Sunday, November 10, 2013

Idaho Governor Butch Otter Condemns Vandalism Of Three LDS Chapels In Chubbuck

On November 10th, 2013, Idaho Governor Butch Otter issued a statement condemning the vandalism of three chapels of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which was first reported to police around 6:45 A.M. on Thursday November 7th. The chapels were tagged with graffiti which included anti-LDS statements, vulgar language, numerous drawings of male and female genitalia, and a depiction of the devil.

Governor Otter's complete statement:

"Defiling or defacing houses of worship — of any faith or denomination — is an attack not just on religious beliefs or even our law, but also on our culture and our values. It disturbs the sanctuaries of our spiritual well-being. These are not merely the acts of misguided individuals. They speak to a more fundamental disregard for sacred places, social order and the freedoms that generations of Americans have sacrificed to protect."

Some screenshots of the vandalism from a KPVI Channel 6 news video are published below:

Chubbuck Police Chief Randy Severe believes the same suspect or suspects were involved in all three incidents, and said that the perps will likely face felony charges since damages are greater than $1000. Chief Severe says the vandalism could be considered a possible hate crime since a religious building was targeted, but added it's too early in the investigation to make that decision. No leads have been uncovered as of this post. President Dave Penrod, Stake President of the Pocatello North Stake, said they are working with a restoration company and plan to have the vandalism removed as soon as possible. Another LDS spokesman, Larry Fisher, said the graffiti was similar to that left on two LDS chapels in Pocatello in May 2012.

Since Governor Otter is Roman Catholic, he cannot be credibly accused of favoritism towards the LDS Church. Governor Otter would undoubtedly condemn acts of vandalism targeting any church in the state if it was obvious the church was being targeted because of its theology, as is the case here. Those who would like to thank Gov. Otter for taking such a firm stand against vandalism and anti-religious bigotry can visit this page and send him a message.

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