Exclusive Interview with William J. Murray, Defender of Persecuted Christians
By Julio Severo
William J. Murray, who is known for his incredible work of helping persecuted Christians, is the son of one of the most famous atheists and Marxists in America, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, founder of American Atheists. When she enrolled William in the school in the early 1960s, she was enraged at prayers and mentions of God in the school setting. Her lawsuit led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling officially banning Bible reading in American public schools in 1963.
|Mike Huckabee and William J. Murray|
I am much honored to have Dr. Murray as my special guest for this exclusive interview for the Brazilian public. He is the chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition in Washington, DC. For more than three decades, he has been at the forefront of defending the religious freedom of Christians. During the early 1980’s he served as director of Freedom’s Friends, an organization that reached out to the victims of communism worldwide. In the 1990’s he founded the first commercial Bible publishing company in the Soviet Union. For many years his organizations operated evangelistic tours to the Soviet Union to distribute Bibles and preach the Gospel.
|William J. Murray and Senator Ted Cruz|
From his office in Washington, DC, William J. Murray continues to work for the rights of Christians in America and persecuted Christians around the world. Under his guidance the Religious Freedom Coalition assists Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria as well as Palestinian Christian families and Christian schools in the West Bank. He has traveled to the Middle East and Africa numerous times. Murray has been a part of fact-finding mission in such areas as Kosovo, Sudan, Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and China.
He also directs the Christmas for Refugees program that conducts Christmas dinners for Christian refugee children from Iraq and Syria.
|Rand Paul and William J. Murray|
His view is that the U.S. should work with Russia to fight the biggest threat to the Western civilization: radical Islam — as reported by him in a WND article titled “Main threat to U.S., Russia: Radical Islam, not each other.” Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has the same view.
Now here is his interview:
Julio Severo: You have an organization to help Christians persecuted by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Could you talk about what is happening to these Christians?
William J. Murray: Not only the Islamic State, but al-Qaeda linked groups such as al-Nusra have persecuted Christians in Syria. In extreme cases Christian men and boys in their early teens have been beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam. Some have been crucified. Many captured married Christian women have been forced into Mut’a or temporary marriages with fighters. Many of these so called “marriages” last not more than an hour. Some women face up to ten of these “marriages” a day which are actually rapes with permission of Imams. Younger Christian girls who are virgins are forced into permanent marriages with Islamic fighters.
In Syria as well as Islamic State controlled areas of Iraq Christians have been forced from their homes. In Mosul, Iraq Christians were forced out and their homes were given to their Muslim neighbors. The population of Christians in Iraq had been reduced by 75% in the last decade.
Julio Severo: Have you travelled and personally talked to persecuted Christians in Syria and Iraq? How has been this experience?
William J. Murray: On numerous occasions I have traveled to Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. My last visit to Jordan and Iraq occurred in September, 2015. I traveled to the Kurdish areas of Iraq near Irbil where many of the Christians from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain have fled from. I have firsthand heard the horror stories of murder, robbery and rape of Christians at the hands of various Islamist groups some of which in Syria are supported by the United States in an effort to overthrow the secular government of Syria and establish a Saudi approved Sunni government.
Julio Severo: In our phone talk, you said that the church has often forgotten charity because the government has dominated “assistance for the poor,” with no love and voluntary acts, but forcing citizens to pay for its welfare programs. Could you tell us more on this?
William J. Murray: As Christians we are instructed by the New Testament to care for those in need. To that end throughout the history of the church it has provided for the poor, the widows and the orphans until the 20th century. The United States has tens of dozens of hospitals named for saints or with denominational names in them. Most were opened as charitable endeavors. These hospitals have been sold to private companies, are now operated by municipalities or are operated by churches on behalf of the government. Christian hospitals now receive most of their funding from Medicare, Medicaid patients. As a result these hospitals must serve as the government directs.
Bluntly – The church has abdicated the charge given by Jesus and his disciples. Rather than minister to the poor churches now run classes teaching the poor how to get more from government. Some churches now run daycare and other programs financed by the government at a profit to church. The concern is federal funding to keep employment numbers high and not the Gospel.
Julio Severo: How could the church help widows and orphans without government dependence?
William J. Murray: A church should provide the needs of the poor in its community as it best can with the resources it has. Regardless, the church should not become an instrument of Caesar in the community.
Julio Severo: How did you learn about the perils of government replacing individual voluntary charity and love acts?
William J. Murray: One need only look at the outcome when churches are told that a cross may not be displayed in a classroom and that prayer may not be offered before the children’s lunch that the government pays for. If the Gospel is excluded the funds or government services have become a god to the church rather than the God we should serve.
Julio Severo: So in the past, you thought that government control over everything, including family affairs and Christianity, was the solution. Could you elaborate on your past socialist views on government intrusion?
William J. Murray: I was raised in Marxist home and for my early life Marxist-Leninist study classes were my Sunday school. My family was not socialist, but Marxist and there is a huge difference as there are various types of socialism including National Socialism, which is the Nazi variety. The socialism of Europe is a cultural socialism that is financed by Capitalism. That is not Marxism. In true Marxist society all property in belongs to the State as does all production. The purest definition of Marxism is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Put another way: “Work as hard as you can and put everything you make in a big pot. When you have ‘needs’ take out of the pot even if you placed nothing into it.”
My family was dysfunctional and unable for the most part to care for itself thus Marxism was a solution for them. As I grew out of my teen years, I was productive and Marxism no longer made any sense to me. This began my movement toward rational concepts and the Gospel.
Julio Severo: Your mother, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, founder of American Atheists, was best known for her lawsuit that led to a landmark Supreme Court officially ruling banning Bible-reading in American public schools in 1963. What were your view on the Bible in that time? How did Marxism mold your view on the Bible?
William J. Murray: My mother’s initial complaint was not just about prayer but also the Pledge of Allegiance. She had discovered this in the schools by accident when she reenrolled me after an attempted defection to the Soviet Union. I was totally indoctrinated to view the Bible as a distorted view of history. More about that can be read in my first book, My Life Without God, which is still in print after 30 years.
Julio Severo: How radical were you and your mother in Marxism?
William J. Murray: My mother was at one time the manager of the Communist Party bookstore in Baltimore, Maryland. She was also the chairman of the Marxist Fair Play for Cuba Committee in Maryland. The most famous member of the group was Lee Harvey Oswald [assassin of the U.S. President John F. Kennedy]. Her radical Marxism of course was derived from her inability to hold down a job. Contrary to common belief, communists do not aggressively recruit on college campuses but rather on unemployment lines.
Julio Severo: What changed you?
William J. Murray: The change in my life was one that evolved rather than sudden. The Marxism went first as I discovered its failings and demands. Unlike my dysfunctional family I was able to do well in the private sector working almost from my early years in management. I held several management positions with airlines. Suddenly I found myself on the required “in the pot” side of the socialist equation rather than the “take form the pot” side. I moved rapidly politically taking the Ayn Randian libertarian view, which is also atheistic. My position became one of a social Darwinist believing that those unable to feed themselves should probably just starve to death to make a better planet for those of us who are productive.
Julio Severo: After you knew Jesus Christ, how this spiritual experience changed your view on government, charity, family affairs and other issues?
William J. Murray: My relationship with Jesus Christ came about through the self-centered and destructive lifestyle I had learned from my family and my new found atheistic social Darwinist lifestyle which including alcohol and drugs. Fortunately the Lord reached down and lifted me from the horror of that lifestyle.
Julio Severo: When you were a Marxist, how did you see the plight of persecuted Christians? How did you see the U.S.? How did you see the Soviet Union?
William J. Murray: Keeping in mind that I was teenager at the time I was being raised in a Marxist home there were, according to my mother, only trouble making counter revolutionary Christians in the Soviet Union and other communist nations who needed to be controlled, even imprisoned. As for the United States our family viewed it as a fascist state much like Franco’s Spain with a phony freedom that only allowed the people to vote for one of two political parties controlled by the Capitalists of Wall Street.
Julio Severo: Now as a Christian, how do you see the plight of persecuted Christians? How do you see the U.S.? How do you see Russia?
William J. Murray: “As a Christian” is an interesting opening to a question in a nation that allows anyone to declare what they are regardless of actual beliefs. Most of the “Christians” in the United States today do not believe in the basic tenets of Christianity such as the virgin birth of our Lord or a literally hell. As a Christian that does believe the Bible is the actual Word of God I see the United States and Russia as having swopped roles. Today the United States as a government threatens Christians to accept a secular worldview including sodomy as a human right. One the other hand the government of Russia today encourages the church to the point of allowing religious instruction in public schools and bans the distribution of homosexual material to those under 18 years of age. President Obama and the media cite Russia as being “undemocratic” for following a more Biblical social policy.
Julio Severo: How do you see U.S. President Barack Obama in his relationship with Christian values and persecuted Christians? Is Obama a friend or enemy of conservative values? What is his relationship with Marxism and especially Islam, which has been slaughtering about 100,000 Christians a year?
William J. Murray: The numbers are just astounding. Christians of the various Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions in Syria constituted 10 percent of Syria’s population before Saudi paid “rebels” began their attacks on the secular government. But only 2.6 percent of the 2,003 Syrian refugees that the United States has accepted since then are Christians. The only conclusion is that the Obama Administration is deliberately blocking Christians, who face the worst persecution from the Islamic State in Syria!
Over the past five years of the Saudi sponsored civil war in Syria, the United States has admitted a grand total of 53 Syrian Christian refugees and just one Yazidi, despite all the media attention on the Yazidi situation last year. Meanwhile, Obama has deported 27 Chaldean Christians who entered the United States illegally and asked for asylum last year while he imported tens of thousands of Somali Muslims because they face “persecution” in a Muslim nation.
Obama is a utopianist, not necessarily a Marxist. The vast majority of people do not understand the social decease of utopianism that has caused death and destruction on Earth for two thousand years. The worst examples of utopian totalitarianism were exhibited in the 20th century and included not only Marxist but National Socialist governments. I have a chapter on modern utopianists including Barack Obama in my new book, Utopian Road to Hell, which will be released in March 2016.
Julio Severo: How do you see Russian President Vladimir Putin in his relationship with Christian values and persecuted Christians? Is Putin a friend or enemy of conservative values? What is his relationship with Marxism and especially Islam?
William J. Murray: There is no relationship between Islam and Marxism other than both subscribe to central power and believe in a utopian construct on Earth. One is centered on economic magic thought and the other is an intolerant social-economic-religious system. President Putin, I believe, has a better understanding of the Islamic threat to the civilized world than does Barack Obama. The failure to have a rational view is not specific to Obama as Senator John McCain holds the same views on Islam as does the President.
This is exemplified in the fact that most Republican leaders, with the exception of Senator Rand Paul, agree with Obama that Saudi King Salman, who crucified a young Shiite in November for participating in an anti-government demonstration, is a good Muslim. On the other hand they view the Islamic State Muslims who have crucified people for blasphemy as “bad Muslims.” Obama and McCain also believe, or say they believe, that the goal of the Saudi sponsored Sunni revolt against the secular government of Syria is meant to establish a democracy. Vladimir Putin does not suffer from this kind of magic think. The difference may well be the economic impact of Saudi Arabian wealth on the United States while Russia is a competitor of Saudi Arabia.
Julio Severo: Neocons say that Soviet Marxism is exclusively to blame for the current U.S. role imposing immoralities, including abortion and sodomy, around the world. They also say that Russia’s conservative stances are a strategy to deceive and dominate the world. Do you agree with them?
William J. Murray: The real issue is “world order” as recently summed up by Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Neocons, the defense establishment and most Republican and Democratic leaders view U.S economic and military dominance of the world as the “world order.” Any threat to that dominance is “warlike.” Thus Chinese economic expansion and Russia’s push back at NATO’s expansion to the Russian border is viewed as a threat to “world order.” The clash between the United States and nations such as China, Russia and Iran has to do with strategic issues of military and economic dominance, not morality. The moral issues on the other hand are a historic decrease of empire in general. Empires as single dominant powers always become corrupt morally and inflict their immorality on others. The current dominant empire, the United States, is no different.
Visit Murray’s Religious Freedom Coalition website and get involved in his incredible work: www.religiousfreedomcoalition.org
Portuguese version of this article: Entrevista exclusiva com William J. Murray, defensor dos cristãos perseguidos
Source: Last Days Watchman