A few weeks ago, there was a commotion downtown. Heavily armed Police swarmed the area close to the main station; roads were blocked, and sirens were blaring.
Onlookers kept their distance to the cordoned-off area and speculated about what was going on. Due to the proximity to the main station, many thought it was a terrorist attack – after all, ISIS had just threatened exactly that. Others supposed a demonstration of some other militant group – Salafists, Separatists, or Fascists – gone awry. Or perhaps some gangsters had robbed one of the many banks located at the Banhofstrasse?
There were a million different theories flying about – many of them laughably wild. I particularly liked the idea that perhaps irate bee farmers let loose a swarm of hornets (Swiss government had just struck down a proposed bill to support ailing bee farmers).
But as exotic and outlandish these theories were, no-one ever voiced a particular notion: that perhaps militant atheists were to blame.
There’s a reason for that. Everyone knows that there is no such thing as a militant atheist, at least not in the true meaning of the word ‘militant’. That is why, after a bomb blast, an attack on a group of people, or some other violent crime, no police resources are diverted to gather evidence against atheists, no security forces are sent out to round up known atheists, and no DA ever thinks about investigating militant atheists.
‘Militant Atheist’ is just a phrase dishonest people use to shift blame, to demonize atheists and to make perpetrators out of victims. It’s one of the few surefire tell-tales to identify a religious demagogue.
Oh – the commotion? A large-scale exercise. So what did they rehearse?
Well, certainly not evacuation procedures for when militant atheists attack.