First the facts, from the leftist New York Times.
It was a little after 5 p.m., a quiet time in a quiet neighborhood, before many people had returned home from work on Tuesday, when two women called 911 to report multiple gunshots and screams echoing through a condominium complex here near the University of North Carolina.
By the time the police arrived, three people were dead — a newlywed couple and the woman’s sister. They were young university students, Muslims of Arab descent, and high achievers who regularly volunteered in the area. A neighbor, a middle-age white man, was missing — then under arrest and charged with three counts of murder.
[…]Mr. Hicks, appeared to have a deep dislike of all religion. On his Facebook page, nearly all of his posts expressed support for atheism, criticism of Christian conservatives or both.
Last month, he posted a photo that said, “Praying is pointless, useless, narcissistic, arrogant, and lazy; just like the imaginary god you pray to.”
[…]His wife also pointed out his support for gay rights and the right to abortion.
Let’s take a look at what’s on his Facebook page:
Though no motive for the shooting has been confirmed, local media is reporting that social media sites connected to Hicks might offer a clue. Hicks is a self-described “anti-theist” who lashed out against all religions. Apparently he is associated in some way with United Atheists of America and uses social media to lash out at both “radical Christians and radical Muslims.” He also describes himself as a fan of atheist author Richard Dawkins.
TV programmes liked by Hicks include The Atheist Experience, Criminal Minds and Friends, while he describes himself as a fan of Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion.
Hicks’ pictures largely consist of images with text mocking religion and supporting atheism, but include images of himself and his wife at Disneyland, what he describes as his “loaded 38 revovler”, and himself separately on a quad bike and wearing a suit.
According to his Facebook “likes,” Hicks is a man of the left:
His Facebook Likes included the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gay Marriage groups and similar progressive pages.
Hicks is a vehement atheist, according to his Facebook page, where he frequently posts anti-religion musings.
Hicks frequently posted quotes of prominent comedians and atheists, including the prominent British atheist, professor and author Richard Dawkins.
Richard Dawkins had previously expressed his goal of destroying Christianity. Since he turned down the opportunity to debate William Lane Craig multiple times, he must have some other meaning for “destroy Christianity” than “defeat Christianity utterly in a debate”.
I found it interesting that the Southern Poverty Law Center was one of his Facebook likes, since they were connected to a previous episode of domestic terrorism – the attack on the Family Research Council.
Wednesday’s shooting at the headquarters of the Family Research Council, a group known for standing for conservative and Christian values, is raising debate about the rhetoric surrounding hot topic issues like gay marriage.
In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled the Family Research Council a ‘hate group,’ alongside neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, black separatists, and others.
The SPLC said it put the conservative group on the list not because the FRC believes homosexuality is wrong, but for “the propagation of known falsehoods in an effort to defame gay people.”
“I don’t expect everyone to agree with some of the things that we assert about the homosexual lifestyle, but we do present evidence in support of those assertions, and they are certainly not falsehoods or fabrications,” FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg said in defense.
The shooter, Corkins, was a big admirer of the well-known atheist philosopher Nietzche:
“His parents told the FBI that Corkins “has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner.”
Corkins definitely comes from the left side of the political spectrum.
According to the Washington Post: “Allan P. Chan, 28, a former George Mason student, said he met Corkins at a campus gym about six years ago. They worked out together, lifting weights, and began to socialize and watch television together. Chan described Corkins as secretive and somewhat odd. Corkins’s Facebook page included no photos, not even his own, and he displayed an intense interest in the 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.”
Corkins was convicted of domestic terrorism for the attack.
So the common denominator for both of these shooters seems to be left-wing politics and atheism. Quite different from what the mainstream media would have you believe.
I have lots of strong opinions. But when I approach people who disagree with me, my goal isn’t to silence, coerce or overpower them. That’s what secular leftists want to do to their opponents, often using the power of government. In my case, I’m a Christian theist. My job is to imitate Jesus’ way of dealing with his opponents. That’s more like showing them evidence and trying to reason with them about it. Persuasion is standard operating procedure for Christians. Not so for atheists on the political left.