Recent AP news headline: Atheism book found in home linked to fire suspect
The article goes on to explain the arrest of an arsonist and his accomplice who torched a church in Texas that they attended as children. Further, they are using DNA evidence to try and link the criminals to several other fires. Yet the core theme of this story is the existence of a book on atheism in the guy’s house.
They don’t even try to explicitly claim the guy is or became an atheist, or that his unalleged atheism was responsible for his actions. But the title clearly leads the reader to make that link. They mention in passing the finding of another book titled “Demon Possession,” but there isn’t even the remote hint that the Devil made him do the crime. I’m guessing there were probably more than two books in the house, but the others (whatever they were) didn’t make the article. Although I have a feeling that even if a copy of “Arson for Dummies” was found, it wouldn’t have made the headline.
What’s more, the book in question is “The Atheist’s Way: Living Well Without Gods.” Book reviewer Dan Barker says of the book, “Millions of people lead happy, moral, loving, meaningful lives without believing in a god, and Eric Maisel explains in exquisite rational and compassionate detail how we do it.” Sounds like pretty subversive stuff, doesn’t it? The kind of radical godless hedonism that would lead you to burn down a church.
Atheists are not evil and amoral any more than Mexicans are lazy, women are frail, or Jews are good with money. It’s bad enough that atheist stereotypes exist in society. We don’t need to tolerate them in the press.