A church in the Bronx that had been burned down by arsonists last year, Glory of Christ Church, has been rebuilt and held its first worship services in the new building yesterday, according to several news stories yesterday and today.
In news stories back in December about the arson itself, there was quite a bit of unfounded hullabaloo about the arsonist being a “Satanist.” In today’s news stories — or at least the online versions — the word “Satanist” does not appear, but one story does describe the culprit as “a Satan-loving arsonist.” Even “Satan-loving” is unfounded.
Links to several of the December news stories can be found in my post On violent crime and vandalism involving “language or symbols related to Satanism”, February 24, 2010. As I pointed out back then:
… The perpetrators didn’t even know enough about Satanism (or “Devil worship”) to know that a Satanic pentagram is point-down, whereas the point-up pentagram is most commonly a symbol of Wicca these days. See the point-up pentagram in the photo accompanying the New York Daily News story Rebuilding of Glory of Christ Church set to begin; ’666′, ‘Hail of Satan’ spray-painted on walls (by Ben Chapman, Jonathan Lemire and Joe Kemp, Friday, December 11, 2009).
As I also noted back then, the graffiti in this case included not only “Satanic” symbols but also “Crip Kill,” suggesting that the perpetrator belonged to a “Bloods” gang.
Alas, the arsonist has not been caught yet, so we don’t yet know the motive.
However, studies have shown that vandalism involving “Satanic” graffiti almost never has a serious religious motive of any kind, but is nearly always committed by kids out to shock the grownups.
And I should point out, again, that there are plenty of Satanists who do not endorse violent crime or vandalism, and who would hope that the perpetrator is caught and punished soon.
Here are today’s news stories:
- Bronx church reopens after arson by Carolina Leid, ABC Local (Channel 7), Sunday, July 11, 2010. This story describes the arsonist as “Satan-loving.”
- Bronx Church Has Happy Homecoming After Vandalism, WCBS-TV, July 12, 2010. Accompanied by photo showing some of the actual graffiti again, including the point-up pentagram and “Crip Kill.”
- Bronx Churched Damaged In Fire Reopens by: Erica Ferrari, NY 1, Monday, July 12, 2010
- Rising from ashes: Arson Church Open by Reuven Fenton, New York Post, July 12, 2010
I am the founder of the following two groups, which, as far as I am aware, are the only two Satanism-related groups in New York that hold meetings open to the public:
See the Church of Azazel Statement against violent crime and vandalism.