Religion: Bishop Madalyn

A new religion to snipe at organized religion is the latest idea of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the militant atheist who won the Supreme Court ban on compulsory public school prayers. Last week she founded "Poor Richard's Universal Life Church," boldly named after her husband, a 56-year-old Texas artist. Mrs. O'Hair automatically received tax-exempt status—her way of pressuring the courts to void that privilege for regular churches. "Anything can be a religion," she claims, "even gurus or belly-button contemplators."

Mrs. O'Hair incorporated Poor Richard's Church under a California charter without a hitch. The church is located in a cluttered wooden house in Austin,...

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