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Arsonist Destroys Ohio Church

Jim Burroway

August 21st, 2012

A fire destroyed a historic 158-year-old church in scenic Hocking County, Ohio at 3:00 a.m. Friday morning. Nineteen firefighters responded to the scene, but the church was almost completely destroyed. All that remains are the front steps and a wall. After ruling out all accidental causes, state fire investigators ruled the fire an act of arson. A $5,000 reward has been posted for anyone with information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

Last Wednesday, Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council issued a report documenting what they call “more than 600 alarming attacks on religious faith. This arson fire happened too late to make it into the report, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it to appear in a future update:

The Rev. Scott Davis bought the church in 2010 and opened it to the community for services in 2011. Davis said he suspects arson because he has received many death threats in the past. “It’s because this is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender church, and people around here don’t agree with it.” Davis said he welcomes all people to the church, regardless of faith, sexual orientation or race. There are approximately 30 locals who attend on a regular basis.

Davis said the residents of the small, quaint town are very upset with the orientation of the church, but doesn’t understand why someone would destroy the last historic building other than for revenge.

No, you won’t see this an any reports listing attacks on religious faith put out by FRC or Liberty Institute. Nor will you see a coalition of 41 anti-gay organizations rally to issue a statement condemning the attack. The only sound you will hear will be FRC loudly complaining that it’s the SPLC who is responsible for all the problems.

Comments

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Regan DuCasse
August 21st, 2012 | LINK

Over at Pam Spaulding’s blog, she’s reporting that Tony Perkins complained on Fox to Bill O’Reilly, that the media ignored the shooting at FRC.

I mean, she’s right. That’s a jaw dropping whopper.
Pam has pictures of the mob of media that showed up for a press conference that Perkins called.

First of all, the FRC shooting wasn’t nearly as tragic as other recent shootings.
Not even close.
Second, the perpetrator is in custody and will duly be held accountable.

End of story.
Literally, there isn’t much left to say about what happened.
Or what should happen next.
Matt Barber, at TownHall is similarly milking this for all it’s worth too.

I think it’s so offensive, that they are using this as if their hands are clean and pure of ever engaging in defamation or lies that puts gay people at risk.
They didn’t even comment on or say anything about the impact of the shooting on the Sikh community, to the extent they are painting themselves as victims of everyone.

I went to a vigil at a local gurdwara, and got some information regarding hate crimes against Sikhs, especially in the last 15 years.
It’s the shame of this nation, what hate crimes are and the USUAL targets.
And Perkins, et al, are so impossibly selfish as to think this issue at FRC is worse than what other people have been dealt.
That he lies about the coverage of the FRC shooting is beyond disgusting.

Jesse
August 21st, 2012 | LINK

The comments left on the news stories your page linked to were disgusting, to say the least.

tristram
August 21st, 2012 | LINK

This is one of those stories that trips my ‘caution’ switch. I know it’s often not possible, but it would be great to have more facts and background before the news goes viral.

Neil
August 21st, 2012 | LINK

Tony Perkins believes the SPLC share the blame for the shooting outside FRC offices because of they’re on SPLC’s list of hate organisations.

Given FRC’s rhetoric against LGBT people, presumably Tony feels we can take away the conclusion that FRC is complicit in this arson attack. He’s already spelled out the logic of his reasoning so he doesn’t need to make any explicit statement.

Perkin’s logic leads us to understand that FRC is dedicated to promoting violence against LGBT people all the time. Tony takes credit for every assault.

MLouise
August 21st, 2012 | LINK

Tristram, It’s now being reported on an NPR station via Associated Press. That’s about as reputable a source as you are going to get. http://woub.org/2012/08/20/hocking-co-church-fire-ruled-arson

james
August 22nd, 2012 | LINK

I am sad for the apparently lovely people who lost their place of worship.

However, I’m actually with Tristam on this one. After visiting the church’s website, my “caution” switch is tripped, too. Don’t want to share my reasons. Call it intuition.

NPR and AP are reporting the church burned and it was arson, and repeating the pastor’s speculation. Did they send a team to this community to investigate, to interview residents to find out if they really were “upset” about the church’s orientation? I doubt it. Until the arsonist is identified, how do we know the pastor’s speculation is the truth about motive?

David
August 23rd, 2012 | LINK

Ok I see on here how there are people saying they don’t be leave it well I live in South Bloomingville. Yes the people of this area would do something like that, this area is a very anti-gay area. The welcome sign for G.L.B.T. has been torn down many times, I have seen people spiting on the church, and even throwing rocks at it. If you do not want to trust the story then trust someone that lives here. Oh and to answer the Questions yes an investigation was made.

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