Do you remember a woman named Madalyn Murray O’Hair?
Born in 1919 to a poor family in Pittsburgh, she was raised by church-going parents but claimed she became an atheist after reading the complete Bible in her early teen years. Madalyn Murray O’Hair became a household name when she contested the required moment of prayer and Bible reading in her son William’s Baltimore-area public school in 1960. The Supreme Court, then under Chief Justice Earl Warren, delivered its 8-1 verdict in favor of O’Hair on June 17, 1963, expanding an earlier school prayer decision in the 1962 Engel v. Vitale case. Murray v. Curlett, along with Abington v. Schempp, eliminated not only obligatory school prayer but also mandatory Bible readings in public schools.
Though the Schempp case got top billing, O’Hair quickly became a hero among secular Americans. “The Schempps did not want to be in the limelight,” O’Hair biographer and University of Missouri-Kansas City dean Bryan LeBeau told Beliefnet in a 2004 interview. “Madalyn walked right out to the front of the Supreme Court building, her son by her side, and grabbed the microphone from the press and insisted that this was a major case and she was responsible for it. She took credit and then went on to say that she wasn’t done, that she was going to go on and challenge all kinds of other church-state matters.”
Undeterred by the backlash (O’Hair received death threats and was the victim of vandalism long after the 1963 decision), O’Hair continued to insert herself into church and state legal battles as the country’s atheist-in-chief. “I am an Atheist,” she wrote in the “Why I Am an Atheist” pamphlet. “I am a bit more than that–an Atheist. I am, in fact, the Atheist. The Atheist who made Americans stop to take a little stock of their accepted values.”
Later in 1963, O’Hair founded American Atheists, which remains one of the most activist atheist groups in the U.S. today.
Back in the 1980s, when I was working for a national Cable Television Provider, one of my jobs was to run the syndicated show of the American Atheists, hosted by Madalyn Murray O’Hair. I found her to be a bitter old woman, who spent her life fighting against Someone whom she believed did not exist.
Now, the group she founded plans on taking things a step further.
The New York Daily News reports that
A New Jersey-based atheist group is starting the first on-demand TV channel dedicated to godlessness.
AtheistTV will be launching this summer with big plans to reach out to atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and folks who are looking for a way out of faith.
Members of American Atheists, the organization behind the endeavor, think it’s about time.
“There’s a glut of religious TV programming out there, from televangelists to Christmas specials,” spokesman Dave Muscato told The News. “But there’s no atheist channel. We wanted to fill that void.”
The American Atheists plan to launch their new TV channel this summer.
American Atheists already has a production studio at their national headquarters in Cranford, N.J., where they film their public access cable show “Atheist Viewpoint.” The show is in its 20th season and is distributed to 50 markets across the country.
AtheistTV will make use of content from their homegrown show, as well as their archive of footage from the past 50 years of its activist history. But they’re also seeking to join forces with other content providers—non-profit secular organizations such as the Richard Dawkins Foundation and atheist YouTube stars with big fan bases.
So, will this venture be successful, or will it be as unpopular as Air America and Al-Jazeera America?
According to a Pew Forum Survey, more than 13 million Americans are self-described atheists and agnostics, comprising less than 6% of the U.S. public.
I have never understood Atheists, especially the so-called activists among them.
Our Constitution provides for Freedom of Religion.
According to the Supreme Court, in their Ruling abolishing School Prayer, Atheism is a religion, which the Americans who embrace this nihilism are free to practice.
So, why are Atheist Activists continuously launching a full-blown attack on the Faith which our Founding Fathers wrote so eloquently about, and which has sustained this “shining city on a hill” through times of internal and external strife?
In other words, why are activist Atheists (and Progressives) so intent to either limit or completely eliminate Christianity’s influence on everyday American Life?
Why can’t they be content with their freedom to practice their own Religion?
Why don’t they attack the political/religious ideology of Islam with the same fervor?
The answer to this question is simple: Cowards will always tell you whom they are afraid of. They will avoid them, like one avoids a child with Chicken Pox.
Additionally, they expect Christians to allow them to take control by “turning the other cheek.” Evidently, they never read the scriptures which describe Jesus running the “money lenders” out of the temple, overturning tables, and expressing his righteous indignation in a way in which no one could mistake it for anything else.
Or, perhaps, it’s the overwhelming overestimation in their own intelligence, which results from ignoring the influence of the God of Abraham in their life.
So, what drives them in this “Unholy Crusade”?
Bitterness, emptiness, and an unfulfilled hungering in their soul which they cannot put a finger on, is the only explanation.
Otherwise, why would you fight so hard against the influence of and worship of Someone you claim not to believe in?
Until He Comes,