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Pingback: Atheism, Humanism, and the Chapel Hill murders | The Shoops Roost()
One of the highest principles we all should hold to:
I might disagree with what you have to say or believe, and I might disagree publicly, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it and believe it.
– Paraphrasing Voltaire
Within virtually every “news” report of this tragedy is a statement that the assailant was “an avowed atheist” or words to that effect. Does that mean that henceforth we should expect to know in the future that a school shooter is an “avowed southern Baptist” or that some other deranged gun-fondler baby killer is a “devout Mormon”? Why is this particular perp’s belief or non-belief suddenly an issue?
Eh, it could be relevant. An extreme anti-religious bent, combined with a healthy (or unhealthy, as it may be) dose of assholery or insanity could at least be a contributing factor.
I’m happy to report that this guy doesn’t show up in any of my local groups (I’m about 15 miles from where this happened). I did a fairly thorough search of memberships by both his first name and last name. I only got 3 hits on ‘Craig’, and none of those were him.
Looks like a loner nut-job. Of course we already knew the nut-job part.
I think part of Paul’s point revolves around the fact that Anders Breivik’s epic Christian manifesto was pretty much ignored by the American media outlets that covered the massacre. Meanwhile, there’s little to suggest that Hicks was motivated by “anti-religious” fervor.
Ah, gotcha. As a complaint about the general myopia of the media, in analyzing the beliefs of non-Christians but completely ignoring the fact that Christians who do horrible things are even Christian, he might have something. I dunno.
I doubt Hicks specifically decided to go out and kill himself some Muslims, no. I just meant that it could have been an agitating factor in his personal conflicts with the victims. If you take anti-religiosity to an absurd extreme, to the point that you start thinking of religious people as inferior humans, it would help escalate something like this. I’ve heard that kind of rhetoric out of one or two of the more extreme guys I’ve known, although I tend not to maintain contact with someone like that, for some reason.
I don’t know that that was the case with Hicks, but clearly there was something wrong with him, if he went out and shot three people over a parking dispute.