From a Christian perspective, the best place for an atheist to be is in church. For one Ohio pastor, however, it was such a situation that resulted in a ruthless beating at the hands of a self-avowed nonbeliever.
According to Rev. Norman Hayes, he led a service Sunday morning at his North Hampton church as usual and approached a couple in the sanctuary afterwards.
During the conversation, Hayes said he became concerned for the female’s safety and inquired further into the relationship. Even during the service, he explained, the man appeared aggressive and eager for a confrontation.
“I questioned his girlfriend in his presence if she felt safe,” he explained. “He was very, very upset that I’d even suggest that he would hurt her. Then he turned around and hurt me very badly.”
James Maxie, who at least one source labeled a “self-described militant atheist,” began attacking Hayes, leaving him bloodied and in need of medical attention. In addition to a broken nose, he suffered multiple contusions and abrasions which required stitches.
Reports indicate that he had interrupted the church service earlier with odd references to Adolf Hitler and other outbursts. The savagery of the beating that followed, however, was entirely unexpected.
“He came from nowhere and hit me,” Hayes recounted, noting that the aggressor “knocked me down, and then he got on top of me and just kept hitting me over and over.”
The pastor said he believed that his “life was in danger if he hadn’t stopped hitting me in the face over and over.”
While Maxie tells a slightly different story, explaining he attended the service to establish a new relationship with God, the resulting altercation is undeniable.
Police called the attack “brutal”; and Maxie, who reports indicate is a sex offender and habitual animal abuser, will answer to a second-degree felony assault along with resisting arrest.
As a result of leftist policies that attempt to stifle the free speech of faith leaders who believe and live by the Word of God, Christian pastors are under constant attack in an abstract sense. Unfortunately, Hayes’ account proves that outspoken Christians can also face much more palpable incursions.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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