A lawsuit was filed last week in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria by Madalyn Murray O'Hair against an organization called Americans for a Sound Foreign Policy, and its officers. She claims they are improperly engaged in an appeal for funds "to help stop Madalyn Murray O'Hair" from seeking to curtail military chaplain services, a contention she broadly denies.

O'Hair won the U.S. Supreme Court decision that prohibits prayer in public schools. She then lived in Baltimore, but now is in Texas.

What caught MetroScene's eye in O'Hair's complaint is her unverified and surely hard-to-prove assertion that she is "the leading proponent of Athiesm in the world"--and the capital A is hers, not mine.

The defendants, she went on, appropriated "all of the value, good will, natural notoriety and instant recognizability of the plaintiff's name, all of which plaintiff built up for herself and for her exclusive use and benefit, through more than 25 years of earnest effort. . . . " She is seeking $1.7 million in damage compensation.

A spokesman for Phillip Abbott Luce, president of the defendant organization, said he had not seen O'Hair's complaint but that, as described briefly to him, it seemed to lack merit.