Madalyn Murray-O'Hair Announces the Formation of Poor Richard's Universal Life Church

Madalyn Murray-O'Hair Announces the Formation of Poor Richard's Universal Life Church

Madalyn Murray-O'Hair

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Madalyn Murray-O'Hair, America's best-known atheist, announces that she is starting a new church: Poor Richard's Universal Life Church. She proclaims herself as the church's bishop and her husband, Richard F. O'Hair, is the "official prophet." She has a charter from the Universal Life Church of California where she and her husband have honorary doctor of divinity degrees.

O'Hair tells reporters:

"This is not going to be a pseudo-religion. This is going to be an earnest attempt to do something about the relationship of the church in this country.

We can marry and divorce people. We administer sacraments and hear confessions. ...

I've researches this for a year. It's absolutely airtight. We've drawn from the Mormons, the Christian Scientists we've drawn from everybody. If they try to attack us, they'll be attacking their own tenets."

Madalyn Murray-O'Hair says she intends to take full advantage of every tax exemption normally given without a second through to churches and other religious groups:

"We're going to operate just as all churches do. ... Now the churches have told us a million times over and so has the federal government that atheism is a religion, so we're going to accept this. ...

Richard and I have taken oaths of poverty and turned all of our property over to the church. As long as all churches are tax exempt, this church will be tax exempt."
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