Churches: No Special Protection if Victims of Crime

| by Jerome McCollom

Should someone be punished harsher if they commit burglary against a church than a building other than a church?

Well, in a nation state that abides by our Constitutional guarantees when it comes to the Establishment clause, well, no. In the state of Indiana a man who burglarized  a church received a punishment harsher than if he burglarized your apartment, mine or an office of a humanist or atheist group in Indiana.

The Supreme Court of the Hoosier state justified this harsher punishment, in part, by stating in its majority opinion, "crimes against structures used for religious worship are "more repugnant to the community."

I am not a supporter of hate crimes because they give harsher punishment depending on the victim, but this is exactly the consequence of this legislation.

Churches are held in high esteem in society, or religious buildings in general. But, why should someone who burglarized a church be punished harsher than someone who does so to an office building, or even, adult sex shop?

Both actions are harms. Both have victims. The government has to treat all individuals and groups equally, no matter if they are politically popular or not.