Joseph R. Murray is a passionate Conservative (he served as a member of Pat Buchanan’s Presidential campaign staff in 1999) and was a longtime cadet of the Christian Right…all while being gay. In ‘Odd Man Out’, his raw new memoir, Murray uses his unique story as a timely call to explore identity politics and embrace individuality. The nation is currently more divided than ever and, with a national Federal decision on gay marriage just months away, Murray urges readers to fight for common ground and quash the belief that identity should pre-determine one’s politics.
Ripley, MS -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/21/2015 -- While the United States raises its stars and stripes each morning to the notion of freedom, acceptance and equality, the 2014 Mid-term elections present a very different reality of discord. No two groups are farther apart than the Conservative Right and Gay Left; but one man has worked on the frontlines with both groups, and he's now sharing his story in the hopes it re-unites a broken society.
'Odd Man Out' tells the remarkable story of a successful life blessed by the unconventional. Joseph R. Murray's unique experiences transcend a typical memoir to call the entire nation into action for the pursuit of common ground between groups traditionally at fierce loggerheads.
Ever wonder what it is like to be a longtime member of the Christian Right and a married gay man? Ever believe that such a combo would make Ozzie & Harriet look like Oscar & Felix?
Joe Murray was a longtime cadet of the Christian Right and spent the early years of his life building a resume that might make Goldwater envious. He served as a member of Pat Buchanan's Presidential campaign staff in 1999 and was appointed to the Alliance Defending Freedom's prestigious Blackstone Fellowship for budding Christian attorneys in 2000. He spent a number years working on the front lines of the "Culture War" as a Staff Attorney for the American Family Association. He worked with the Pennsylvania Pastor's Network and was a columnist for the conservative Philadelphia Bulletin. Murray, a Conservative Catholic, also happens to be gay.
In his new book, Odd Man Out, Murray tackles the misconception that one's identity should predetermine one's politics. Murray's background has provided an excellent opportunity for a frank discussion on a number of social policy issues that are presently dividing the nation. Building upon his experiences working deep inside the Christian Right, Murray discusses how public interest politics has led to a perverse politics in which profit overtakes principle. He shines a light on some of the not-so-Christian events he witnessed while working for the Christian Right and he talks about some of the rivalries that existed (and continue to exist) on the Right. Murray uses his personal story to take the reader behind the scenes of Christian and gay politics and, in doing so, offers new insights on how to frame the controversial discussion.
Though a piece of political nonfiction, Murray's new book is also intimately personal. Murray shares a number of stories that have molded his life and shaped how he sees the world. He opens the door for readers to see how a Catholic, Libertarian-leaning, Irish-American, gay attorney is able to fully operate in society, despite the political perception that he is an ideological inconsistency. Murray uses his personal experiences to argue that people should use their identity to expand their ideas, not limit them.
"Having worked with Christians, Conservatives and with a life that is deeply-embedded in LGBT activism, I have the unique ability to understand both the Conservative Right and the Gay Left," explains Murray, a frequent contributor to the national media. "As a nation, we need to pull conversation away from the extreme sides of the political spectrum and instead discuss things in a reasonable, amicable fashion."
Continuing, "The opportunity has never been greater or more vital. The recent Mid-terms present a bleak portrait of our nation's supposed unity, and with big votes on the legalities of gay marriage just a few months away, it's vital we bring opposing groups together and become the country we have always claimed to be. My book will surely spur up some fierce debate, but we'll be better off for it."
Since its release, the memoir has garnered rave reviews. Lauren Hug, Founder of HugSpeak Consulting, comments, "This book takes readers inside the emotional and intellectual development of a remarkable human being, challenging them to see every person as an individual."
Pam Spaulding adds, "I can disagree on some of the points made -- mostly because as a person of color and a woman, my life experiences tell a different story of America, and how the Constitution has and has not protected my rights in the same way as someone with white privilege or socioeconomic advantage at times. However, when you can sit down as people on opposite sides of the political spectrum and find commonality in one's humanity, you realize that it's a small world, and we have only a short time on it."
'Odd Man Out', from Joe Murray Enterprises, LLC., is available now:
For more information and to follow the author's blog, visit:
About Joe Murray
Joe Murray is a successful attorney and political pundit. A graduate of the Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, New York, Murray has built a thriving civil rights practice in Ripley, Mississippi. Murray's cases have attracted national attention and such cases are routinely covered in The New York Times, U.S.A. Today, and other various media outlets across the nation. In addition to operating his law practice, Murray is a former columnist for the Philadelphia Bulletin and has had a number of columns published in newspapers like The Tennessean and The Des Moines Register. Murray continues to write columns for various news outlets. Murray is currently a political insider for WHBQ-TV Fox 13 Memphis and KFAX-AM Radio San Francisco. He has a wealth of experience in front of a camera and behind a microphone. Murray has also appeared on the highly rated O'Reilly Factor.