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Murray Admits School Prayer is Submission to God

The Worldnutdaily is still making money from sales of a new book by William Murray, the evangelist son of Madilyn Murray O’Hair, so they’re still cranking out fake “articles” that are nothing more than a few statements from Murray about a subject followed by an ad for the book. The latest one is on school prayer, where Murray gives up the game when he declares that mandatory prayer in schools is all about submitting to God:

Prayer is needed in America’s schools, not just for the moral teachings, but because it represents the authority of God, according to William Murray, son of the nation’s most famous atheist, Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

“Prayer in the schools 50 years ago had little to do with morality and a lot to do with authority. The speaker of the House of Representatives, the second most powerful man in America, has the words ‘In God We Trust’ engraved over his chair in the House Chamber,” said Murray, the author of “My Life Without God.”

Uh, Bill. I know you probably don’t keep up with such things, but the speaker of the house is not the second most powerful man in the country. That would be the vice president. And by the way, the speaker of the house is a woman now.

“Fifty years ago prayer and Bible reading represented the authority of God over the school, the teachers and the students. Bowing of heads in the morning for prayer was much more about surrendering to the authority of God than about learning ‘morals.’…

“The authority of God has been replaced with the authority of the iron fist of government.

How amusing. He rants about the “iron fist of government” while simultaneously advocating that the government force students, including non-Christian students, to recite government-written prayers in order to “surrender to the authority of God.” I’ll take hypocrisy for $1000, Alex.

Comments

  1. d cwilson says

    These are people who cannot sleep at night unless they know every institution is subservient to their imaginary friend. It’s not that Murray objects to an authoritarian style of government. It’s just that he wants all authoritarianism to be done in the name of Jeebus.

  2. Randomfactor says

    “And by the way, the speaker of the house is a woman now. ”

    Not till AFTER the election.

  3. jeremydiamond says

    How powerful is the VP? The position only comes with two major responsibilities, right? Is it so wrong to call the Speaker of the House the second most powerful?

  4. typecaster says

    I know you probably don’t keep up with such things, but the speaker of the house is not the second most powerful man in the country. That would be the vice president.

    Ummm….. No. The vice president is the first in the line of succession should the presidency be vacated, but there’s no way to pretend that the office has any real power at all, beyond breaking very rare ties in the Senate. Whether the Speaker is the second most powerful (I’d argue for the chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, myself), he’s incalculably more powerful than the Veep.

    And that minor nit doesn’t detract at all from the greater point that Murray is an asshat.

    Just sayin’, is all.

  5. d cwilson says

    The VP doesn’t have much real power. Unless the president gives him additional responsibilities, the job itself consists of waiting around for either the Senate to deadlock or for the president get sick and/or die. It’s only in the event that he has to take over as president that the job has any substantial meaning. In other words, the VP has power only in terms of when he might leave the job and assume the presidency.

    The Speaker, on the other hand, has near-unlimited powers over the legislative process. Unlike in the Senate, he can unilaterally end debate and block a bill from ever even being considered. That’s pretty powerful. But on the other hand, he has to ride herd over a large legislative body with diverse interests and somehow, twist enough arms to get the votes necessary for anything significant to pass. That’s a big limit on his power especially if, like Boehner, he’s really, really bad at getting the votes lined up before calling the role.

    So, which is more powrful often depends on circumstances and personality. How good and how willing the Speaker is to strongarm his legislative agenda through vs. how much trust the president is willing to invest in the one member of his administration he can’t fire in between elections.

    I think there’s little doubt that during the Bush years, Dick Cheney was more powerful than Dennis Hastert, but Nancy Pelosi may have been more powerful that Cheney, because, as a democrat, she could force Bush to compromise in order to get things passed.

    Is Joe Biden more powerful than John Boehner? That’s a tough one. But I would say that Eric Cantor may be more powerful that Boehner now, given how terrible Boehner is at his job. What about Mitch McConnell then? Even as the minority leader in the Senate, he can kill just about any bill he wants since he can get the republican Senators to filibuster anything. That’s pretty darn powerful in his own right.

  6. Jordan Genso says

    My vote for “2nd most powerful position in the nation” would go to the Chair of the Federal Reserve.

  7. slc1 says

    Re Jordan Genso @ #8

    An argument could be made that, in some respects, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve is more powerful then the president.

  8. michaellatiolais says

    Honestly, I think I need a score card. Don’t most of the Baptist sects believe in the whole Tribulation thing? So, isn’t the AntiChrist the most powerful man on the planet? Or does he only count later?

  9. Jordan Genso says

    slc1

    An argument could be made that, in some respects, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve is more powerful then the president.

    That’s what my 10th grade civics teacher taught us, because of the lack of checks & balances on the Fed.

  10. abear says

    I thought Grover Norquist was the most powerful man in America, what with him dictating tax policy for more than a decade now.

  11. Die Anyway says

    > “prayer was much more about surrendering to the authority of God…”

    What is it with these people and surrendering to authority? They are all about “King” of this and “Lord” of that, getting down on your knees in obeisance, being a sheep to the shepherd. This is America, dammit! No Kings! No Lords and Ladies. If there is a gene for wanting to be ruled by a king, I didn’t inherit it. But the religionists seem to hunger for servitude, and want you to join them. Bah! A pox on their families.

  12. Michael Heath says

    I don’t find the Chairman of the Fed all that powerful relative to the president, the swing vote in the SCOTUS, or certain leaders in Congress. That’s because the powers of the Chairman is so narrowly constrained in terms of what they’re able to do while also being checked by both conditions and the other members of the Fed. They also can’t really set much of agenda.

    The Fed primarily decides whether to promote growth at the risk of inflation or fight inflation at the risk of lower growth. But even then the Fed itself is merely one of several factors that determines growth or inflation; they haven’t demonstrated any ability to unilaterally determine whether we’ll have growth or inflation but merely nudge it one way or the other – with the exception of effectively staving off big inflation rates.

  13. Nemo says

    I guess an authoritarian mind can only imagine substituting one authority for another, and not.. you know… freedom. They love the word, but hate the concept.

  14. Jordan Genso says

    @14 Michael Heath

    The argument my teacher made was that the Fed’s ability to change the interest rate means they have the power to crash the economy if they ever decided to do so.

    So they’re not the most powerful when it comes to doing good, but they are in a unique position of power to do bad.

  15. Ichthyic says

    What is it with these people and surrendering to authority?

    the answer to your question lies in understanding what an authoritarian is.

    READ THIS.

    it explains everything.

    not kidding.

  16. vmanis1 says

    Wasn’t there a decades-old joke about a man who was elected to the position of Vice-President, moved to Washington, D.C., to take up the post, and was never seen again?

    Anyway, I thought Rush Limbaugh was the most powerful person in the U.S.

  17. dan4 says

    “And by the way, the speaker of the house is a woman now.”

    Yikes, Ed. You seriously don’t know that John Boehner is the Speaker of the House?

  18. Crudely Wrott says

    “Fifty years ago prayer and Bible reading represented the authority of God over the school, the teachers and the students. Bowing of heads in the morning for prayer was much more about surrendering to the authority of God than about learning ‘morals.’…

    “The authority of God has been replaced with the authority of the iron fist of government.

    Fifty years ago (OK, fifty plus a handful, years ago, early elementary school) my school started every day with the principal (the principal is a “pal”; spelling tip) on the PA leading the entire school body in the lord’s prayer and the pledge (by then replete with the underdog imposition). I clearly recall my teachers informing the class on the first day of school, and on other, subsequent days, that participation was voluntary and that if a student did not want to participate they were welcome to remain seated and hold their peace while other students obediently followed the formula.

    It took me a while, and talking to my mother a couple of times, to understand that not everyone walked like trained elephants, with each one holding the tail of the preceding in their trunks. Thus empowered and heartened I decided, after haltingly trying to fit in by emulating a circus pachyderm (I really didn’t know all the words to the prayer and I had a hard time with the underdog phase in the pledge; that is, the republic was a real thing that could be commonly understood while the underdog part was wide open to interpretation) I just remained in my seat and silent.

    Never once was I taken to task for my reticence by other students, teachers or faculty. This was a seminal experience and probably a chief motivator in starting me on the path to skepticism and atheism, damn me.

    I must have been prescient; look now upon the great symbol of the party of the sycophantic faithful who are first to glorify and demand submission to ephemeral and numinous authority!

  19. Michael Heath says

    Jordan Genso writes:

    My vote for “2nd most powerful position in the nation” would go to the Chair of the Federal Reserve.

    I responded in general to this point made by multiple posters:

    I don’t find the Chairman of the Fed all that powerful relative to the president, the swing vote in the SCOTUS, or certain leaders in Congress. That’s because the powers of the Chairman is so narrowly constrained in terms of what they’re able to do while also being checked by both conditions and the other members of the Fed. They also can’t really set much of agenda.

    The Fed primarily decides whether to promote growth at the risk of inflation or fight inflation at the risk of lower growth. But even then the Fed itself is merely one of several factors that determines growth or inflation; they haven’t demonstrated any ability to unilaterally determine whether we’ll have growth or inflation but merely nudge it one way or the other – with the exception of effectively staving off big inflation rates.

    Jordan Genso writes:

    The argument my teacher made was that the Fed’s ability to change the interest rate means they have the power to crash the economy if they ever decided to do so.

    The topic seems to have changed from the Chairman of the Fed, to which I directly responded, to the Fed itself. As I noted above, the Chairman is both checked by other members of the Fed along with their narrow band of powers via the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee). When it comes to setting monetary policy, that isn’t done by the Chairman alone but instead all seven members of the Federal Reserve Board along with five of the twelve regional Fed bank presidents. Your teacher wasn’t merely wrong, but wildly so when it comes to the powers of the Fed Chairman or even the Fed as a whole, which history validates.

  20. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #21

    Heath correctly asserts that there are several members of the Federal Reserve Board, that in theory, could override what the chairman want’s to do. Does Heath have any evidence that the rest of the board overrode Alan Greenspan at any time during his tenure? Inquiring minds want to know.

    By the way, a number of Rethuglicans blamed Greenspan’s failure to reduce interest rates in 1992 as the cause of Bush 1’s defeat at the hands of Clinton. It should be noted that interest rates started to come down right after Clinton was elected. Heath may disagree with this analysis but, if true, it certainly implies that Greenspan was pretty damn powerful.

  21. kermit. says

    Die anyway: What is it with these people and surrendering to authority? […] But the religionists seem to hunger for servitude, and want you to join them. Bah! A pox on their families.

    Indeed. And it is not the slave of another master they fear, nor a slave who wants to be master himself, but rather those of us who are uninterested in being servile or even being served.

    When I was in the US Army we had a psychologist visit our medic class and give a test; it was a series of questions about relationships, mostly concerning the relative power of the hypothetical people concerned. I expressed by distaste for all this clearly, that is, I didn’t like to be told what to do. (I was already told that I lacked “military bearing”.)

    The psychologist took me aside later and said that I had the highest score for disliking being subjected to authority, and I was clearly like her – obsessed with focused on gaining power over others! She gave me a few friendly words of advice for long term strategy in achieving these “goals”, and left.

    I was shocked – it did not seem to occur to her that some of us are not at all attracted to the whole pecking order power struggle. How can someone earn a PhD in that field and not understand this?

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