Found on Yahoo! News
DALLAS – Court records say books on demons and atheism as well as rifles and knives were found in a home linked to one of the suspects in a string of church fires in eastern Texas.
The items were listed in an affidavit filed after a residence in Grand Saline linked to 19-year-old Jason Robert Bourque was searched on Sunday.
Bourque and 21-year-old Daniel George McAllister were arrested and charged that day with a single felony arson charge.
Eleven area churches have been torched this year in what authorities believe was an arson spree.
The affidavit seeking the search says Bourque left graffiti linking him to one of the blazes in the bathroom of a Tyler store.
Attorneys for the two men are not commenting publicly because of a gag order.
I have a few issues here. First, and probably least important, is the title. It singles out the "atheist" book found in the house. The book on demons is sort of thrown into the article as an afterthought. It would appear that the writer or the Associated Press is, in a way, guiding people to believe that the men who set the church fires in Texas were atheists, even though all other evidence does not point this way. If anything, these young men were struggling with their beliefs and very troubled. It's been reported that they attended churches in the area. They were not atheists.
Secondly, who cares that books on atheism and demons were found in the house? The evidence is circumstantial at best right now. It's not as though those books were written to influence anyone to burn down churches. No one can say "the books made them do it" any more than Marilyn Manson and slasher films made Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shoot up Columbine High School. Again, these young men are obviously troubled individuals in need of professional help.
Atheists don't go around habitually burning down churches or persecuting religionists. Why? Because we believe in the guarantees of free speech and religious practice provided in the Constitution (of course, I'm speaking of American atheists here, but the idea is the same worldwide I would hope). For the most part, atheists are upstanding, law-abiding citizens. I can think of no leading atheist who would advocate the burning of churches out of spite or malice. The discovery of these books means nothing. Of course, had the authorities found a copy of the Quran or Dianetics
, it would cast suspicion on Islam or Scientology also. It's wrong that the AP would report this without any other facts or evidence. It's as though they're intentionally trying to mislead the public and make non-Christians, in this case atheists or followers of occult religions, look guilty. Of course, we all know that no Christian could ever be capable of such violence...