Church arsonists had a book on atheism in their house. So what?
I don’t like religion, but like most atheists I know, the thought of burning down churches is rather repugnant. There’s no need to create more religious martyrs by making it seem as though their beliefs are under attack. My preferred kind of “assault” is always verbal and intellectual, and I expect any other “Good Atheist” to follow suit.
Of course, there’s no way to know if every single non-believer out there is going to act with such decorum. Since atheism isn’t an organized set of beliefs or practices, there’s really nothing I necessarily share in common with an unbeliever other than the fact we have both chosen to reject the notion of God. That’s it. Anything else we DO share in common is entirely the product of our own ethic and moral code. Some people possess noble and heroic codes; others are violent psychopathic arsonists. It happens.
A few weeks ago a number of churches in Texas were burned down by these two guys, Jason Robert Bourque, and Daniel George McAllister, two childhood friends and obvious weirdos. When the police searched their homes, they found rifles, knives, a book on “Demon Possession”, and (wait for it) a book on atheism (gasp)! The Associated Press jumped on that angle, despite the fact there’s no reason to suspect this book would have motivated them to commit their crime. If anything, the book The Atheist’s Way is actually one of the least critical in regards to religion, simply offering a way for people who don’t believe to orient their lives in a meaningful and loving way.
Eric Maisel elevates the tag ‘atheist’ from a mere denial of the supernatural to a calling: a calling to a high-hearted life of diligence, creativity, and ruthless honesty in maintaining one’s integrity in the face of uncaring nature.” — David Cortes, Secular Wholeness
Perhaps these two morons are atheists, or maybe they aren’t. We still don’t know what motivated them to commit their crime, which is why I find it so cowardly for the AP to make the assumption atheism is somehow behind it. There’s nothing inherent to unbelief that would make one violent or psychotic, and any inference it does ignores all the studies (and simple common sense) that demonstrate this.