Venerate that object. Venerate it good.

Pennsylvania Teenager Simulates Oral Sex With Jesus Statue, Faces 2 Years in Prison

The teen hopped on top of a statue of a kneeling Jesus -- in front of an organization called "Love in the Name of Christ" -- and simulated oral sex with the statue's face. Naturally, he posted the pictures to Facebook, which made their way to authorities.

Officials in Bedford County charged the teen with desecration of a venerated object, invoking a 1972 Pennsylvania statute that criminalizes "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."

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14 Responses:

  1. It was tricky...

  2. James says:

    No way will "mistreating" fly in that context. You might as well just try to outlaw the tango.

  3. Grey Hodge says:

    Ahh yes, the homeland has swerved drastically to the right over the past 15 years. I will say that PA is still quite beautiful, all the moreso from a distance of several states.

    • LafinJack says:

      The law he was charged under is from 1972.

      • Grey Hodge says:

        And was rarely enforced, especially in situations like this where it's a simple, harmless prank with zero damage. 20 years ago my mother had a religious statue stolen and no such charges were levied, etc. When I was in school, a biology teacher allowed an "intelligent design" nutter have a school period to talk about his alternative, on the condition he never mention a god, and only speak of ID as an alternative theory. She warned us there's no evidence, but she wanted us to hear his side, since we'd undoubtedly encounter is elsewhere, and wanted to be able to rebut it. Someone sued the school over that, and the school settled. Now religious nutters are suing to put that crap IN the schools. In the past 15 years, it's become illegal to video police, laws like this have become strongly enforced, religious people are trying to shoehorn their god in every public vein possible, and excluding non-christian ones, etc. I'm glad I got out.

  4. Can someone please explain why he took off his shirt and not his shorts?

  5. Leonardo Herrera says:

    Isn't that protected by the first ammendment?

    • Editer says:

      That's the theory, but in fact the First Amendment protects exactly what the prosecutor, judge and jury say it does, no more and no less.

    • gryazi says:

      Gray area. Since it's common to interpret the First Amendment as also providing for freedom of worship, and this looks like it was some religious organization's private property - possibly the right to protect your private religious thingus from disrespect is a right reserved to the states, or not.

      (Actual text, of course: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;" - now figure out how Congress is involved.)

      Charging under the goofy law instead of under something more basic like trespassing is probably convenient as far as both pleasing the religious types who passed the damn thing and giving the kid a defense (because something like a boring trespassing charge would conceivably stick). It's the judicial theater the people theoretically asked for.

  6. Subsequently:

    "Six years ago, Higgins admitted to having extramarital sex in his local courthouse office with a woman following a meeting of the Bedford County Republicans. At the time, Higgins was the organization’s vice-chair. The woman later sued him, accusing him of sexual assault, but the charges were later dropped."

    (Emphasis mine.)

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