Magazine article Insight on the News

Fallout from Secular Revolution Still Clouds America's Public Square

Magazine article Insight on the News

Fallout from Secular Revolution Still Clouds America's Public Square

Article excerpt

West of Austin, Texas, investigators have found what they believe to be the remains of the archbishop of atheism, Madalyn Murray O'Hair. God rest her soul. O'Hair and two family members were abducted and murdered in 1995 during the course of a robbery, apparently by an ex-employee of her American Atheists Inc.

O'Hair liked to style herself as "the most hated woman in America" -- a title she worked hard to secure. Her outbursts were deliberately provocative. Thus, according to O'Hair, the pope should be tried for "crimes against humanity" and the Bible is a fraud concocted "by a bunch of Jews starved [and] wandering around the Sinai desert."

O'Hair is dead, but the revolution she helped to launch -- to expunge religion from our public life -- is very much with us.

O'Hair was best-known for her 1963 Supreme Court case that ended school prayer. Since then, the high court has banned invocations at graduation ceremonies, student-led prayers at football games, display of the Ten Commandments in schools and Nativity scenes standing alone in public places -- as well as other horrors lately discovered to constitute an establishment of religion.

Most of those who've taken up O'Hair's cause aren't atheists. Many even have a vague belief in God. But all are obsessive. For them, every public manifestation of faith is an attack on the foundations of democratic government. If they can't call it unconstitutional, even under their twisted interpretation of the First Amendment, they complain that it's insensitive or an attack on diversity.

Mention of Jesus in prayers offered at George W. Bush's inauguration were "inappropriate and insensitive," stormed Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. These blessings "excluded tens of millions of Americans who are Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Shintoists, atheists and agnostics," complained attorney Alan Dershowitz. Perhaps Dershowitz would like to end the practice of presidents taking the oath of office on a Bible (up to this point, a Christian Bible) which, by his reasoning, also would exclude all of the aforementioned.

Seth Leibsohn of the Jewish Policy Center notes that references to Jesus were included in prayers at the inaugurations of Franklin Roosevelt, John F. …

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