Yesterday morning, as parishioners gathered to celebrate Ash Wednesday, it was discovered that a Catholic Church in my hometown was defaced and vandalized. They broke a wood cross, spray-painted on the sides of the building, and defaced statues of Mary and Joseph.
The media coverage has been swift and thorough. They report that clergy from other faiths have reached out to the community on one of their most important days and that the police are investigating this crime.
Hate crimes are tools of intimidation that have no place in a democratic society. Cowardly vandalism is not the appropriate method of dealing with any issues a person might have with the Catholic Church, or a member of this congregation.
I don’t know what kind of society we live in anymore. Sure, my hometown has its racial tensions, but we’ve always been pretty tight knit given our size. I can’t believe people would do this here. Or that people break into mosques and urinate on prayer mats. Or that last winter, the Jewish community back east witnessed a string of vandalism. It’s unacceptable.