House passes bill making vandalism against churches a felony

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Vandalism at the Emmonak Catholic Church

With bipartisan support, the Alaska House passed a bill that would make vandalism on churches and religious property a felony. House Bill 238 is sponsored by Democrat Rep. Andy Josephson of Anchorage, who said in his floor remarks that vandalism against religious property affects an entire congregation, whereas vandalism against a building affects fewer people.

Attacks on churches increased dramatically beginning in May of 2020, following the death of George Floyd, a violent felon and drug addict who died while being restrained by police in Minneapolis. According to the Catholic Vote, 300 attacks against Catholic Churches in America occurred since the Floyd death, which also fed widespread rioting in cities as unrest led up to the 2020 presidential election.

“The attacks include decapitation of statues, arson, satanic graffiti and broken windows. Around 118 incidents of attack have been recorded since the Supreme Court decision which overturned Roe v. Wade in May 2022,” the group said.

The overturn of federal abortion protection in Dobbs v. Jackson was leaked to the media by someone in the U.S. Supreme Court, creating a fresh wave of church vandalism in 2022.

Churches in Alaska were not spared. A church in Eagle River was vandalized three times in an 18-month period after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. A swastika was burned onto the lawn at Mountain City Church. Religious icons in the Emmonak Catholic Church were smashed.

The bill was supported by all but five members, and those opposing it came from the Democrat and Republican camps: Reps. David Eastman, of Wasilla and Will Stapp of Fairbanks were the no votes from the Republican caucus. Ashley Carrick of Fairbanks; Sara Hannan of Juneau and CJ McCormick of Bethel were the Democrats who voted no.

The bill now is in the Senate for consideration.

35 COMMENTS

    • I would wager that among those voting “No,” Eastman is the only one doing so for the right reason. Our nation is now divided into infinite classes of identity and victimhood. Its a hierarchy of privilege–a veritable caste system.

      This bill does nothing but create yet another privileged class. Anyone vandalizing a church will be punished; meanwhile, anyone vandalizing your private home gets a ceremonial slap on the wrist and counseling. You become a member of yet another low caste. Bills like these are actually unconstitutional in that they abrogate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment: “….nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

      Solution: make all vandalism of any kind a felony–minimum penalty 10-yrs hard labor.

  1. This bill grants broad discretion to prosecutors over who will be charged under these new crimes. As its supporters stated openly just before the final vote, the motivation behind this bill is to stop “hate crimes” against mosques and the Satanic Temple.

    Given the political situation in our country, it is certain this bill will be used to prosecute Christians.

    You can now be guilty of a felony for merely damaging property, even if the property is only slightly damaged, and even if you had no intention of committing a hate crime or of targeting a religious organization.

    They had to exempt employees of religious organizations for accidentally causing damage under the bill because they set the threshold for prosecution lower than “intentionally”. There is no such exemption for volunteers or members of the public, even if their motivations were positive.

    We have been fighting and stopping hate crime bills like this for years. Who knew that all you needed to do was change the marketing, call it a “religious protection” bill and Republican legislators would immediately jump on board?

    With enactment of this bill into law it becomes a felony to damage an idol to the satanic temple, and it’s a felony even if you didn’t know it was satanic when you damaged it.

    If you thought it was bad when they made it illegal to refuse to bake a cake for a wedding, this is so much worse.

    • I must disagree. Think about how the law (as written, not just the headline) can be abused when the wrong people are in charge.

  2. Could it be The Scofield bible is behind all this(sponsored by Lord Rothschild);And the red heifer sacrifice! Rebuilding the temple and to bring on the Antichrist; and expansion in the Middle East! (Zio-expansionism); and they are planning to denounce the gospel of Saint John on Holy Week!
    What a situation!

  3. Vandalism of property is already a crime under state law so why do we need to carve out another “special rights for special people “ style exception to the general rule? If someone vandalizes your home is that less worthy of equal protection under the law than the same criminal act against a church? Laws that don’t apply equally to everyone are unconstitutional. Eastman properly voted against this bad idea.

      • Sec. 11.46.482. Criminal mischief in the third degree.
        (a) A person commits the crime of criminal mischief in the third degree if, having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe the person has such a right,
        (1) with intent to damage property of another, the person damages property of another in an amount of $750 or more;
        A class C felony. Alaska Statute Class C Felonies PENALTY – UP TO $50,000 & 5 YEARS IN PRISON

      • It’s more than just the length of the sentence. A felony conviction involves the deprivation of rights far beyond the term of imprisonment.

    • PJ Olson, you are precisely on point. See my corroborating comment above. This legislation further divides an already divided culture. If they want to accomplish something then make all vandalism a felony.

  4. Eastman has a point. The ex navy pilot in Iowa who messed up a satanic temple “holiday display” was charged with 3rd degree criminal mischief. Under this law, he would be facing a felony. Democrat-owned DAs and attorneys general can simply opt not to charge leftists for damaging churches, but throw the book at conservatives. Favoritism like this is already happening all over the country.

    • John, you are conflating issues. We cannot write our laws based upon a corrupt judiciary that favors leftists. Rather, we need to clean out the corruption. The reason this legislation is unconstitutional is that it seeks to treat victims of vandalism differently according to their identity.

  5. F=P-c/p the optional Freedom equation

    Free World Theory
    If you don’t have control of your property you are not free ( a slave)! Social technology imbalance with physics, also with biology (gain of function science)!
    And was a problem 4,500 years ago till now!
    The more time that elapses the more danger we are in!
    Chas Holloway book Free World Theory

  6. Thank You David for explaining the actual outcome of this bill. Since the bill was sponsored by a democrat.. “House Bill 238 is sponsored by Democrat of Anchorage. This alone should have warned many people that something wasn’t “up to snuff.” Thanks for exposing the greater dangers of this bill. Let’s just hope/pray that the Senate sees this bill as a dangerous and invoking more/repeated damages to churches.

  7. Anything sponsored by a Democrat today has a darker intention. I’m thankful for Rep Eastman’s continued commentary to explain further what the public don’t know that’s discussed among lawmakers and staff in the capital. At face value this bill looks good, but it’s deceitful just like its creator.

  8. This bill has all the appearance of “Cloak & Dagger’ legislation. Thank you David Eastman for sharing the details of discussion before the vote regarding ‘Hate Crimes’, the Satanic Temple and Mosques.

    The House legislators who voted in favor of this bill need to be advised that Alaska currently has laws regarding vandalism of property as the statute was noted in a prior comment.

    As our legislative representatives, we expect them to be ever mindful of their sworn oath, of the essential priorities of Alaskans, of spending time and our money wisely. We expect them to be informed and to think critically before they vote.

    Legislative waters have been so muddied that it is almost a moot point as to whether a bill is sponsored by a Democrat or Republican and what the actual true goal of a bill really is.

    Voting on principal regardless of party sponsorship is what filters the murky legislative depths and provides clarity for the benefit of all.

  9. Who owns America? A webinar that is very interesting is attached below!

    ‘https://www.brighteon.com/f25e64a6-d9aa-45d2-af28-958d2667f321

  10. check with the US Constitution to see who has the right to tamper with the US Constitution, express civil rights and process due to tamper with it. Hint: “Congress shall make no law…. if Congress shall make no law tampering with the US Constitution rights to liberty neither shall states go into the business of tyranny. They can be ordered that night to empty their bank account and sell assets that night to pay for it by magistrate order. Why not start defending and securing rights by doing that?

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