Hey all. I have to take my mother to a doctors appointment at the moment, so it will take me a bit to get the article I want to write about this subject up and posted, but I wanted to get something up before I leave.
The ACLU has taken an interest in the case and the constitutionality of the law the teen is being charged under, after several people (myself included) alerted the organization to the story. The Altoona Mirror has the story, but I believe it is hidden away behind a pay wall again/ When I return, I will quote most of the article for those who can not access it, but I wanted to point out one comment right now.
As an outspoken atheist in a neighboring county, the words of Bedford county District Attorney Bill Higgins send a chill down my spine.
“I guess I should take solace in the fact that the liberals are mad at me – again,” Higgins said Thursday on his Facebook page. “As for this case, this troubled young man offended the sensibilities and morals of OUR community. … His actions constitute a violation of the law, and he will be prosecuted accordingly. If that tends to upset the ‘anti-Christian, ban-school-prayer, war-on-Christmas, oppose-display-of-Ten-Commandments’ crowd, I make no apologies.”
I will be back in a few hours with much more on the subject.
There is so much wrong with this story that I don’t even know where to begin. (Since the Altoona Mirror is now online for subscribers only, the link may not work, but I’ll be quoting much of the story below.) Death threats, the “press” overstepping its bounds, the police trolling Facebook for “criminal” activity, and a stupid teenager. Yep, this story has it all. If it came out of a theocracy, it would be just one more thought crime out of many, but this took place in the United States, in Pennsylvania, in a town not far from my home.
An Everett teenager faces a misdemeanor charge for allegedly “desecrating” a statue of Jesus outside a religious center in his hometown, an act that drew violent threats online.
Now I know what is going through your minds right now. “He desecrated a religious statue, why did Foster put “criminal” in quotes? That is a real crime.” Stay with me for a minute, let me describe the “desecration” for you. Any guesses? Do you think he painted a pentagram and “666” on the statue? Toppled it over, perhaps? Smeared it with feces? Maybe he dressed up a statue of the Virgin Mary in Victoria’s Secret products? Make sure you use a number 2 pencil for your answers, and…………..pencils down!
In a report issued Tuesday, state police said the 14-year-old boy posted photographs of the desecration on the Internet. Photos on his Facebook page dating to July appear to show the boy standing over a statue of a kneeling Jesus, simulating a sex act.
If someone has the ACLU on speed dial, give them a ring. This kid needs a good lawyer. Yeah, you read right. He didn’t vandalize the statue in any way. He did no physical harm to the statue at all. He took a picture of himself in front of the statue so it looked like Jesus was giving him a hummer. How the fuck is that criminal? That isn’t desecration, or vandalism, he was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for a thought crime. He is being charged with blasphemy, disguised as “desecration.” But wait, it gets oh so much worse, thanks to a vigilant organization known as the Bedford County Free Press. See, while this teenager is being railroaded by the police for taking a picture that offended their invisible sky daddy, the police can not release his name because of his status as a juvenile. The Bedford County Free Press however, with their pearls firmly clutched and their knickers mega twisted, were offended. Those folks in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia may be Satan worshiping, feminist, Muslim, liberal, socialist, Nazi, Demon-crats bowing to the altar of secularism, but this is Pennsyl-tucky, the God fearing, Atheist hating, church going, Republican voting, women submitting, gun toting, bathed in the blood of the lamb, Jesus meek and mild, real American part of the state, and they are not going to stand for anyone making it look like their statue of Jesus on his knees is down there for any other reason than prayer, thank you very much! So they published the 14 year old kids name.
While police released few details and didn’t mention the juvenile’s name, the Bedford County Free Press – an online news organization that shares police reports and gossip – first discussed the case last month, posting the photos and sharing the child’s name and hometown.
With predictable results from the Christian community. You know, the community who believes in Jesus, the son of God who preached such tactics as “turning the other cheek.”
Hundreds of comments followed, many from outraged county residents. Several posted violent threats. A new post on the charges has drawn more threats.
“Break his arms and legs, teach him some respect,” one read.
Can you feel the Christian love?
The teenager’s juvenile court charge, formally titled “desecration, theft or sale of a venerated object,” is a second-degree misdemeanor in the Pennsylvania Code. The law defines desecration as “defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities” of people who learn of the action.
Did he deface it? No. Damage it? No. Pollute it? No. Physically mistreat it in any way? NO. THERE WAS NO CRIME COMMITTED! (Apologies for the caps.) He took a picture at a certain angle that made it look like Jesus would have supported marriage equality.
Charges under the 1972 law appear to be rare: The last case to make widespread news in Pennsylvania was in 2010, when a Wilkes-Barre college student urinated on a Christmas Nativity scene. The student in that case pleaded guilty and apologized publicly.
Do you see the major difference in the cases? Perhaps how the student in the 2010 case actually did something?
Look, I never do this. I post here for the few that stop by, and enjoy knowing that a small amount of people care enough about what I say to follow my blog. But this is a local story in a small city, and I am afraid this is going to get passed over by the larger community. I’m sending it on to other outlets, but please, share this post if you can. This poor teen is getting a raw deal from an unconstitutional law.
I am a very vocal atheist with beliefs that are on the fringe in some cases. I believe that teaching children that people who do not follow your exact religion are going to Hell is child abuse. I’m also of a mind that home schooling your kids so you can teach them made up garbage in place of factual science and history should be illegal. I think using a 6 year old as a prop at an anti-abortion protest is immoral. I think the Quiverfull movement and America’s favorite freak show, the Duggars, are harmful to their children, no matter how many smiles they give the cameras or even what they say themselves. Dissent is not a trait nurtured in families such as those; more like a weed to be pulled as soon as it sprouts. Yet as harmful as I find much of religion, I do not advocate the vandalism of churches, or the desecration of their symbols. We as an atheist community are supposed to be above things like that. We claim we hold our ideas because of evidence and rational thought, and in an open society, our ideas will win. Vandalism and desecration moves the conversation away from rationality. Let them lash out and vandalize atheist plaques and displays out of fear. We have no need to respond in kind.
But this is a kid. Who took a photo. That’s it. The only damage he caused is in the minds of people who viewed the photo and lost their shit. The statue is still there,
longing for a dick to suck deep in prayer. If he would have vandalized, or damaged in anyway, the statue, then I would back up the charges, though not the Bedford County Free Presses’ irresponsible act of publishing his name. But he didn’t. He took a picture.
That is not a crime.
ESPN is reporting at this moment that the Baltimore Ravens have terminated the contract of Ray Rice. While the Ravens have stood firmly behind their star running back since the first video of the aftermath of the incident , it became an impossible to defend stance after TMZ released the video from inside the elevator.
The NFL claims that they only saw the video when it was released this morning. One really has to wonder if that is true, or if this is just a major ass covering move. Now that the Ravens have cut Rice, will the NFL reexamine the Rice case and perhaps their “strengthened” policy on domestic violence that I mocked earlier today?
How sad is it that when the only video was of the fiance lying unconscious in the elevator due to a domestic violence incident, Ray Rice received a 2 game suspension and a standing ovation. Real punishment only came when America had their noses rubbed into a hulking athlete throwing a hay-maker at his now wife.
I applaud the Baltimore Ravens for taking a zero tolerance approach to domestic violence. As much as I question their previous actions, we have to reward those who do the right thing. It took a while, but they did the right thing.
The NFL and their increased six game suspension can still eat a bag of dicks.
Let’s get this out of the way real quick. The First Amendment means the government can not throw me in jail for expressing an unpopular viewpoint. It does not mean that I am shielded from all repercussions brought about by my speech. If I decided to spend the next few hours writing an article blaming all of America’s ills on the feminist movement, the government could not remove it, or arrest me for writing it, no matter how incredibly idiotic any thinking person would find that article. I couldn’t then apply for a job with the National Organization for Women and claim a First Amendment violation when they decide not to hire me. The countless people who would rightfully rip my article to shreds, and more than likely metaphorically rip my head off and force the disembodied skull up my rectum, could not then be accused of violating my First Amendment rights. We all have the right to free speech, not the right to consequence free speech. Stupid is still stupid. Racist is still racist. Vile, is still vile. Countless times during the Donald Sterling fiasco I heard the argument that the NBA had no right to force him out of the league, because of the First Amendment. *headdesk* The NBA is not a government run organization. They have the right to protect their image and product by limiting who can own a franchise in the league.
Does the NBA attract racist owners, or is it just especially good at exposing them? For the second time this year, an NBA owner’s racism has cost him his team. This time, instead of a taped racist phone call, the evidence is a racist email. “I would have got away with it, if it wasn’t for you meddling technology.” What does Satan’s media outlet have to say about it?:
Bruce Levenson, who has led the ownership group of the Atlanta Hawks since 2004, informed N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver on Saturday that he intended to sell the team, effectively cutting short a league investigation into an email that Mr. Levenson sent two years ago to fellow Hawks executives detailing his thoughts on how the team could attract more white fans.
Well that doesn’t sound all that bad. I mean, it doesn’t sound good, but it isn’t a Donald Sterling. Let’s see what the email said:
On Sunday, when the issue came to light, the Hawks released the text of the August 2012 email, in which Mr. Levenson speculated that the team’s black fans had “scared away the whites” and that there were “not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base.”
“I think Southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority,” Mr. Levenson said in his email, pointing out that he had earlier told the executive team that he wanted “some white cheerleaders” and “music familiar to a 40-year-old white guy,” and that he thought “the kiss cam is too black.”
Mr. Levenson’s email was sent on the night of Aug. 25, 2012, to Danny Ferry, the team’s general manager, and Ed Peskowitz and Todd Foreman, two members of his ownership group. While commenting on various aspects of team business, Mr. Levenson included a long passage linking the team’s struggles to sell season-ticket packages to its inability to attract white fans and corporations. In bullet points, he observed that 70 percent of the crowd seemed to be black, that the cheerleaders were black, that music played at the arena and at postgame concerts was hip-hop or gospel, and that “there are few fathers and sons at the games.” He also noted that the racial makeup at Hawks games did not match other arenas around the league.
On the plus side, there is no video of Mr. Levenson knocking his fiance out cold in an elevator.
Hercules, oh Hercules. How did you fall so far?
I remember you chewing through scenery for years as you fought against evil and for truth, justice, and the American way, just as you did throughout classical mythology. You brought the world Xena, and flexed your muscles as you ruled the landscape of bad 90’s B-TV. You could have stayed a piece of 90’s nostalgia, and perhaps used your “fame” to make a decent, and honest, living, traveling from one convention to the next. But no, be it your honest religious beliefs, or more cynically, a desperate longing for the fame that passed you by, you have reinvented yourself in the Christian idiocy movement. First you starred in the “film” God’s Not Dead, playing a walking strawman, a stereotype of an atheist professor that was insulting to stereotypes everywhere. While there are definitely atheist philosophy professors, there is not one like the strawman Kevin Sorbo portrays. His character is strangely similar to what a conservative Christian who believes higher education is designed to rob young people of their faith would imagine a philosophy professor would act like, instead of a real, breathing professor. Yet no matter a performance that makes his days as Hercules look Emmy worthy, it did bring him accolades from the poor persecuted piety.
“If I can ‘act’ in a shitty movie, then I can spout nonsense on Christian radio,” must have at some point went through his mind. And so the protestors in Ferguson became “animals,” although I’m sure he didn’t mean anything racist by that at all. Now that some of that publicity (no such thing as bad, ya know) has died down, he turned his godlike bigotry towards the Jews:
Kevin Sorbo continues to make the rounds of Religious Right radio programs to promote the the DVD release of his recent film “God’s Not Dead.” While appearing on Jerry Newcombe’s “Vocal Point” radio program recently, Sorbo noted that Mel Gibson had created a lot more opportunities for Christian filmmakers in Hollywood with the success of his film “The Passion of the Christ,” which made a lot of money despite concerns from Jewish leaders that the film was anti-Semitic.
Sorbo, for his part, does not really understand what Jews were so upset about.
“He got attacked when he was shooting ‘The Passion’ from the Jewish community, saying ‘look at the way you’re portraying us,'” Sorbo said. “News bulletin: you did kill Jesus!”
On the plus side, there is no video of him knocking his fiance out cold in an elevator.
It is official. After a disgusting campaign to smear and tarnish the reputation of former Virginian Governor Bob McDonnell, the jury has returned and vindicated the Republican, acquitting him and his wife of ludicrous charges of falsifying loan documents. Public apologies to the defendants should be required from both the prosecutors office and the liberal media. He should sue them for defamation of character.
Both were acquitted on charges of falsifying loan documents.
See? Just ignore the part that came before that:
A Virginia jury has found former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of numerous counts of corruption during their time in the executive mansion. Bob McDonnell was found guilty on 11 corruption charges while Maureen was found guilty of eight corruption charges and one obstruction of justice charge.
Who cares? He is innocent! Of 3 out of 14 charges!
Schedule the parade. Book him on The Factor! Have Rush clear an hour of his imbecilic ravings. He’s as innocent as O.J.