Local Church Vandalized with Satanic Messages on Ash Wednesday
Earlier today, my mom and I attended our local church, St. Anne Catholic Church, for the Ash Wednesday mass and to celebrate the beginning of the Lent season when we were both stunned at the wall facing the parking lot with disturbing graffiti and other forms of vandalism. What was more appalling were the messages being spray-painted on the walls: inverted pentagrams symbolizing Satanism, along with the message “Carpe Noctem” (seize the night) and “Satan” underneath the inverted pentagram. They were spray painted on the side of the wall near the entrance facing the parking lot and another one at the top side of the roof. That part isn’t really that disturbing to me.
What disturbed me in this type of vandalism was that the faces of our Holy Family statues were defaced with black spray paint, the Beatitudes tablet broken and toppled on the ground, and worse, the wooden crucifix standing at the lawn of the church was also broken. For the deeply religious, this would affect them greatly and emotionally, believing that there is indeed evil out there (and there is evil out there after all). Me, on the other hand, I consider this a hate crime.
Now, I have seen religious worship centers being vandalized before with messages of hate, especially with synagogues and mosques, but I never thought that something so disrespectful, not to mention insulting, such as vandalism with connotations of hate here on my very diverse, very open, and more or less liberal hometown such as Union City, here in the San Francisco Bay Area. What I’ve witnessed earlier today already gave me a reminder that hate of any type and form is everywhere. I have faced discrimination before when I was younger, starting from being prejudiced about my foreign background and beliefs to even my age and gender. Today, for the first time, I’ve faced discrimination based on religion.Continued on the next page