Monday, July 30, 2007

Should Offending Someone Be A Felony

A student at Pace University was recently charged with a felony for throwing a Koran in a toilet.

Personally, if I was stranded alone on a deserted island, it would be nice to have a Koran around to use as toilet paper... but otherwise I could do without it. The charges against this student are way overboard, IMO.

I do believe that this student could be charged for something. He did steal the book, so he could be charged with theft. He could be charged with vandalism. I would even support this case if they charged him with intimidation, because in a way I guess you could argue that he was intimidating the Moslem students on his campus through his act.

But a felony hate crime? Come on. Hate crimes in general I have something of a problem with. Let's say that someone came to my house and burned a cross out in the front of my house today. Charge them with intimidation, fine. Charge them with vandalism if they destry any of my property. But I wouldn't consider burning a cross on my property to be a felony.

So why is this a felony? Probably because some people are offended. But since when did that become a felony? Are we that thinned skinned? Are we a bunch of pansies that can't take a little criticism or disagreement?

I'm offended with some people. I'm offended with that movie coming out spoofing Jesus and the 10 commandments (just another excuse to blaspheme God). I'm offended that people can put a cross in a cup of urine and call it "art". I'm offended by a lot of things that people say about God. But that doesn't mean I think that they should be charged with either hate crimes or felonies.

It's already starting to become a crime in some western countries (like Canada) to preach about certain parts of the Bible. I'd hate to see that happen here... although I'm sure that the day is coming. If indeed this student ends up being found guilty of a felony for putting a book in the toilet, that will be a sad day indeed.

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