Five Facts About Craig Hicks, Accused Killer of Three Muslim Students at UNC
Wingnuts are going to scream with glee - end zone dance glee - at the fact that apparently Craig Hicks is a LEFTIST!!!. But what’s striking to me is that he is incredibly hostile to religion of all sorts.
Hours after it was reported that a man killed three Muslim students Tuesday near the University of North Carolina, Twitter users pointed to the suspect’s social media posts as evidence that the crime may have been religiously motivated.
Chapel Hill police suggested that Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, may have been involved in a long-running dispute over parking with the victims but did not offer a clear motive for the shooting.
A Facebook page that appeared to belong to Hicks, however, revealed a strong anti-religion bias and a love of guns. Here are some other insights into Hicks’ politics gleaned from his social media profile.
The lead photo on Hick’s Facebook page professed his belief in “anti-theism” and stated that he wants “religion to go away.”
“I don’t deny you your right to believe whatever you’d like; but I have the right to point out it’s ignorant and dangerous for as long as your baseless superstitions keep killing people,” the text in the photo read.
Religious scholar Reza Aslan explored a new wave of “anti-theism” among atheists in a piece for Salon published in November. He argued that anti-theists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris respond “to religion with the same venomous ire with which religious fundamentalists respond to atheism.” Aslan also cited a poll showing that about 85 percent of atheists do not subscribe to anti-theism.
Hicks quoted Dawkins at length on losing respect for “Abrahamic religions” after the 9/11 terror attacks in a 2012 post.
“My respect for the Abrahamic religions went up in the smoke and choking dust of September 11th,” the post read. “The last vestige of respect for the taboo disappeared as I watched the ‘Day of Prayer’ in Washington Cathedral, where people of mutually incompatible faiths united in homage to the very force that caused the problem in the first place: religion. It is time for people of intellect, as opposed to people of faith, to stand up and say ‘Enough!’ Let our tribute to the dead be a new resolve: to respect people for what they individually think, rather than respect groups for what they were collectively brought up to believe.”
It’s possible that Hicks recently gravitated to anti-theism. A 2011 post showing what Hicks said was an award he received at work which described him as an “ordained deistic minister.”