The Hypocrisy of Madalyn Murray O’Hair

William Murray, the son of Madalyn Murray O’Hair, has spoken out about the various pieces of misinformation and omission in the recent Netflix movie about his mother.

Murray notes that the Netflix movie completely ignored Madalyn’s Marxist worldview and activities:

Perhaps the biggest omission, according to Murray, was the lack of mention of his mother’s affiliation with the Communist Party and her attempted defection to the Soviet Union when William was a child. Murray goes into detail about the attempted defection in “My Life Without God,” and in one of his newer books, “Utopian Road to Hell,” he dissects the “magic think” that led his mother to believe a Marxist utopian society could be created on Earth.

The movie portrays O’Hair as a social worker for the city at the time of her famous court challenge to the practice of mandatory Bible readings in public schools. She is depicted as a tireless civil rights activist, but Murray said she was more of a subversive: She managed the Communist Party bookstore and chaired the Maryland branch of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro organization.

Yes, that is a HUGE omission.  For that is a key piece of historical evidence that helps us understand the thinking of O’Hair.  Of course, an atheist activist could deny all of this, arguing that Murray has an axe to grind and thus his testimony can not be trusted.

But it turns out there is a powerful piece of evidence that supports Bill’s account.  And that evidence comes in the form of Bill’s brother, Jon Murray.  As everyone acknowledges, Jon was someone who was profoundly shaped and influenced by his mother.  Jon Murray wrote an article in “American Atheist” of October, 1987.  Let’s consider key excerpts from this article:

 

“…If you [an atheist] are confronted by religionists and you show

any sign of compromise or indecision, it will be used against you as

they go for the jugular.  This is why the Soviet Union has guarded its

internal affairs so since the end of World War II. It has been attacked

and harassed more than any other nation on earth, with the possible

exceptions of China and Cuba… The adoption of a hard-line internal

policy has been a survival necessity, as has the dedication of a large

proportion of the Soviet economy to “defense.”…If the West had left

the Soviet Union alone, it might not have as much to harp about now

concerning alleged human rights violations.

“Knowing the background of the situation as I do, I am deeply

concerned about new Soviet policies with respect to religion….They

must feel, knowing that religion versus Atheism is one of two basic

factors that keep the cold war going, that they need to show the West

over and over again that they are being fair to the religious. Such a

policy cuts no ice with me, as an Atheist. I think that the religous in

any nation should get what they richly deserve for setting back all of

human culture for thousands of years.

“When a delegation of American Atheists last visited the Soviet

Union, we had an interesting discussion with a high-level official with

the Soviet Bureau of Atheism in Moscow. We asked if the official Soviet

position was to allow parents or, particularly, grandparents to teach

religion to their children, when they were being presented with public

school instruction on Atheism? The answer was yes … We then asked

if it would be all right for that same grandmother to teach her

grandchild about the “superior values of capitalism.” The answer was a

very firm no… We could not make our Soviet counterpart see that one

was equally as dangerous to the overall future of his country as the

other.

“As an Atheist leader, I think that this ultimate sacrifice

[allowing Western religion to invade the Soviet Union] is a mistake.

Opening up to religion and democratization could be the fatal

combination for socialism … If the Socialist countries open up to

religion, religion will destabilize them from the ground up, thus

softening them up for the invasion of capitalism. The Soviet Union,

China, and Cuba are basically poor, working-class countries, and they

will be simply used as slave labor camps for capitalism.

“Religion will move in and destroy the rational base of Socialism.

Once that is accomplished, the idea of democratization is injected into

the culture, thinning out and destroying the leadership, turning

elections into popularity contests, and displacing the workers and

denying them the right to direct participatory self-government. Then

capitalism takes over the economic system, and production for use turns

into production for profit, and workers become wage slaves.”

Wow.  Jon Garth Murray was extremely radicalized, as such views would be found only among the tiniest fringe elements of Americans in 1987.  Consider just how radical his views were:

  1. Murray, writing as president of American Atheists in 1987, actually criticized the Soviet Union for going too soft on religion. According to Murray, the Soviet Union was long victimized by the West and its attempt to appease the West by softening its anti-religious harassment and persecution was viewed by Murray as profoundly misguided. As the son of Madalyn Murray O’Hair noted, ” Such a policy cuts no ice with me, as an Atheist. I think that the religous in any nation should get what they richly deserve for setting back all of human culture for thousands of years.”  Notice that Murray also believed that parents or grandparents teaching their children religion was “dangerous” and should not be allowed.
  2. During the Cold War, members of American Atheists were meeting with Soviet leaders. Murray writes, ” When a delegation of American Atheists last visited the Soviet Union, we had an interesting discussion with a high-level official with the Soviet Bureau of Atheism in Moscow.”  Note that Murray describes this as the latest visitation, implying there had been previous ones.
  3. Murray worries that the Soviet Union’s softening of its anti-religious activities poses a threat to “socialism” and will be exploited by the “capitalists.”

It should be obvious that Jon Murray was a radicalized Marxist who admired the Soviet Union and was deeply concerned they were making a grave mistake when it came to letting up on religion.  So how did he become so radicalized?  He lived his whole life in the shadow of his radicalized mother, a woman so extreme that she actually wanted to defect to the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.  In other words, the testimony from one son – William – is supported by the writings of the other son – Jon.

So it would appear that Madalyn Murray O’Hair began her activist career as Marxist and probably shifted to atheist activism only because it made her a lot of money.

That Madalyn Murray O’Hair, arguably the first New Atheist, was an extreme Marxist is deliciously ironic.  For ever since O’Hair, atheist activists have been warning about the dangers of religion and insisting God belief is a delusion.  Yet Marxism is clearly more dangerous and delusional than religion. It’s more dangerous in the sense that it promises a utopia on Earth that inevitably leads to massive suffering and death.  It is more delusional in the sense that it has actually been falsified every time and every place it is tried.   In other words, Marxists are in no position, morally or intellectually, to warn about the dangers and delusions of another worldview.

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15 Responses to The Hypocrisy of Madalyn Murray O’Hair

  1. unclesporkums says:

    Of course. If they revealed what they were, most wouldn’t want to follow.

  2. jbsptfn says:

    Better watch out. Skeppy may have something to say about you again (lol):

    http://theskepticzone.blogspot.com/2017/03/mikeys-alternative-facts.html

  3. unclesporkums says:

    “Alternative facts” That’s rich, given the fact that they recognize men who dress up as women as the fake sex they claim to be.

  4. Dhay says:

    jbsptfn > Better watch out. Skeppy may have something to say about you again (lol)

    Funny how everybody who refers to Michael as “Mikey” is hostile; same guy, coming back repeatedly under aliases?

    He links to a 2015 thread here in which he was allegedly banned for:

    … I pointed out to Mikey at Shadow to Light that he wasn’t telling the truth in a statement he made about atheists, and rather than trying to defend his position with facts, he just banned me.

    Actually, if you bother to follow the link provided, it was the other way round regarding defending positions with personal attacks, instead of defending with facts; here’s Michael:

    You show up and immediately accuse Woods of being a liar and accuse me of dishonesty. Your lame ass psychoanalysis does not count as evidence, so we are left with your personal attacks not supported by any evidence. Either a) provide the evidence, b) retract your accusations; or c) say good-bye.

    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/david-woods-conversion-to-christianity/#comment-9906

    He didn’t provide or retract, which makes his recent post somewhat hypocritical.

  5. jbsptfn says:

    Thanks for posting, Dhay. Yeah, Michael was right. Skep just goes on different sites and attacks people who believe in God. He never has any evidence. On that link you gave, someone talked about how he used to go on Reppert’s blog (DI) and insult people. That’s true. I looked at the archives. In one of his comments, he seemed to express outrage because people believed in Christ’s Resurrection because it was “against science”.

  6. Kevin says:

    Wow, quite the cast of characters over there.

  7. FZM says:

    Murray notes that the Netflix movie completely ignored Madalyn’s Marxist worldview and activities.

    Maybe this is a manifestation of what seems like a general trend in New Atheism, to ignore the anti-religious, ‘scientific atheism’ promoting activities of Marxist-Leninist regimes entirely, as if they have absolutely no relevance to the discussion.

    In the case of this particular film, if the goal was to attract contemporary viewers interested in the tale of a morally heroic individual battling institutionalized Christian prejudice and evil, obviously reference to Marxism, Marxist-Leninism etc. has to be eliminated. If they were present, it would just compromise the narrative and remind present day viewers attracted by it of aspects of 20th century history they would probably prefer to forget or never find out about.

  8. mechanar says:

    wow that article is just… i mean in 1987 you could not pretend to be ignorant about history anymore, so what this magazin did was to publish the opinion of a man how openly addmits that he supports a totalitarian system that has more blood on its hands than any tyrant in history out of sheer bigotry against people he views as the cause of all the worlds problems. Let that sink in.

  9. SteveK says:

    There’s really a Soviet Bureau of Atheism in Moscow? Wow.

  10. TFBW says:

    @Kevin: “Wow, quite the cast of characters over there.”

    Indeed. I see Stardusty Psyche has recounted the places he’s been banned from — which is everywhere but The Skeptic Zone, apparently, including all the usual New Atheist haunts. It must be hard for him — being surrounded by unappreciative idiots wherever he goes, like that. Skeppy himself (im-skeptical) has lamented the lack of input on his blog from people who disagree with him. If you’re reading, Skep, I think that’s just the price you pay for being right about everything all the time. I mean, who wants to argue with someone who has that kind of track record? Not I!

  11. Regual Llegna says:

    Hahahahahahaha! those are your people gnus atheists:

    Videos with the word “atheists” in the title banned! Probaily because muslim sensibility. Now you can complain but then Youtube can “choose” who to they want to serve, remember the double standard “The Gay cake issue” against christians and the same against muslims.

    When they will learn that they are totally disposable on socio-political-cultural level, atheists do not make a good population, atheists are a bad example for victimhood, atheists are elites because they only exist as in public as atheists in highly rich countries with a highly concern for human rights not as laws but as appeal to the conscience of the very individuals that form part of those countries that are not equal to you thoughts.

    Extra:
    No people is forced to be buried with religious simblos in their tombs in the western world, but that is an “apartheid” by religion done by atheists to the bodies of the deads (atheists only cementery), that means an atheist only land.
    http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/swedens-first-atheist-cemetery-bans-all-religious-symbols

    That happen in Sweden, the country that probabily will by islamic, 60% muslim mayority of population, in probabily less than 4 decades if not stop the free borders inmigration influx in less that 4 years.

  12. Michael says:

    Actually, if you bother to follow the link provided, it was the other way round regarding defending positions with personal attacks, instead of defending with facts; here’s Michael:

    Thanks for finding that. I forgot all about it. So on May 12, I posted a video from David Woods and added a few of my own impressions. A full six months later, he shows up to call Woods a liar and accuse me of being dishonest. TFBW asks him for evidence. For the next five days, Skeppers gets in a fight with everyone and posts well over a dozen comments. I think the comments section speak for themselves.

    It’s interesting to see how he views reality about the O’Hair posting. After I post about the false claim of O’Hair being murdered for her atheism, someone at Mehta’s blog makes a correction and somehow it’s a problem with me. Then, he falsely accuses me of changing the wording on my blog from The Friendly Atheist to the Friendly Atheist blog. I made no such change.

  13. unclesporkums says:

    You’re expecting them to live by standards.

  14. Dhay says:

    Michael > Then, he falsely accuses me of changing the wording on my blog from The Friendly Atheist to the Friendly Atheist blog. I made no such change.

    I imagine he followed Nolan’s misdirection:

    The post has been corrected. Note the author of the post wasn’t Hemant.

    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/friendly-atheist-alternative-facts/#comment-17044

    It requires a modicum of concentration — but only a modicum — to work out that “the post” that Nolan complained “has been corrected” was a post on Hemant Mehta’s Friendly Atheist blog; it appears “skeppers” may have lacked that modicum, likewise the rather basic level of reading comprehension which that modicum would have enabled.

    Nolan’s “the author of the post wasn’t Hemant” is a non-sequiteur given that Michael never referred to “Hemant” or to “Mehta” but always to “The Friendly Atheist blog.” Nolan was incorrect in implying that Michael wrongly attributed the author’s historical ignorance and pig-ignorant anti-Christian prejudice to Mehta.

    I think we can correctly attribute an abysmal standard of reading comprehension, and a Lauren Nelson (the FA contributing author) level of pig-ignorant anti-Christian prejudice, to “skeppers”.

  15. FZM says:

    SteveK,

    <em. There’s really a Soviet Bureau of Atheism in Moscow? Wow.

    It has gone now, following the end of the USSR in 1992 a lot of the Marxist-Leninist ideological bureaucracy was dismantled or changed purposes.

    Before that a whole bureaucratic/educational apparatus existed for promoting atheism, they had their own institutes, journals, museums of religion and atheism all over the place. I think something like this still exists in countries where the Communist system didn’t collapse but evolved (China, North Vietnam etc.).

    As I said above I think that one of the weird things about a book like Dawkins’ God Delusion is that it is written as if Marxist-Leninist anti-religious activity isn’t worth talking about/was non-existent and had no influence on religion and religious issues in the 20th century.

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