Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Madalyn Murray - O'Hair

As an atheist years ago, I of course was fond of Madalyn Murray - O'Hair.  For those who do not know of her, she played a role in the Court case Murray v. Curlett which made prayer in public schools illegal.  She also founded the organization American Atheists.

She was a controversial figure naturally because of her theophobic views and was labeled, "The Most Hated Woman in America."   Murray also had run-ins with the law.  At one point, she filed a lawsuit against NASA because of the Genesis 8 reading done in space by astronauts on the Apollo 8 mission. The court threw out the lawsuit because naturally it has no jurisdiction outside of Earth.  Her life ended in violence.  Murray was kidnapped and murdered by another atheist and employee of American Atheists named David Roland Waters.

Madalyn Murray - O'Hair wrote:
"An Atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now - here on earth - for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist thinks that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue, and enjoy it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment. Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our brother's keeper and keepers of our lives; that we are responsible persons, that the job is here and the time is now." 

The ideas in her words are also part of Christianity and are not exclusive to humanism, secularism or atheism.
  • Christians are called to love his fellow man as well.  
  • Christianity also tries to bring the Kingdom of God on earth that will bring justice and peace for all. 
  • Christianity believes that faith without works is dead.  
  • Christianity believes we should learn and use reason.  
  • Modern science exists because of the Catholic Church.  
  • The Catholic Church gave existence to hospitals and universities as we know them today.  
  • Christians are called to do good deeds and not just pray.  
  • Christianity is involved in life in all kinds of ways.  
  • Christianity also wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, and war eliminated.  
  • Christianity also wants to understand humanity and promote love for one another.  
  • Christianity also wants an ethical way of life.  
  • Christianity does not rely on God to be some sort of genie.  
  • Ironically, "Brother's keeper" is a Biblical term.  
  • Christianity also works in the here and now but also is aware that after this life there is more.


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