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The Star, No. 4, December 23, 1983
File 007
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The Star, No. 4, December 23, 1983 - File 007. 1983-12-23. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 21, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1078/show/1071.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1983-12-23). The Star, No. 4, December 23, 1983 - File 007. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1078/show/1071

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Star, No. 4, December 23, 1983 - File 007, 1983-12-23, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 21, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1078/show/1071.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title The Star, No. 4, December 23, 1983
Contributor
  • Martinez, Ed
Date December 23, 1983
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Austin, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 783846406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 007
Transcript 6 The Star/Dec. 23,1983 O'Hair Sees Herself as Crusader for Common Sense By Ed Martinez Common sense, as one wag put it, isn't. Thomas Payne entitled his treatise during ore-Revolutionary times "Common Sense," and the arguments included in it helped form public opinion in favor of America's departure from the British Empire. Austin, Texas, claims a leader in the battle for common sense, according to the self-proclaimed leader of American atheists, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the woman who single-handedly led the court battle that resulted in the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Murray v. Curlett that prohibited forced prayer sessions in public schools in America. O'Hair founded the American Atheists, a group within an organization known as the Society of Separationists, Inc. From this group's headquarters, a structure surrounded by tall, metal fences topped with barbed wire, O'Hair conducts the work of her organization. O'Hair is a grandmotherly-looking woman in her 60's. The public impression of her is usually that of an acerbic, often hostile guest on such shows as "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. O'Hair is a frequent guest and panelist on such shows, and almost invariably draws fire because of her views on not only religion, but also women's liberation and other timely subjects. What is generally less well-known is that O'Hair is an attorney, with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree, and also a social worker. Her career in social work spanned many years in Baltimore, where she worked tirelessly to install one of the very first government unions in America in the Social Security Administration, which is headquartered in that city. Her zeal in causes for social change led to her ouster, she claims, from the Social Security Administration. Later, after her successful court fight to remove prayer from public schools, O'Hair was involved in a number of legal actions which resulted in her moving to Hawaii, then to Mexico, and then to Austin, Tex., where she now lives and which she has made her home. Madalyn Murray O'Hair O'Hair once ran for local public office in Austin, unsuccessfully, and continues to write and lecture world-wide. Regardless of the public perception of O'Hair and her stands, she continues to emerge in print and in the media, surfacing repeatedly with actions and attitudes that frequently alarm, shock, and, on occasion, delight. A good example is a recent story reported by the International Gay News Agency which reported that O'Hair had expelled the Gay Atheist League of America from the American Atheists for, according to the report, "requiring O'Hair's group to accept the religion ofthe religious mates of gay atheists." A phone call to Gerald Tholen, vice- president of American Atheists, at the .group's headquarters in Austin, disclosed that American Atheists "collaborate, they are not affiliated" with various groups, of which GALA is one. He indicated that American Atheists are not in the business of excommunicating any groups, but Tholen did allow that the problem of religious mates of avowed atheists could and did cause problems. Tholen stated that this was a problem with religious couples of different religions, and so could logically be expected to be a problem in a marriage between an atheist and a religious, whether straight or gay. Chalk up another tempest in a teapot, probably resulting from lack of communication between the outspoken O'Hair and the media. O'Hair was one ofthe earliest people to work for blacks and to demonstrate for civil rights. However, even there her views do not folow the herd. Although earning her credentials as a social activist in civil rights battles, O'Hair's comments on the late Dr. Martin Luther King could be considered unorthodox. "The only blacks that have been permitted to achieve anything have been the preachers. I once met Dr. Martin Luther King, and I asked him why he wanted to keep the blacks on their knees. The blacks will never get anywhere until they get up off their knees. But Dr. King wanted to keep them on their knees, praying." Her outlook on gay liberation is another example of her candid opinions. O'Hair spoke ofthe recent efforts ofthe Metropolitan Community Church to gain admission and recognition by the National Council of Churches: "This is another example of the gays wanting to rush back into a burning house. Gays have been insulted sexually, and now they want to be insulted intellectually. This is the most flagrant masochism." On the subject of women's lib, O'Hair repeated a line that she said she uses constantly in lectures to women's groups: "You show me who cleans the toilets in a house and I'll tell you who's a liberated woman." O'Hair did express her opinion on the subject of women's liberation in more orthodox terms, however, when she stated that she felt quite confident that if women were paid equally for equal work, everything else would take care of itself. O'Hair recently returned from a tour of Soviet Russia with a group, and her insights definitely bear repeating. According to O'Hair, the Soviet determination to provide each person in Soviet Russia with the best possible education will enable them to ultimately overtake us technologically, as well as militarily and politically. While holding no brief for Marxism, O'Hair pointed out that when the Soviet revolution occurred in 1917, 93 percent of the population of Russia was illiterate. To contrast that with modern Soviet achievements in science and industry is to illustrate dramatically what a society is capable of and what we may expect from that society in the next 66 years. O'Hair describes herself as an anarchist, and believes firmly that a just order can only be built on the rubble ofthe present order, whether capitalist or communist. She continues to study, to write and to lecture, secure in her belief that her work has value and must continue. O'Hair readily admits that the very system with which she so often finds fault is the very system that permitted her own cause to he vindicated through the courts. Nevertheless, Madalyn Murray O'Hair continues to rail against what she considers the forces of unreason. She dreams "the impossible dream;" she fights "the unbeatable foe." In an age shackled to a TV screen and the bland repetition of the common wisdom, O'Hair's crusade for individuality and common sense stands out like a lighthouse in a black sea of smugness and complacency. HOUSTON 2327 Grant at Fairview 528-8342 NU MUSIC by J.D.ARNOLD ROBBIE STUBBS OF RICH'S HAPPY HOUR DAILY 12pm-6pm KRAZEE HOUR NITELY 9pm-11pm 75$ Well Drinks & Beer TUESDAY 75<P Well Drinks & Beer \ 9pm-2am • ^ WEDNESDAY l2-for-1 Well Drinks 9pm-midnight COT A HOME COMPUTER? It you have a personal eompt/ter of data terminal,' then you should check oul the latest form of electronic communications in the gay community. The GNIC Network is a multi-user rtem.wtomialmaM&xIqmu^ service with local phone access fiom over250\cities\intheil.S. $ Canada! 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