwhelmingly intimidated into not 'coming out.'

The struggle for civil rights is often 'messy,' Fred. And your observation would have been tantamount to those who cautioned Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., against raising the specter of actually being an 'Uppity Black Man,' in the eyes of Southern Whites.
Comment by Charlie Quaid on October 3, 2010 at 11:26pm
I gotta love what this woman did and especially her style doing it!
Comment by DeSwiss on October 3, 2010 at 11:56pm
@ Freddy Said - Back in 1964 Life magazine did a story on Madalyn Murray-O'Hair in which she was referred to as "the most hated woman in America." She was referred to in this way primarily by religionists who in fact did hate her. Quite a lot. And this was because of the success of her lawsuit (Murray v. Curlett) which resulted in the banning of institutionalized school prayer. And when I was a wee lad, we too began each school day with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord's Prayer. After Madalyn -- no more.

For which I will be forever grateful to her.
Comment by Emmy Ellison on October 4, 2010 at 7:16pm
LOL Wow, how old is this? I'd really love to meet this woman!
Comment by Billy on October 5, 2010 at 8:51am
My grandfather and Mrs. O'Hair knew each other well. If fact I can remember when I was about 5 or 6 years old when she and her son Jon stopped to visit my grandparents while driving from Austin to New Orleans and ended up spending the night. I was there for a couple hours that day and I can remember meeting her. This was in the early 80's. She seemed like the nicest lady. My grandfather thought the world of her because she went against the grain and spoke her mind.

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