This one was filed under “stupid crimes,” but, Christ, it’s open to debate where the real stupidity lies.
The Smoking Gun, a site that scours government and law organizations for “exclusive documents — cool, confidential, quirky — that can’t be found elsewhere on the web,” published a story about a teen boy in Pennsylvania charged with “desecration of venerated object” after he posted pictures of himself simulating oral sex on a statue of a kneeling Jesus.
According to The Smoking Gun, the Christ in question is outside a church called Love in the Name of Christ, an organization “that helps churches help people in need.” Unless, of course, they’re blaspheming adolescents.
The teenager, unnamed in documents, as he is being charged in juvenile court, posted the pictures in late July, but the charges weren’t filed until late September. The victim’s name is the ironically acronymized organization Love INC.
According to a Daily Mail UK article, Love INC’s request “was prayer for the young man,” but the district attorney’s office opted for filing criminal charges instead.
This article notes that the teen is being charged under an obscure 1972 law that makes the desecration of venerated objects illegal. A police spokesperson says, “the boy did not tell investigators why he desecrated the statue.”
Now, I’m no criminal investigator, but I feel like you could chalk up this “crime” to a teenager having stupid fun getting gay with Jesus. I’m no legal expert, but I feel like a 14-year-old teen facing up to two years in prison — not to mention the official resources sunk into this investigation — may be a total overreaction on the stupidest level possible. I’m no Christian, but I feel like this should fall under the umbrella of “love the sinner, hate the sin.”
If I prayed, I would pray this was all an elaborate joke by The Smoking Gun. But I shouldn’t waste my time.