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The Unlikely Source Helping the Pastor Who Was Savagely Beaten by a 'Militant Atheist


"I know we have strong issues with his theological positions but I hope you’ll agree that they’re irrelevant here."

Last week, TheBlaze told you about a brutal attack against the Rev. Normon Hayes of the Bridge Community Church in North Hampton, Ohio. Following the incident, allegedly perpetrated by 28-year-old James Maxie, an unlikely source stepped up and urged non-believers to donate to the preacher's medical fund.

After news of the incident spread, Hemant Mehta, a prominent atheist blogger, reached out to Hayes and asked how he could help in his recovery.

Considering that Maxie was labeled a "self-described militant atheist" by numerous outlets, Mehta, a well-known secularist, felt compelled to get involved and to stop any stereotypes associated with the assailant's actions. Since Maxie's alleged atheism was heavily highlighted in media, Mehta wanted to counterbalance it with an act of kindness.

So when he learned that members of Hayes' church setup a fund to help raise $25,000 for medical expenses as a result of the attack, Mehta took action. The atheist blogger donated to the pool and is asking his readers -- and fellow non-believers, in particular -- to pitch in and do the same.

Screen shot from GoFundMe

"Just to be clear — and I verified this with Pastor Hayes — none of the money will benefit his church (despite the donations being directed there because of its tax exemption)," Mehta wrote on The Friendly Atheist blog. "It’ll go toward the cost of healing and any potential legal fees. I know we have strong issues with his theological positions but I hope you’ll agree that they’re irrelevant here."

While Mehta said that it's not possible for non-believers to control incidents like this one, he noted that the reaction on the part of the community is within secularists' control. In the same blog post, the blogger also said that Maxie's beliefs had little to do with the crime -- a fact he said Hayes agrees with.

As of Monday afternoon, the campaign had brought in around $4,900.

As TheBlaze previously reported, the incident unfolded on Oct. 20 after the 57-year-old preacher apparently drew the ire of James Maxie, 28, for asking the man’s girlfriend after the service if Maxie was abusing her, Dayton’s WHIO-TV reported.

“I questioned his girlfriend in his presence if she felt safe,” Hayes told the station. “He was very, very upset that I’d even suggest that he would hurt her. Then he turned around and hurt me very badly.”

As a result of the assault — which North Hampton police Chief Jarrod Campbell called both rare and “brutal” — Maxie faces charges of second-degree felony assault and misdemeanor resisting arrest.

Featured Image Credit: WHIO

(H/T: Christian Post)



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