A few days ago, James Maxie attacked pastor Norman Hayes when the latter suggested Maxie, who happens to be an atheist, was dangerous to his girlfriend:
A self-described militant Atheist with a criminal past faces multiple charges after an attack on a pastor who, after his sermon, had asked the man’s girlfriend if she felt safe.
What Maxie did was wrong and is inexcusable.
But I want to focus on what the media is doing: they resorted to a mischaracterization of atheists (that Christians have happily contributed to spread) while covering the story – which is quite bigoted, by the way.
You can only stem behaviors from belief systems. Atheism is the lack of belief, therefore, you can’t trace back any misbehavior, neither a crime to it.
This is one of the many perks of atheism: it doesn’t entail a belief system, so no-one can pin a crime on it… unlike Christianity or any other positive-belief system.
I guess Mr. Maxie doesn’t believe in unicorns, either, but we will not be seeing anything like this in the near future: “A self-described militant aunicornist with a criminal past faces multiple charges after an attack on a pastor who, after his sermon, had asked the man’s girlfriend if she felt safe“.
We need the media to understand this basic notion about atheism, so they will start treating it adequately instead of lumping it together with actual, harmful, belief systems.