I Was An Atheist for the FBI


Was Madalyn Murray O'Hair's husband a domestic spook sent by the FBI to spy on the American Atheist? That's roughly the claim made by Ted Dracos in UnGodly: The Passions, Torments, and Murder of Atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair. In Slate, Stephen Bates pretty persuasively argues that that claim is bogus. Whatever the flaws of the Dracos book, it sounds a lot juicier than Bryan F. Le Beau's The Atheist, a solid but sober intellectual biography of O'Hair, which is the subject of a scintillating writeup by the original Tim Cavanaugh in the December issue of Reason.

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  1. hard-core cult leader with $500,000 in gold coins… leading a bunch of fundementalists who make it a point to not follow judeo-christian teachings… year gotta be the FBI who waxed her…

  2. I observe that as an atheist I have as yet to read any of O’Hair’s work, or her organization. Of course given the sentiment that many Americans have about atheists – illustrated in Bush pere’s statement aren’t real Americans – it wouldn’t surprise that the FBI would infiltrate a group of atheists,

  3. I am oft amazed by how poor my English writing skills become once I’ve drunk two bottles of merlot. 🙂

  4. JB, your conclusion is invalid, for lack of a control to compare it to.


  5. Jean Bart,

    Is that what Bush I said?

    I guess a “real American” is somebody who puts on his best clothes every Sunday, heads for the (high church, of course) Episcopalian Church, sits quietly and listens with a feigned demeanor of interest and edification, and then disregards everything he’s heard for the rest of the week.

  6. Gee Kevin,

    Considering where the Episcopalians have gone, you might have made the wrong pick for the “real American”.

    M. Bart

    I always think my french improves after I’ve drunk two bottles of merlot. Sadly never enough for anybody to understand a word I’m saying. 🙂

  7. Wow, arjay, you too? I’ve noticed that I remember my high school French better after I’ve had a couple, but assumed I was imaging it.

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