Some people reject the notion that Madalyn Murray O’Hair should be considered part of the New Atheist movement. I’m not sure why. The Gnu leaders and O’Hair have the same arguments, the same tactics, and the same goals. The only difference is that someone like Dawkins is simply a more polished version of O’Hair. Anyway, there is no need to debate about it, as further evidence that I am right comes from the Gnus themselves.
Popular gnu activist Jerry Coyne was recently promoting O’Hair. He wrote:
Who remembers Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the earliest New Atheist of our era?
Ding, ding, ding! Thar she blows! Madalyn Murray O’Hair – “the earliest New Atheist of our era.”
Here reader Sigmund remembers her (he’s edited out a clip for us) and her dislike of the scripted religious aspect of NASA missions. If you think of her, as some do, as a humorless, bigoted zealot, you’ll be surprised at her humor in the video. But her fabled assertiveness comes through loud and clear!
“As some do.” LOL. But not Jerry. With admiration, he asserts “her fabled assertiveness comes through loud and clear!”
Coyne quotes Wikipedia and adds:
That’s true, for I remember how reviled she was. Back then it was not okay to be an out atheist—especially one that actually accomplished something. Now it’s easier, though still hard: O’Hair’s spiritual (do I dare use that word?) heir is Jessica Ahlquist
There ya go again. Jessica Ahlquist.is the spiritual heir of O’Hair. And who links the former to the latter. The Gnu movement. They are all connected (at least spiritually).
It’s settled – O’Hair is a New Atheist. I told you she would have fit right in. So we can continue to explore O’Hair and her group to get a better understanding of the Gnu atheists.
Now, if you read Coyne’s posting, you’ll see that he is trying to use something Richard Dawkins heard to vindicate O’Hair. It’s a splendid example of confirmation bias that I shall explore shortly..