Just watched a movie on Netflix called The Most Hated Women In America. It's the story Of Madalyn Murray O'Hair. I recommend it
I lived in Austin in the 80s. Her office building was on my way to one of the jobs I had. It was a very small, unassuming gray building. The very high chain link fencing was the only clue something was happening there. Never any cars. I forget when they went missing. I'll be forever grateful to her for the advocacy of getting prayer out of public schools.
Thanks for the heads up! It was an excellent movie. I was a member of American Atheists for a while. I'm not sure if I was still a member when they were kidnapped. I do remember there was a great deal of confusion in the organization when the family disappeared.
They left out an incident that really shows how hated Madalyn was: they had a kitten, and one day they woke up to find it nailed to the door with some message stating Christian love, like "Atheists go to hell" or something like that.
The characterization of Billy Murray was spot on, though they left out his many divorces. Madalyn dismissed him as a "professional ex atheist," and she believed that his professing to be a Christian was a lie, and that he was in it solely for the money.
All in all, a fairly accurate film.
I watched it when they first put it up. With someone as controversial as Madalyn Murray O'Hair, I think the film could have done more with her beliefs and motivations. She made mistakes but she had to believe in what she was doing and she loved being obnoxious to those she scorned. It could have been done a lot better.
I saw the movie in the Netflix queue, but hesitated to watch because I remember how violent people were about her.
Back when the events occurred, I was still religious and attending church, so felt horrified that someone would do that. I didn't understand how an atheist would care what other people believed; if she didn't think a god existed..why should it matter?
I didn't realized how oppressive and pervasive the religious influence was in the schools because I wasn't resisting against it at the time.
I watched it and finally understood how greed had killed her and some of her family. It took a while to get it figured out because nobody cared that the leading atheist was missing or murdered. Back in the time it happened I was still a believer. As such I had perfect "Christian think" to her murder. It was simple. God killed Madalyn Murray O'Hair because she did not believe in him.
This is the same false logic that believers put on you about religion all the time.