This is How We Can Help the Pastor Who Was Attacked by a ‘Militant Atheist’

Last weekend, self-described “militant atheist” James Maxie went to church with his girlfriend and ended up severely beating the pastor, Rev. Norman Hayes, after Hayes asked his girlfriend if she felt safe with him:

As I wrote earlier this week, Pastor Hayes did nothing to deserve the violent attack on him, while Maxie deserves whatever punishment he has coming his way.

It’s also worth noting that Maxie’s atheism was pretty incidental to this whole story. He didn’t beat up the pastor because he was a pastor; Maxie did it because he was provoked by someone and he had a short fuse. (Maxie once spent two years in jail on an assault conviction, by the way.) I’m not excusing him from his actions, only pointing out that religion wasn’t the primary cause for this attack.

But a headline reading “Criminal Commits a Crime” wouldn’t be very interesting… so the “militant atheist” phrase was used in every story I saw about the assault (and I feel justified in using it for that very reason).

That’s what worries me. I don’t want this particular incident to affect the atheist community at large because some Christians may argue that Maxie, despite being an anomaly, somehow “proves” that godless people are immoral or violent. We know the reality is far from that, but many others in our society don’t.

I reached out to Pastor Hayes (and a local reporter) earlier this week to see if there was anything we could do for him, but I didn’t hear back… until today.

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If the Bible Had a Better Editor…

Sam Apple offers a few suggestions to the author of The Bible:

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Peter Boghossian Offers Advice on How to Create Atheists in His New Book

Philosophy professor Dr. Peter Boghossian has been talking to students about religion and faith for decades now, and he’s ready to spread the lessons he’s learned when it comes to arguing against faith (or, as he calls it, “street epistemology”).

His new book is called, very bluntly, A Manual for Creating Atheists (Pitchstone Publishing, 2013):

In the excerpt below, from a chapter called “Anti-Apologetics 101,” Boghossian runs through some of the common arguments theists use and how we can respond to them:

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No, Christianity Today, These Women Do Not Have a ‘Porn Problem’

Christianity Today published a piece by Trillia Newbell about women who “struggle” with pornography. They have an “addiction” to it, the article says.

That’s gotta be pretty awful, right? If this is a serious issue, we’re talking about the kind of women who skip work so they can keep watching porn, women who have withdrawal symptoms when they don’t/can’t watch it, women who have an inability to derive pleasure from anything that’s not porn, etc.

So how does porn addiction affect the three women who shared their lives for this story?

Well, let’s see what Rachel went through:

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Atheist Shoes… for Babies!

You all know David Bonney. He’s the German shoemaker who made international headlines last year when his Kickstarter for atheist shoes (with godless messages on the soles) far exceeded his goal and delivery of the packages seemed to be delayed whenever a US Postal Service worker saw the ATHEIST-branded packing tape…

No matter. More than 1,000 pairs of the shoes were eventually sold and 10% of profits even went to secular charities!

Now, Bonney is back with a new creation: Atheist shoes for babies! But since it wouldn’t be fair to say a baby actively disbelieves in God, Bonney made shoes that honor the higher powers they do believe in: their moms, their dads, and the sources of their nourishment:

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