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Jesus jinks were an affront to a church

Jesus jinks were an affront to a church

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that the religious rights of a church had been infringed by the antics of a 14-year-old who simulated a sex act with a statue of Jesus, and posted pictures on Facebook.

The teen was arrested and charged with desecrating  “a venerated object” – in this case a statue of Jesus Christ outside the Love in the Name of Christ church in Everett.

Pennsylvania law defines desecration as:

Defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise, physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action.

It was initially reported here that teen could face up to two years in a juvenile jail if convicted.

However, a court decided instead that he should be admitted into juvenile diversionary programme.

The boy appeared before Judge Thomas Ling and agreed to a consent decree signed by all parties involved, including the boy, his mother and his attorney, Karen Hickey.

The boy is now banned from using social media during a six-month probation period, and must perform 350 hours of community service.

Among other punishments, he must obey a curfew of 10 pm and will be monitored for alcohol or other controlled substances via random drug tests.

District Attorney Bill Higgins presented the decree to the court. After accepting the agreement and while settling the number of community service hours, Judge Ling focused on the religious rights of Love in the Name of Christ, noting that the juvenile’s actions infringed upon their rights to practice their faith. He said:

I know that there are many groups that say this case is about religious rights, and quite frankly, they are right. But it is the religious rights of the Christian organization that owns the statue and has placed it for display on their private property that have been implicated.

They have every right to practice their faith unmolested. In American, we all enjoy the right to freedom of expression and the freedom to practice our religious beliefs without interference, but that right ends where those same rights of another begin.

He added:

As I have previously noted, Facebook and street corners are not the proper place to resolve constitutional issues, and while there has been a whole lot of name calling, character assassination and threats of retaliation, there has been no effort by any of these advocacy groups to actually challenge the constitutionality of the statute in question through the legal process.

I was pleased to hear that this young man apologized to Love in the Name of Christ and I am glad he has accepted responsibility for his behavior. He is a 14-year-old boy with the potential to have a bright future. I am confident that if he applies himself, he can put this matter behind him and become a productive citizen.

Upon successful completion of these terms and conditions, his case will be dismissed and the juvenile will have no criminal record.

22 responses to “Jesus jinks were an affront to a church”

  1. Paul Cook says:

    And there are no blasphemy laws left.

    Yes right and I’m the King of Scotland.

  2. Newspaniard says:

    A 14 year old boy having a laugh. He didn’t damage the statue. A bunch of aged religionists complained. WTF is wrong with this judge? Why didn’t he laugh the case out of court. Separation of state and religion, my A… (donkey).

  3. Newspaniard says:

    In addition, I would go further and say that judges of this ilk are running IS.

  4. barriejohn says:

    It might have been a case of trespass, though that’s not clear, but the idea of “the constitutionality of the statue” is hilarious. Do statues have rights now?

  5. Broga says:

    I think this boy was wrong and his exhibitionism does nothing to challenge religion. The church put up their statue on their private property and that is their entitlement.

  6. Stephen Mynett says:

    That sentence would be applauded by any theocracy. If the lad is a first offended it is a draconian sentence, he would probably get less for mugging and old person in many places.

    Typical religionists, the USA may have separation of church and state in its constitution but that is ignored by too many people, especially those in positions of power and the religious are all too happy to abuse power to promote their cause.

    I agree with Newspaniard in that he was only having a laugh but, perhaps, these religionists are in agreement with Ayatollah Khomeini, not only is there nothing funny in Islam it seems there is nothing funny in any religion.

    It is a pity religionists cannot grow up and accept they are going to be ridiculed, often in the same way they ridicule those who follow a different brand of religion, purely because they believe in unverifiable garbage.

  7. A Confused Atheist says:

    Why should this person’s act be of any concern to any of the readers of this publication? The person did not conduct any criminal damage, or expose himself towards any members of the public, so no crime has been committed. If the organisation which possesses this statue does not want people to be close to it, then they should not leave it out.

    Even a group of Satanists would not see this conduct as ‘un-godly’.

    However, if the local jurisdiction wishes to seek any charges against this person, then this story is another example of how church is taking over state in the United States.

  8. Irreverend Bastard says:

    If that bloody statue is a “venerated object”, then it’s nothing less than idolatry.

    I wonder if the bible says anything about idolatry?

  9. L.Long says:

    EXACTLY!!! Steven. This is a perfect example of how NICE xtian will be as they get more political power. As they had in the pre-1700’s, and they killed like crazy. But they are so filled with sex obsession that any suggestion no matter how silly sends them into fits of rage.
    At is base this kid did nothing but stand on a statue which all the squirrels have already done and the majority xtians go bat-shit crazy.
    But its good to know that even they think their gawd is a worthless sack of BS, since they have to take action.
    As a group NEVER trust religious people.

  10. Matt Westwood says:

    There was a case in Britain about a student who was photographed pissing on a war memorial. I think he was expelled from the university and given a hefty custodial sentence. Obviously he wasn’t the only one to have done so, because there were clearly other piss-streaks all over the damn thing.

    My own personal view is that all such war memorials should be used as public toilets without restraint at all.

  11. Jeffrey Jones says:

    @Paul Cook. So you took over the role from Idi Amin Dad.

  12. Jeffrey Jones says:

    @Matt Westwood. And it’s my personal opinion that people should piss all over you.

  13. Norman Paterson says:

    No-one speculates on the effect this will have on the boy. My guess is that it will teach him to venerate objects and keep them holy.

    Not!

  14. Anna Theist says:

    barriejohn: it says “statute”, not “statue”. The constitutionality of the statute refers to the law.

  15. EJ says:

    @Jeffrey Jones – Flame wars are rarely worth it, so perhaps you could simply explain what your problem is or what you think his problem is, and the rest of us can enjoy whatever it is you come up with, as that last post was pissing lame, let me tell you. Then maybe we could move on.
    Matt isn’t your problem, I’m guessing, so why not spend a little more time thinking up something really funny next time? Thanks.

  16. Laura Roberts says:

    Talk about excessive punishment! Church-state separation in the U.S. went out the window in the 1950’s when the government cowards voted in “one nation under God” in the pledge and “In God We Trust” on currency. I would love to see the internet come alive with Photo-shopped copies of these images, depicting this “venerated” icon in any manner of lascivious positions. We’ve got Draw Mohammed Day for the spring, maybe Bugger Jesus Day as a fall celebration?

  17. Paul Cook says:

    @Jeffery

    No I am not a Ugandan. It is a statement I made to show contempt for people who sentenced the lad, and punished him out of proportion- let us be frank- for what is most likely an affront to dignity at worst, trespass at best, but (hidden) blasphemy in reality.

    Nothing could warrant such a stiff sentence as that amount of community service and invasive tests for drugs or alcohol. I would wonder if the reasoning for those is the boy needs biblical teachings to help him not sin in the future. reading the court transcript would be enlightening.

    I have seen sentences of this amount of community service for real crimes, ones for which the offender was lucky not to receive a (short) custodial sentence.

    He is 14, so 350 hours means at say 5 hours a day, 70 days of doing menial tasks such as cleaning rubbish from the streets, or helping in a library. This is a lot of lost weekends for a 14 year old for what in reality is not a crime – not just because they have convicted him on the evidence of his Facebook pages, but because they have placed in that ridiculous statute human traits and physiology. These people are truly sick to afford such veneration to a concrete/plaster model of who exactly (no one knows at all if jesus existed or if he was real or what he looked like) – it almost harps back to the days of the Inquisition where everyone old and infirm was a witch made more easy without credible evidence.

  18. Matt Westwood says:

    @EJ: Oh don’t worry, that Jeffery Jones is just a death-worshipping, war-glorifying fascist, I’ve long since stopped paying any attention to the blether emerging from his putrid brain.

  19. barriejohn says:

    Laura: There doesn’t appear to be anything better than the photo which we’ve already seen, but this did catch my eye (totally unrelated):

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nigel-farage-pictured-hitler-moustache-2287966

    Mr Farage admits saying things that might have been seen as racist but insisted he is not prejudiced or an extremist.

    That’s all right then.

  20. Matt Westwood says:

    “Glitch” indeed. This was a prank perpetrated by a terrorist technician.

  21. John says:

    His mistake was in not claiming he was involved in producing a work of art and his constitutional right to free expression was being tampered with.
    The judge – I think – found a middle way in this case; the young man’s record will be expunged in due course so there is no long lasting record to follow him later on in life. At the same time, the judge has no doubt tempered the feelings of the religionists and established a precedent for other young people not to act in any similar way.
    I do not suppose this case has done much good for the “church” involved or for religion locally. Next time they try to affect “cool” christianity, I assume local young people will have this case in their minds….

  22. Matt Westwood says:

    @John: His mistake was not to have been familiar with the law to the extent of understanding that this would be his best defence. Not his mistake, of course, the omission of his milieu for not having decent legal advice. His attorney should forfeit her fee.