D.M. Murdock was a tireless sceptic, an outspoken free thinker, feminist, and a woefully underappreciated scholar. She took it upon herself to broaden her own education in the hope of undermining the misogynistic Abrahamic religions, and she applied her academic experience to the liberation of women from religion in general.
As a result of slurs libelously launched at her scrupulous work as a Jesus mythicist, D.M. Murdock was written off as low-hanging fruit in the historicity of Jesus debate, but only by those who hadn’t taken the time to read her work. Initially, I too was one of her critics, and in a bid to expose her “poor scholarship”, I bought her largest piece of work, Christ in Egypt. I combed through every page, I examined every citation, which numbered in the thousands, and when I finally reached the end of this encyclopaedic compendium, I realized that I had been completely wrong about this classicist. Although I myself am not a mythicist, and despite the fact that I do not agree with all of the conclusions she arrived at as a mythicist, I am no longer a critic, but an admirer.
I have known Dorothy as a friend for just over a year, and in that precious time we have had long conversations, fearsome clashes, but most of all, we have enjoyed a friendship that was built upon a mutual respect for free speech, the liberation of those oppressed by religion, and an equally potent cynicism with regards to the vile and hateful Abrahamic religions.
D.M. Murdock joined my organization (Human Rights for Atheists, Agnostics and Secularists), and right away I knew that I would be wasting her talents by leaving her as just a mere member, so I invited her to co-chair what became our organization. We co-authored a petition letter to the U.N., seeking the abolition of blasphemy laws, and we went on a number of podcast shows together in a bid to spread the word about the injustice and insanity of blasphemy and religious insult laws.
When the news of her death reached my inbox, I was stunned, shocked and saddened. I never imagined that she would pass so suddenly, because she was an extremely strong woman. She was an inspiration to so many and a role model for oppressed women. She suffered misogynistic attacks from both theist and atheist alike, but she never, at any point, submitted. She was a fighter, a thinker, a WOMAN, and she will be sorely missed.
Rest in peace, my friend.
Michael A. Sherlock