SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: “How Atheist Campaigner Madalyn Murray O’Hair Became America’s Most-hated Woman” / The Guardian ☮

This week, the film The Most Hated Woman in America comes to Netflix, with Melissa Leo playing Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the atheist who campaigned against the church’s influence in public and political life (the title comes from the headline on a 1964 interview with her in Life magazine). While Murray O’Hair is not widely known outside of the US, she had an extraordinary life. Long before the likes of Richard Dawkins, she gained notoriety for helping to push bible readings out of schools, and in 1963 she founded American Atheists. It’s a group that is still going today, campaigning against Donald Trump’s plan to abolish the rule that forbids religious institutions, among other charitable organisations, from getting involved in political activity and funding). For the next few decades, Murray O’Hair devoted her life to campaigning against the church’s power. She was a contentious figure, and when she disappeared in 1995, along with her son and granddaughter from their home in Austin, Texas, that too was controversial.

h/t: Continue reading . . .

A true-crime biopic about the disappearance of Madalyn Murray O’Hair, founder of the “American Atheists” and pioneering firebrand in the political culture war, The Most Hated Woman in America captures the rise and fall of a complex character who was a controversial villain to some and an unlikely hero to others.

The film stars Academy Award® winner Melissa Leo, Josh Lucas, Adam Scott, Vincent Kartheiser and Juno Temple, and was directed by Tommy O’Haver from a script by O’Haver and Irene Turner. Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman and Laura Rister produced.

The Most Hated Woman in America premieres on Netflix on March 24, 2017.

PROGRESSIVE POLITICAL COMMENTARY: “North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is Attempting to Steal the Election” / NewsOne Now / Roland Martin ☮

Republicans may be rejoicing after Donald Trump’s upset victory in the 2016 presidential election, but in North Carolina – a state that our nation’s President-elect won – Republicans are pulling out all the stops post-Election Day in a brazen attempt to hold on to the governor’s mansion.

Gov. Pat McCrory lost the North Carolina governor’s race and seems to be orchestrating an attempt to steal it. Not only did Republicans lose the race, they also lost control of the state’s Supreme Court, four to three.

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, North Carolina Republicans are trying to add two new seats to the state’s High Court so the governor can appoint right-leaning judges and pack the court. If successful, the North Carolina Supreme Court would remain under Republican control.

WHITE-WING CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN RACISM: “White Resentment / Resistance Embodied by White Nationalists / Supremacists not Going Away as America Diversifies” ☮

Roland Martin spoke with MSNBC’s Sheinelle Jones about his recent interview with White Nationalist and Alt-Right spokesperson Richard Spencer.

During their chat, Martin told Jones, the media misidentified the White economic angst bubbling up in America. The host of TV One’s NewsOne Now had properly identified the White resentment and resistance that has risen to prominence as early as 2009 following the election of President Barack Obama.

Martin also explained that “White fear is real” in a changing America where no one group will be the majority and said the angst that has arisen from that fear is “nothing to play around with.”