As you all know by now, a 14-year-old boy from Pennsylvania has been the subject of a lot of media attention over the past few weeks because he took pictures with a local Jesus statue as if he were getting a mock-blowjob from the Lord.
He was facing up to two years in prison for this supposed desecration, a charge that was wildly out of proportion for what he did. As I said before, I don’t condone his actions, but bad taste and immaturity aren’t crimes. And this blasphemy law had no business being in the books in the first place.
Today was the teen’s day in court and we finally learned his punishment:
The boy appeared before Judge Thomas Ling and agreed to a consent decree signed by all parties involved, including the boy, his mother and his attorney, Karen Hickey.
The boy must not use social media during a six-month probation period as well as perform 350 hours of community service.
Among the other punishments, he must obey a curfew of 10 p.m., no alcohol or other controlled substances monitored by random drug testing and stay in school.
District Attorney Bill Higgins presented the decree to the court.
After accepting the agreement and while settling the number of community service hours, Judge Ling focused on the religious rights of Love in the Name of Christ, noting that the juvenile’s actions infringed upon their rights to practice their faith.Upon successful completion of these terms and conditions, his case will be dismissed and the juvenile will have no criminal record.
So, it’s not two years in prison, but it’s still pretty excessive for what amounts to a silly prank that hurt nobody. A public apology to the Christian group that owned the statue would have been more than sufficient. (In fact, he already did that.)
Higgins, who thinks this child did something wrong but has no problem having an affair in his office or posting pornographic audio on Twitter, also threw in a jab at those who criticized him online and held a protest last weekend:
“As I have previously noted, Facebook and street corners are not the proper place to resolve constitutional issues, and while there has been a whole lot of name calling, character assassination and threats of retaliation, there has been no effort by any of these advocacy groups to actually challenge the constitutionality of the statute in question through the legal process,” added Higgins.
No effort?! What exactly does he want? Atheists to come en masse to Bedford County and take pictures with Blowjob Jesus as if it were a tourist attraction?
Well, they can’t punish all of us…
(Thanks to Richard for the link)