Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Has Professor Myers engaged in a hate crime?
Vivicat! News, opinion, commentary, prayer and reflections from a personal Catholic perspective ^ | 11 July 2008 | Te骹ilo

Posted on 07/11/2008 1:01:11 PM PDT by Te骹ilo

I believe so.

Folks, as you know already from my previous post, Paul Zachary Myers, a professor at the University of Minnesota Morris, has pledged to desecrate the Eucharist in public and has solicited help openly to accomplish it. The question now is, is this criminal solicitation and attempted conspiracy to commit a hate crime across state lines? I'm no lawyer, but I can read the statutes.

Let us begin with a general definition of a hate crime. The one in the Wikipedia will serve: Hate crimes (also known as bias motivated crimes) occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation. Now, hate crime laws in the United States (also known as bias crimes) protect against crimes motivated by enmity or animus against a protected class. Although state and federal laws vary, typical protected characteristics are race, religion, ethnicity, and nationality.

The relevant U.S. statute is 18 U.S. Code Part IChapter 13 ss 247, Damage to religious property; obstruction of persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs:

(a) Whoever, in any of the circumstances referred to in subsection (b) of this section—

(1) intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any religious real property, because of the religious character of that property, or attempts to do so; or

(2) intentionally obstructs, by force or threat of force, any person in the enjoyment of that person’s free exercise of religious beliefs, or attempts to do so;

shall be punished as provided in subsection (d).

(b) The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the offense is in or affects interstate or foreign commerce.

(c) Whoever intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any religious real property because of the race, color, or ethnic characteristics of any individual associated with that religious property, or attempts to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (d).

(d) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be—

(1) if death results from acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death;

(2) if bodily injury results to any person, including any public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of conduct prohibited by this section, and the violation is by means of fire or an explosive, a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more that 40 years, or both;

(3) if bodily injury to any person, including any public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate result of conduct prohibited by this section, results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both; and

(4) in any other case, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

(e) No prosecution of any offense described in this section shall be undertaken by the United States except upon the certification in writing of the Attorney General or his designee that in his judgment a prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.

(f) As used in this section, the term “religious real property” means any church, synagogue, mosque, religious cemetery, or other religious real property, including fixtures or religious objects contained within a place of religious worship.

The condition that the offense is in or affects interstate or foreign commerce is met because Professor Myers publicly solicited, and made manifest his intent to deface, damage, or destroy any religious real property, which includes religious objects contained within a place of religious worship of which a consecrated host certainly is one.

Professor Myers also has solicited the commission of a crime across state lines by means of the Internet. As such, Federal law again may apply, the relevant statute being 18 U.S. Code Part 1 Chapter 19 ss373, Solicitation to commit a crime of violence:

(a) Whoever, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a felony that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against property or against the person of another in violation of the laws of the United States, and under circumstances strongly corroborative of that intent, solicits, commands, induces, or otherwise endeavors to persuade such other person to engage in such conduct, shall be imprisoned not more than one-half the maximum term of imprisonment or (notwithstanding section 3571) fined not more than one-half of the maximum fine prescribed for the punishment of the crime solicited, or both; or if the crime solicited is punishable by life imprisonment or death, shall be imprisoned for not more than twenty years.

(b) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that, under circumstances manifesting a voluntary and complete renunciation of his criminal intent, the defendant prevented the commission of the crime solicited. A renunciation is not “voluntary and complete” if it is motivated in whole or in part by a decision to postpone the commission of the crime until another time or to substitute another victim or another but similar objective. If the defendant raises the affirmative defense at trial, the defendant has the burden of proving the defense by a preponderance of the evidence.

(c) It is not a defense to a prosecution under this section that the person solicited could not be convicted of the crime because he lacked the state of mind required for its commission, because he was incompetent or irresponsible, or because he is immune from prosecution or is not subject to prosecution.

We need to have in mind that criminal solicitation is simply an attempt to organize a conspiracy to commit a crime which again, falls under Federal jurisdiction because it transcended state lines.

Funny thing, though, that the law allows the perpetrator to defend himself by complete renunciation of his criminal intent. In others, if Professor Myers were to backpedal on his request to violate our civil rights, criminal solicitation might not attach to his crime. So all it would take is an apology of sorts.

Now, who can file a criminal complaint? As I understand it by the reading of the relevant statues,

Any injured party, any one of you who feels that his of her freedom to engage freely in religious worship, intimidated by the possibility that the person next to you in the communion line, responding to Professor Myers' criminal solicitation to intentionally obstruct, by force or threat of force, any person in the enjoyment of that person’s free exercise of religious beliefs, or attempts to do so, by damaging and / or defacing “religious real property” which includes religious objects contained within a place of religious worship, across state lines, may file a complaint.

That's you and me. I believe that Professor Myers' offending blog post meets most of the definitions of federal offenses as detailed in 18 U.S. Code. If you feel threatened, make a copy of Professor Myers' blog post to your local FBI or U.S. Marshall's office and write a complaint stating that you feel threatened by him and that the aforementioned laws gives you the right to protect your freedom to worship in a place free from intimidation. If in doubt on how to proceed, get real legal advice.

Furthermore, under Minnesota law, hate crimes must be reported. If you live in Minnesota, and feel threatened by Professor Myers threat of vandalism, you must make a copy of Professor Myers' blog post and attach it to your complaint to the appropriate Minnesota state authority.

All Americans have a stake in an effective response to violent bigotry. Hate crimes demand a priority response because of their special emotional and psychological impact on the victim and the victim's community. The damage done by hate crimes cannot be measured solely in terms of physical injury or dollars and cents. Hate crimes may effectively intimidate other members of the victim's community, leaving them feeling isolated, vulnerable and unprotected by the law. By making members of minority communities fearful, angry and suspicious of other groups -- and of the power structure that is supposed to protect them -- these incidents can damage the fabric of our society and fragment communities. This is what that other League, the Anti-Defamation League, says on its webpage and I agree with as all men and women of good will should. Also, I hope that the Catholic League takes notice of the probability that Professor Myers may have committed various Federal offenses and proceeds accordingly.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events
KEYWORDS: academia; anticatholic; anticatholicism; bigotry; firstamendment; hatecrime
Typos. Blunders. Mine.
1 posted on 07/11/2008 1:04:23 PM PDT by Te骹ilo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NYer; Salvation; rrstar96; Nihil Obstat; bornacatholic; mileschristi

PING! Please disseminate through Catholic ping list.


2 posted on 07/11/2008 1:05:29 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Te贸filo

I think you may well be right.


3 posted on 07/11/2008 1:07:36 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Te贸filo

This is what our “tolerance” gets us, folks.

It just eggs these bastards on.


4 posted on 07/11/2008 1:09:26 PM PDT by A_Former_Democrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Te贸filo

This is a great idea, however it will be quite the trick to actually get the Attorney General to initiate a prosecution.

And the illustrious Professor Myers would welcome such a prosecution because it would obtain him some major props from his fellow anti-Christian/anti-American scumbags.


7 posted on 07/11/2008 1:15:36 PM PDT by mkjessup (Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tehran. A true American Trifecta. [Hey, better late than never, right Mahmoud?])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Te贸filo

Can’t wait for Mr. Brave Professor to conduct a comparable stunt against Islam.


8 posted on 07/11/2008 1:17:42 PM PDT by pogo101
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GunRunner

Uh, yeah right.


9 posted on 07/11/2008 1:21:22 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: pogo101

He hasn’t got the stones for that.


10 posted on 07/11/2008 1:21:23 PM PDT by mkjessup (Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tehran. A true American Trifecta. [Hey, better late than never, right Mahmoud?])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Te贸filo

If he hasn’t commited one yet, by soliciting help in obtaining the Eucharist, then if he actually gets the Eucharist and does what he has threatened to do to it - and puts up the evidence of what he’s done on YouTube, or whatever, then by all means he should be charged with a hate crime, in my opinion.


11 posted on 07/11/2008 1:25:03 PM PDT by Boagenes (I'm your huckleberry, that's just my game.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pogo101

He’s too big a coward to insult islam. Myers would sooner grow a beard and start carrying around a prayer rug for fear of his life. He knows Catholics won’t actually hurt him.


12 posted on 07/11/2008 1:26:09 PM PDT by Sgt_Schultze
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: mkjessup

So far, apparently, he doesn’t have the ‘stones’ to do what he’s proclaimed he’s going to do. Either that, or he can’t get anyone to help him steal a Host.


13 posted on 07/11/2008 1:29:02 PM PDT by Judith Anne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Te贸filo

Notwithstanding the definition of “hate crime”, let’s just accept this as a sacrilige. If we qua Catholics pursued this line, we would be acknowledging its supremacy and we later would be charged as purveyors of hate if we followed such hateful acts as opposing homosexuality or abortion or, in the not too distant future, murder. Surely, there is some “religious” sect out there (e.g. Atheists?) that would sue that we are “hate mongers” because we dis-agree with their ‘theological’ beliefs. To seek government protection against insults (sacrilige) is to buy into government control of theology.


14 posted on 07/11/2008 1:59:02 PM PDT by MarkT
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Judith Anne
So far, apparently, he doesn’t have the ‘stones’ to do what he’s proclaimed he’s going to do. Either that, or he can’t get anyone to help him steal a Host.

How hard would it be to steal a host? Just walk into any Catholic church on any sunday, stand in line and they will give you one. I guess if they gave him one it wouldn't be stealing, would it still count?

15 posted on 07/11/2008 2:17:36 PM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

I don’t know. Once, at a mass at a monastery, I realized I was going to choke on a host, and quickly left the chapel into the hallway, where I coughed it into my hand and then consumed it immediately.

I wiped my eyes, and there was one of the monks beside me. I suspect that there is always someone watching.

I would think that most, if not all, churches are on the alert for this, due to the number of Satanic cults or others who would profane the Host, if they could.


16 posted on 07/11/2008 2:27:24 PM PDT by Judith Anne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Judith Anne
I would think that most, if not all, churches are on the alert for this, due to the number of Satanic cults or others who would profane the Host, if they could.

Your thinking is correct. The protection is unobtrusive, but it *is* there, as it should be...

the infowarrior

17 posted on 07/11/2008 3:42:42 PM PDT by infowarrior
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: MarkT

Your #14: Well said, Mark


18 posted on 07/11/2008 3:43:54 PM PDT by kitkat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: infowarrior

And, as far as I know, no “threats” against that foolish young student have been made public, leading me to think there WERE none. And so far, no prosecution of the lady who tried to stop him, either.


19 posted on 07/11/2008 3:45:48 PM PDT by Judith Anne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Te贸filo
I would caution you on following this line of attack. It could very well back fire (the Catholic's brought up on hate crimes for not supporting gay marriage to bunnies or something.

Seriously though, I have met a guy who claims to be the gentleman in question on a few blogs. He is a total nut job, and will use your posts as a badge of honor.

Pray for his soul. He is very anti Christian (in n odd way he doesn't go against other religions), and not very good at logical debate.

20 posted on 07/11/2008 4:01:32 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Te贸filo

“Real property” does not include consumables.


21 posted on 07/11/2008 5:56:02 PM PDT by idahogie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: idahogie
"Real property" does not include consumables

You are not reading closely: As used in this section, the term “religious real property” means any church, synagogue, mosque, religious cemetery, or other religious real property, including fixtures or religious objects contained within a place of religious worship.

Such as consecrated hosts.

-Theo

22 posted on 07/11/2008 6:56:14 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Te贸filo

I was stating the standard definition of “real property.” That term has specific meaning in tax and property law, and the writers of the particular law you are citing would know that. There is no way that the law applies to ever single thing that exists within the walls of a religious building. For that, they could have said simply “property.”

In any case, it would have been nice for you to address in your post why the standard term “real property” does not apply to this law.


23 posted on 07/11/2008 7:42:30 PM PDT by idahogie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Te贸filo
The question now is, is this criminal solicitation and attempted conspiracy to commit a hate crime across state lines? I'm no lawyer, but I can read the statutes.

Thought crime requires Thought Police. This "hate crime" thing can turn and bite you.

24 posted on 07/11/2008 7:49:23 PM PDT by Lee N. Field (You wouldn't want a postmodern to fix your car. Why would you trust him with your theology?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Te贸filo

**Has Professor Myers engaged in a hate crime?**

I would say he had engaged in a hate crime.


25 posted on 07/11/2008 8:53:22 PM PDT by Salvation (聠With God all things are possible.聠)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: isrul

**they will whimper and grovel as usual. **

You must have not been around the Catholics here on FR. We definitely don’t fit this description.

Can’t generalize, can we?


26 posted on 07/11/2008 8:54:40 PM PDT by Salvation (聠With God all things are possible.聠)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Judith Anne
I realized I was going to choke on a host,

You choked on Jesus??? Why would Jesus allow that to happen to one of his faithful...I mean, he was right there???

27 posted on 07/12/2008 5:49:47 AM PDT by Iscool (If Obama becomes the President, it will be an Obama-nation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Lee N. Field
Thought crime requires Thought Police. This "hate crime" thing can turn and bite you.

Stealing a consecrated host, asking others to do it for you, and then doing it on-line for the world to see entails a series of visible, verifiable actions, no different than burning a cross in your yard, hanging a noose from your tree, or scribbling a swastika on your home.

I think that it is high time we use these laws to our advantage.

-Theo

28 posted on 07/12/2008 8:37:28 AM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: lsucat; Mrs. Don-o; narses

ping


29 posted on 07/12/2008 1:26:10 PM PDT by rrstar96 (Strength and Honor!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Te贸filo
PZ Myers the evolutionist. Keep in mind something T.H. Huxley wrote:
"In addition to the truth of the doctrine of evolution, indeed, one of its greatest merits in my eyes, is the fact that it occupies a position of complete and irreconcilable antagonism to that vigorous and consistent enemy of the highest intellectual, moral, and social life of mankind--the Catholic Church."

- T.H Huxley, Darwiniana.

A response from The Catholic League:
"The Myers blog can be accessed from the university’s website. The university has a policy statement on this issue which says that the ‘Contents of all electronic pages must be consistent with University of Minnesota policies, local, state and federal laws.’ One of the school’s policies, ‘Code of Conduct,’ says that ‘When dealing with others,’ faculty et al. must be ‘respectful, fair and civil.’ Accordingly, we are contacting the President and the Board of Regents to see what they are going to do about this matter. Because the university is a state institution, we are also contacting the Minnesota legislature."

30 posted on 07/12/2008 11:45:08 PM PDT by Ethan Clive Osgoode (<<== Click here to learn about Darwinism!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ethan Clive Osgoode
I've sent my preliminary research to the The Catholic League as background for further action. I am sure their lawyers will be able to strengthen the Federal and state hate crime charges.

Up to recently, Myers was a relatively obscure academic with a cult following. He has now pulled a big publicity stunt. Let's make sure that the attention he draws not be the one he expected.

-Theo

31 posted on 07/13/2008 4:20:09 AM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson