Judge Sentences Elderly Nun to Three Years in Prison

Judge Sentences Elderly Nun to Three Years in Prison February 19, 2014

Now we’re safe.

A federal judge has removed that arch-fiend, 84-year-old Sister Megan Rice, from the streets by sentencing her to 35 months in prison.

Sister Megan was convicted of breaking into the Oakridge Nuclear Weapons Facility in Tennessee. She and her band of desperadoes admitted to spray painting peace slogans on the facility. When a guard finally found them, they offered him food and began singing.

This mirrors a conviction in 2003 of three elderly nuns who broke into a missile silo and smeared their own blood on a Minuteman missile.

The whole thing reminds me of the scene in The Search for Red October when the American diplomat looked at the Russian diplomat and asked, “Have you lost one of your submarines again?

I keep wanting to ask our military security people, “Have those nuns run circles around you again?”

What the military/judiciary complex with its courts, prisons and really big guns, can’t seem to understand is that all their security, which costs the American taxpayer many billions of hard-earned dollars, is no match for a bunch of elderly nuns. Do they really think they can keep these sisters locked up in prison if the sisters want to get out?

The only thing saving this nation from a deadly nun attack is the nuns’ confounded insistence on following the Prince of Peace. Instead of blowing things up, they sing songs and offer food to the guards.

And, oh yes, they don’t seem all that terrified by the courts. When the nuns were sentenced in 2003, one of them made the sign of the cross over the jury, judge and spectators.

When Sister Megan stood before the court today, she asked the judge to not consider her age in sentencing her. “To remain in prison for the rest of  my life would be the greatest honor,” she said, “I hope that happens.”

Since she’s 84, her 35-month sentence may be long enough for her to get her wish. I would normally worry about a woman as frail and elderly as Sister Rice, going to the big house. But in this case, I think the real danger is to the big house. It would be interesting to see the result if something as revolutionary as genuine Christianity broke out behind those bars.

It looks to me like Sister Megan walks with God. When that’s true of a person, anything can happen.

From Reuters:

(Reuters) – A U.S. judge sentenced an 84-year-old nun, Sister Megan Rice, on Tuesday to 35 months in prison for breaking into a Tennessee military facility used to store enriched uranium for nuclear bombs.

Two others accused in the case, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, were sentenced to 62 months in prison.

The three were convicted of cutting fences and entering the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in July 2012, embarrassing U.S. officials and prompting security changes.”(Rice) does not have the extensive criminal records the others have. Her crimes are minimal in comparison to the others,” U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar said.

The three were also sentenced to three years of supervised release after leaving prison and ordered to pay restitution for the damage they caused.

Rice asked the judge not to take her age into consideration when handing out the sentence.”To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest honor,” the nun said in court. “I hope that happens.”Rice and the others admitted to spray painting peace slogans and hammering on exterior walls of the facility. When a guard confronted them, they offered him food and began singing.


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41 responses to “Judge Sentences Elderly Nun to Three Years in Prison”

  1. I wish the nuns had protested without causing damage. They have no credibility because they caused damage.

    Why were they allowed to get so close? Scary!

  2. Set aside that I disagree with the Nun. That’s not the issue. She can’t destroy other people’s property and not be prosecuted. You have a right to free speech. You do not have a right to destroy other people’s property. I don’t know if 35 months is just, but she should most definitely not go scott free.
    And may I ask? Would she do this for a Planned Parenthood facility? Is she one of those liberal nuns that support abortion? I’ve met such a nun.
    Rebecca, your tacit support for her action implies you would support the same type of action against abortion facilities. Are you saying we pro-lifers should be escalating our passive resistance and our marches as a exercise of free speech to covert actions against abortionists and their buildings, either in breaking in or spray painting or worse?

  3. I appreciate this Sister, and all that she has done in the culture of life. It is easy to forget in this hyperpartisan age that unjust war (and any nuclear exchange is certainly unjust) is as against Life as abortion is.

  4. ON the one hand, I wish that these people weren’t living in the past. Their minds seem to have settled somewhere about 1967 and never learned anything since. On the other, to send a woman her age to prison is ridiculous. This judge has shown himself less humane than the Soviet alternate judge at Nuremberg, Volchkov, who was well known to be an agent of that very humanitarian organization, the OGPU (aka KGB), and who argued that in the case of the oldest Nazi defendant (von Neurath), his old age should be taken into account when deciding on the penalty. You can tell Judge Thapar that he has shown less humanity than a KGB agent.

  5. I will answer with the universal motto of the experienced and disgruntled soldier: Miltary intelligence is a contradiction in terms.

  6. There is another issue here Manny, and that is just how secure are these facilities if elderly nuns can break in so easily?

  7. May she spend her time in prison praying the rosary, doing penance, proclaiming Christ crucified, affirming life as the Church teaches, undergoing a radical conversion and above all…praying for the rest of us to do the same.

  8. An unjust law is no law at all. I support non-violent civil disobedience in those cases. But I don’t see an unjust law here. Regardless of how one feels about nuclear weapons I think we can all agree that they need to be in secure facilities and we shouldn’t be breaking into them.

  9. They cut fences, trespassed on federal property, were arrested, tried and convicted. From what I can tell from the Reuters article, that’s what they expected, and presumably wanted, to happen. They were not unjustly treated. I don’t see how cutting a fence makes them superior in mental ability.

  10. And if they had been terrorists who got in the same way? The point here is that the security at these facilities are a farce. Does anyone but me see that as a disaster waiting to happen?

  11. The 35 months is merciful if anything, and Sister considers the possibility of it being a life sentence to be an immense privilege.

    I don’t know where the Sister stands on abortion, but most of the Catholic anti-nuclear activists I know are consistent pro-lifers; they’re anti-nuclear because they are first pro human life from conception until natural death.

  12. Security is a real problem at a lot of our infrastructure facilities. There was a recent attack on a power facility that was successful. But, Sister Megan and her group are concerned more with nuclear facilities than pro-life activities. One of that group got his legs cut off protesting on a train track. She’s where she belongs and 3 years seems pretty lenient to me.

  13. Well, that’s true. If that’s the issue then i apologize to the nun. By the way, I was in that Oakridge facility many years ago, over twenty I think. Not for anything nuclear. They do more things than that there. If I remember correctly they had some sort of special machining equipment we were interested in. I will say I was not impressed with the place, but I assume they’ve modernized.

  14. You could be right. She struck me as a Liberal nun. But this anti-nuclear activity has passed its day. Anyone committed to life should be taking on the abortion issue today. If she’s still a protesting anti nuclear in this day and age, I suspect she’s an old time Liberal.

  15. From what I read this was supposed to be the “Fort Knox” of nuclear storage…that’s embarrassing. Maybe they can go run security at the new NSA spying center in Utah?

  16. Yes. It did. The Cold War was necessary to show us the futility of war and what we can do if we work together instead of against one another. It would have been nice if we could have learned that lesson without coming to the brink of anihilation.

  17. If she’s still a protesting anti nuclear in this day and age, I suspect she’s an old time Liberal.

    You didn’t finish by saying: “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”.

  18. She didn’t exactly get past the last line of defense. There is a difference between getting in to spray paint something and actually becoming able to do any real damage. This nun believes she has lived a fulfilling life. I see it as a waste of a life.

  19. The best argument against abortion, is to be pro-life consistently from conception until natural death. Under that mindset, there is no real difference between Planned Parenthood and nuclear weapons.

  20. Let me get partisan for a moment. Old time Liberal, recent Liberal, contemporary Liberal, Liberal is Liberal. They are all brain dead. 😀

  21. How is protesting nuclear weapons facilities not pro-life? We killed almost 100,000 Iraqi citizens with nuclear (dirty) weapons and have caused countless birth defects due to the left over radiation. I can’t see anything as being more “pro-life” than bringing attention to the atrocities.

  22. Where does it say that nuns must only be involved with anti-abortion activities? I don’t think they should be working for Planned Parenthood but I certainly think they can have other interests.

  23. I am not in favor of what she has done but I think your question is unfair. There is nothing wrong with focusing one’s attention and efforts on one particular area of the pro-life spectrum. It doesn’t mean you think other areas are less important. It’s usually more a recognition that you can be most successful if you don’t divide your time, talents, and energies.

  24. Bill I don’t think its a waste of life to stand up for peace. I’ve always admired the nuns who would protest the school of the Americas. I do wish they would have found creative ways to protest lawfully outside the installation. You can’t really keep protesting from prison although she will help others inside I bet. And I’m glad they’ve shown the security lapses.

  25. I call it a waste of a life, but I’m sure she sees it as anything but. They will probably write her life story and maybe make a movie about her. Her opinion about her life supersedes anything I might say about it. She probably will convert the whole inmate population. Maybe the guards too.

  26. We must always remember that civil disobedience comes with the willingness to pay the legal price. Human history is often pushed toward change by martyrs. This is the human system the way it’s supposed to work.

  27. Davis, We did not use nuclear weapons in Iraq, did not kill 100,000 people and have not caused birth defects. I do not see that Sr Megan did anything constructive except demonstrate the lax security. I think this is the same bunch who have protested against School of the Americas as well. Maybe they should go demonstrate against real threats to peace, say in Syria where our brother Christians are being annihilated.

  28. Davis, we did not bomb Iraq with nuclear weapons, did not kill 100,000 civilians and did not cause birth defects. This group is a pacifist organization. They blame the US for everything. If they really want to make a difference, they should go to Syria and protest where our brother Christians are actually being annihilated.

  29. The good sister will be likely confined to a minimum security prison. Her protest seemed to be against nuclear weapons in general, though I’m not sure if she’ll have much effect in that regard; most people already seem to be against nuclear arms. Still, hopefully, in prison, she’ll have a positive impact on some people’s lives. People with this sort of vibrancy and energy often do.

    The only worry I have is that she and her fellows could have very easily been killed doing this. For her, at the end of her predicted span, such a thing is basically a cheap martyrdom. The poor guard who kills her, on the other hand, has to live for the rest of his or her life with the guilt that they killed a nun. Their friends, their family, every job they apply for, goodness knows how many letters of hatred they’d receive… If they’re a practicing Catholic, all the worse.

    It’s good it didn’t happen and I suppose there’s something to be weighed in between protesting and the risk involved, but it almost seems like people are joking about what could’ve ruined several lives.

  30. Busted. Even after I deleted the word “refreshing.” I am so transparent. I have a Jewish friend who was a red diaper baby (an American child raised by communist parents). He was dumbfounded that the hippie church of the 1970’s did away with all the good (traditional) music.

  31. There is a technique for defeating security called “social engineering.” Social engineering takes advantage of human beings by winning their trust and conning them into giving you what you want. An 83-year-old nun could well be the gold standard for social engineering.

    The only way to build a security system that is completely immune to social engineering is to eliminate human beings from security. Where nuclear weapons are concerned, that would pose an even larger threat, as Dr. Strangelove illustrated.