Can you commit a "hate crime" against Christians?

There’s just something about the leftist protesters and rioters in Massachusetts that gives them a special “flavor” even when compared to Antifa and the other radicals in cities around the nation. It’s not that they’re particularly more violent or use different language. (Unless they’re trying to drag you out of your cah on the pahkway, of course.) But their selection of targets for vandalism, arson and destruction veers off in a different direction at times. We already saw one instance of rioters setting fire to a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary this month. Now we have another location on our radar where someone has been putting trash cans over the head of a similarly holy monument only a mile from that attack. And in this case, the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts is asking the police to treat it as a hate crime. (CBS Boston)

A trash can was found on top of a Blessed Virgin Mary statue in Dorchester on two separate occasions last week. The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts is asking police to investigate the incidents as a hate crime.

It happened at Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish in the overnight hours between July 11 and July 12 and again before the morning of July 16. Trash was also dumped on the property…

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle said in a statement: “It is becoming increasingly clear that these crimes can no longer be treated as a collection of random incidents perpetrated in isolation by disturbed individuals. The number, timing and frequency of these attacks strongly suggest that Catholic churches and religious iconography are being deliberately targeted for culturecide by the same left wing extremists who are committing mayhem against public monuments across the country. “

This brief video report from the local CBS outlet offers more of the details and also includes pictures taken of the vandalism of the statute. I’ll offer advance warning to both the faithful and the easily offended that it’s pretty, well… offensive.

It’s understandable that the Catholic Action League would want this looked at as something more serious than random acts of violent disruption from protesters. The three attacks took place less than a mile apart, as I mentioned above, and a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was the target each time. The trash can is less destructive or permanent than either setting the statues on fire or tearing them down, but it’s obviously being done to send a very clear message against the Christain faith. But is it a “hate crime?”

As most long-time readers probably know, I have a less than popular view when it comes to the subject of hate crimes. As far as I’m concerned, they are thought crimes being prosecuted by the Thought Police. Doing somewhat that’s already against the law is quite enough for you to face justice under our system of law enforcement. What you were “thinking” when you committed the crime doesn’t augment it. So from that very generalized view of things, I wouldn’t be on board with calling these offensive acts hate crimes.

But I don’t get to make the rules and this is the world we live in. Hate crimes are a thing according to our courts and they can be prosecuted. So since we regularly see hate crimes prosecuted based on racial bias, attacks on Muslims and (occasionally) against the Jewish community, is the CAL really all that out of line in asking for these incidents to be investigated as hate crimes?

Some person or persons have been showing up in the same neighborhood on at least three occasions and going after statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary. If they had been burning down mosques or spraying swastikas on Jewish Temples, the Thought Police would already be knee-deep into those cases. But this time it’s a pair of Christian houses of worship and one of the most revered symbols of reverence among Christians. Isn’t this a case of what’s good for the goose being equally appropriate for the gander?

I’m not advocating for an increase in the prosecution of so-called hate crimes. But we need to be holding everyone to the same standard under our rules of law. If you can’t commit the other acts I mentioned above without facing charges of a hate crime on the basis of religion, Christians surely must be afforded the same level of protection under the law, right? We shall wait to see how the police respond to these requests.

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David Strom 4:30 PM | May 28, 2024