The Woman Who Changed America
by John Gipson, Little Rock, AR

Her name became a household word, Madalyn Murray O'Hair. In 1963, she won the landmark lawsuit filed on behalf of her son, William, effectively banning prayer in public schools.

I have just finished the book, My Life Without God, by William J. Murray in which he tells of the tragedy of his upbringing as the son of America's most famous atheist.

Madalyn could express her atheism in lofty terms: "An atheist loves his fellow man instead of God....He wants man to understand and love man: he wants an ethical way of life...we are our brother's keeper," etc.

But words meant little as the book clearly shows. Madalyn loved her own father so much that she asked her son to kill him. She purchased rat poison and told William to put it in his grandfather's coffee. "He's just a rat anyway," she said. "You put sick animals to sleep, and this is no different. If you love me, you'll do it," she whispered. William refused.

The date was January 9, 1963. Madalyn screamed, "I hope you drop dead. I'll dump your shriveled body in the trash!: Later that day her father died from a heart attack. When informed of the news she replied:

"Well, I'll be. Where's the stiff?"

"At the Memorial Hospital Morgue."

"Have you made any arrangements?"

"Not yet."

Then she turned to her son, and said, "Bill, call up some undertakers and find the cheapest one. Then have them pick up the stiff from Memorial."

So much for love, and being a brother's keeper! And time would fail me to speak of her children born out of wedlock, her endorsement of perverse sex, the encouragement of homosexual activity, her debates with Bob Harrington, the "Chaplain of Bourbon Street," and the 45/55 split of the proceeds after Madalyn got her $1,000 per night minimum (the debates were making over $10,000 per week). But why go on ad nauseam?

I thought William Murray's change from atheism to a belief in God was interesting. He said, "There had to be good, because I had looked into the eyes of evil. There had to be a God, because I had held hands with the devil."

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