Ben McCanna, writing for The Forecaster, has a wonderful article about an atheist in Portland, Maine who offers a daily counterpoint to local street preachers:
— The Forecaster (@The_Forecaster) July 8, 2014
Each day since May, weather permitting, Tracy wields his attention-grabbing, hand-painted protest signs: “Atheists don’t need to shout,” “I mock all religion,” and “Thank God for atheism,” among others.
“I’m too rational to believe in God,” Tracy said on a recent evening. “My body’s crippled, not my mind.”
[Pastor Stephen] Reynolds sees Tracy’s presence as an example of the city’s dissolution from civility to combativeness, while others say the church is responsible for causing trouble.
It really makes no sense for anyone to blame Tracy for “combativeness” when all he does is hold up signs. It’s the preachers who are causing a ruckus and annoying the hell out of people (literally, as they’d say).
While Tracy’s received some pushback, the response has been overwhelmingly positive:
People laugh, honk their horns and stop to take pictures. One such picture-taker was Portland resident Sam Peisner.
Peisner said he snapped a picture because the juxtaposition of the preachers and Tracy’s “WTF???” sign was compelling.
“He sums it up rather succinctly, the opinions of most,” Peisner said of Tracy.
It’s a terrific story with a lot of details about the people involved — including the answer to whether Tracy’s atheism has any connection to his accident. Be sure to read the whole thing.