Protestors gathered outside the US Supreme Court building this week to demand that the judicial body reinstate the right to pray in public places. Among those present was William “Bill” Murray, son of the late Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the militant atheist who won a 1963 court battle to prohibit prayer in public schools.
Several years ago, William Murray converted to Christianity and today he leads the Coalition for Religious Freedom. He grew up under the shadow of his mother, who won the famous court battle that removed expressions of faith from the public school system in the United States.
The Rev. Rob Schenck, who participated in the protest, said the presence of Murray was emblematic. “Nobody knows this issue like he does. He was used, abused and indoctrinated to think that prayer violated the Constitution. Now he uses the genius that God gave him to return prayer to the schools and to all public life in America,” he said.
Murray became one of the most outspoken critics of the work of his mother, who was accused of manipulating her followers, robbing funds from her organization and tax fraud. Madelyn Murray O’Hare was killed in 1995 together with her son Jon and her granddaughter Robin, William’s daughter.