I saw the eyes of pure evil
I met Madalyn Murray O’Hair once.
Once was enough.
O’Hair, the famous atheist, spoke to a crowd of pre-law students . . . and me . . . at the University of Illinois in the 80s.
I remember nothing she said, but I will never forget her eyes. They were dark, evil, full of ugliness.
She was well-rehearsed at being evil. She was belligerent and rude; the first women I had ever heard swear during a public speech. She was as close to Satanic as I had ever gotten at that point in my life.
She didn’t believe in God, but that wasn’t enough for her. She campaigned on the belief that her belief to not believe was more important than my belief to believe. (Read that sentence again and it will make sense!)
There was no middle ground to Madalyn.
There was no compromise. It was her way, period.
I hadn’t thought much about the woman until the court ruling declaring the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional. (Only in America can its own pledge be called unconstitutional.)
I believe enough in the goodness of people to trust that an understanding will be reached in this issue and others which will allow for the Judy Bingmans of this world and the Madalyn Murray O’Hairs of this world to work side by side, study side by side, govern side by side and live side by side.
If we can’t, what hope do we have of finding peace with people vastly different from us living an ocean away?
Tolerance does not mean submission; it doesn’t mean giving in and it doesn’t mean letting the Madalyn Murray O’Hairs out there make all the decisions. It does mean acknowledging that those with differing opinions have a right to those opinions (however idiotic I may think they are).
This isn’t a new lesson. We’ve heard
it before. Remember, “Blessed
are the Peacemakers.”