A teenager in Everett, Pennsylvanian is in deep trouble after shoving his crotch into the face of Jesus.
The unnamed 14-year-old recently posed for photos of himself simulating oral sex with a Jesus statue then posted the pictures to his Facebook account. The photos were then discovered by the district attorney’s office and forwarded to state police.
The statue, which belongs to Love in the Name of Christ, a Christian organization with a branch in Everett, was not damaged during the stunt. Still, the teen was charged under a 1972 law that criminalizes “defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action.”
Bev Patten, a spokesperson for Love in the Name of Christ, said the organization does not believe legal action should be taken against the juvenile, asking only “for prayer for the young man.”
Gay rights activists, naturally, are outraged at the decision by the D.A.’s office to give a boy a criminal record for what they see as an expression of his First Amendment rights.
“This is a blasphemy law, pure and simple, and it is in clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution,” Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, said. “If the kid had destroyed or damaged the statue, he would clearly deserve to face consequences. But taking a picture that offends somebody’s religious sensibilities? This is not Russia or Iran; this is the United States, where we’re supposed to value freedom of speech. Pennsylvania should be ashamed of itself for so clearly violating this kid’s constitutional rights.”
If convicted, the teen could face up to two years in juvenile detention.