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bsjkki

Uptick in LDS arson fires?

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Posted (edited)

There has been a string of arson fires at LDS Chapels in Utah. I found news articles about two in St. George, one in Farmington, Ogden, Orem and the latest in Cottonwood Heights. Is this unusual or is there an uptick in arson fires at chapels. 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.deseretnews.com/article/900079592/utah-latter-day-saint-church-fire-cottonwood-heights.amp?espv=1

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.foxnews.com/us/utah-woman-sets-fire-to-2-mormon-churches-writes-satan-lives.amp?espv=1

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.daily-times.com/amp/1734497001?espv=1

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.deseretnews.com/article/900054779/st-george-utah-mormon-church-fires-investigation.amp?espv=1

Anyone have better statistics on LDS arson fires in general?

Also, one chapel in Fort Collins and 2 in New Zealand. 

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/new-zealand-black-metal-drummer-charged-with-setting-two-mormon-churches-ablaze/

Edited by bsjkki

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A while back (I think 7-10 years ago) I kept a running tally of news items about our church buildings being burned or vandalized.  It was rather startling to see how often it happens.

This story was just posted about 15 minutes ago:

Quote

Police investigating racist graffiti at Herriman schools
By Gretel Kauffman, KSL | Posted - Jul 26th, 2019 @ 7:25am

HERRIMAN — Several school buildings in Herriman, including two seminaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, were vandalized with racist graffiti sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, police said.

The graffiti at Herriman High School and Copper Mountain Middle School was discovered Thursday morning, according to a lieutenant with the Herriman Police Department. The lieutenant described the graffiti as racist and "extremely vulgar."

The vandals drew with black spray paint on multiple sites around the campuses, including the tennis court and softball facilities at Herriman High School, portable buildings behind the high school, a seminary building adjacent to the high school, and another church that serves as a seminary building for the middle school.

The graffiti included racial slurs, swastikas, and a pentagram symbol, the lieutenant said. The pentagram was drawn on one of the seminary buildings.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Posted (edited)

It is such tragic thing, that anyone could be so filled with hate, or be so disaffected with our Church, it would lead to such actions. I grew up in the South, in a time where the burnings and bombings of other places of worship took place. It took so long to bring the person (J.B. Stoner) to justice who bombed and killed the four little girls of a Black Church in Birmingham Al, allowing him to continue spreading his hate everywhere he could. When I was about 12, he was protesting at a store in Cartersville, GA (Kay’s Kastle, Ice Cream Shop), because they were going to begin serving both Black and White patrons. I asked my brother to take me to town, I told him I wanted to go to another store, but I went to confront him in public. My brother was dragging me down the sidewalk as I yelled, “murderer” over and over! Of course authorities tried to get a conviction, but each time it became a mistrial. But at long last, they finally convicted him. A local Jewish Synagogue down the street from where I lived, on Preachtree St, in Atlanta, was also bombed, another bombing he linked to as well. 

No matter the reason, and no matter the disagreement, I fear for anyone who may have to stand before God, and be judged for having burned down, or bombed “ANY” Church. Having lived through and in many communities where such things have taken place, it is a topic that makes my blood boil. I pray that any who do this can repent, but I am unsure if any true restoration, or restitution can ever be made, allowing true repentance to occur. But, I will leave that matter to a loving God, knowing I probably don’t have the charity to do so. Each time I think that I have put such feelings to sleep, each new story, awakens my ager of long ago memories. Currently I live just 18 miles from the location of the first LDS Chapel in Georgia, maybe even the South. It was taken down just a few years ago when a new building was built, but it had many bullet holes in it, from those of other Faiths. About 50 miles North of where I live, stands the “Joseph Standing Monument”, in as a reminder of “Elder Standing”, who was shot and killed by the Klan. His companion lived, and later became, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, I forget his name, “Clawson” I believe.    

Edited by Bill “Papa” Lee

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8 hours ago, smac97 said:

The pentagram was drawn on one of the seminary buildings.

I am sure they just wanted it to look like the Nauvoo temple....  ;)

 

Nauvoo Pentagrams

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1 hour ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

It is such tragic thing, that anyone could be so filled with hate, or be so disaffected with our Church, it would lead to such actions. I grew up in the South, in a time where the burnings and bombings of other places of worship took place. It took so long to bring the person (J.B. Stoner) who bombed and killed the four little girls of a Black Church in Birmingham Al, allowing him to continue spreading his hate everywhere he could.

And hate from that event keeps on rolling- my former professor Angela Davis spoke of it often.  It formed who she is today.

Quote

 

Davis was born in Birmingham and sprang from the city’s Dynamite Hill neighborhood, so named for the regular occurrences of racist white vigilantes bombing houses in the desegregating community to terrorize African Americans moving in there. Her childhood friends Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, were two of the four girls killed in the 1963 bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham....

That church today is one of the anchor institutions of the city’s heralded civil rights district, which itself is an integral part of the city’s revitalization plans. In 2016, PR firms were sending out materials promoting the civil rights district, emphasizing that “the city that was once home to the center of turmoil during the Civil Rights Movement is now becoming a global model for human rights, crime prevention and inclusivity.”...

 

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is also a key component of that district, and Davis once spoke glowingly about the research center that would later shun her.

“What I fear is that many of the 50th anniversary observances … are just to close the book on the racist violence of the civil rights era so that we can embalm that violence and transform it into something to be gazed at through the conventional lens of the museum,” said Davis on the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. “Maybe there’s something to be learned from the way that the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute frames that bombing, as opposed to regular museum exhibit. And if any of you have ever visited the Civil Rights Institute, you know that it is an absolutely incredible museum with amazing exhibits.”

 

 

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I find it interesting that setting fire to an LDS chapel is usually waved off by Utah law enforcement and the media as just random vandalism while such action against, say, a synagogue, would be investigated as a hate crime.

Comments in the SL Tribune seem to support the idea that the Mormons deserve it for repression of its members. 

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2 hours ago, jbarm said:

Comments in the SL Tribune seem to support the idea that the Mormons deserve it for repression of its members. 

First rule of the internet. Never read the comments at news sites.

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Posted (edited)

This reddit thread is discussing this. Their analysis seems to suggest this is definitely outside the norm. (This is just from a post on reddit but I have not found statistics officially about fires/vandalism.) 

"This is unfortunate, but this information doesn’t mean a whole lot on its own. We need to compare it to previous years. With all of the LDS churches around the world, statistically, at least a handful, if not more, will be “targets of arson” a year.

Apparently not common. I found

2005 in Idaho

2010 in Washington state

2012 in Arizona

2016 in Vancouver

I also found an interesting report from 1999 after a wave of church bombings at that time gave about 1 arson attack on churches every 2 days in the US. At about 336,000 churches in the US at that time, and assuming 5,000 LDS meetinghouses, then the figure should work out to ~2 LDS arson attacks per year in the US.

Even more interesting is the chart from this article. 2014 had 42 total arson/bombing incidents against churches. So far this year, we're at a total of 5 actual arson fires in the US against LDS meetinghouses."

I also found this link which is very interesting. https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900050212/the-fbi-has-been-tracking-crimes-against-latter-day-saints-for-3-years-heres-why.html

"The FBI documented 15 "anti-Mormon" hate crimes, or crimes specifically targeting Latter-day Saints, in 2017. That's roughly twice the seven "anti-Mormon" hate crimes recorded in 2016 or the eight in 2015, when the bureau first started tracking bias-motivated offenses against religious minorities including Jehovah's Witnesses, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus and Orthodox Christians."

Edited by bsjkki

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jbarm said:

I find it interesting that setting fire to an LDS chapel is usually waved off by Utah law enforcement and the media as just random vandalism while such action against, say, a synagogue, would be investigated as a hate crime.

Easy to find a chapel just walking down the street while a synagogue is something you would likely have to look for. 

Chapels are easy to avoid getting caught as in low traffic residential areas mostly, but are emotionally high value targets for vandalism.  I can imagine kids or really immature adults with somewhat twisted mentality thinking it was fun to light something up and see how upset people get without feeling any real hate. 

Edited by Calm

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Calm said:

Easy to find a chapel just walking down the street while a synagogue is something you would likely have to look for. 

Chapels are easy to avoid getting caught as in low traffic residential areas mostly, but are emotionally high value targets for vandalism.  I can imagine kids or really immature adults with somewhat twisted mentality thinking it was fun to light something up and see how upset people get without feeling any real hate. 

Given how cheap internet based cameras are these days I'm surprised the Church doesn't just centralize security cams in all churches. At least in the US and Canada where internet is standard in chapels. It'd probably pay for itself rather quickly and would have other benefits as well in terms of safety. Not just for others but also for claims about say leadership actions in Churches. It'd be considerably cheaper than say changing all the doors to have clear glass so people in hallways can see into classrooms. That must have cost thousands of dollars per church. Security cameras probably could be bought in volume for less than $1000 total per Church.

22 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I am sure they just wanted it to look like the Nauvoo temple....  ;)

LOL. Everyone seeing that five sided star as something occult is one of the more annoying features of America - particularly in the 70's and 80's which was when I think heavy metal latched onto the occult symbols as a form of rebellion. Which led Evangelicals and other conservative Christian groups to freak out and see satantists behind every tree. It was a particularly silly time which would have been funny had so many lives not been destroyed once psychologists discovered "recorvery memories."

Edited by clarkgoble
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9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Given how cheap internet based cameras are these days I'm surprised the Church doesn't just centralize security cams in all churches. At least in the US and Canada where internet is standard in chapels. It'd probably pay for itself rather quickly and would have other benefits as well in terms of safety. Not just for others but also for claims about say leadership actions in Churches. It'd be considerably cheaper than say changing all the doors to have clear glass so people in hallways can see into classrooms. That must have cost thousands of dollars per church. Security cameras probably could be bought in volume for less than $1000 total per Church.

LOL. Everyone seeing that five sided star as something occult is one of the more annoying features of America - particularly in the 70's and 80's which was when I think heavy metal latched onto the occult symbols as a form of rebellion. Which led Evangelicals and other conservative Christian groups to freak out and see satantists behind every tree. It was a particularly silly time which would have been funny had so many lives not been destroyed once psychologists discovered "recorvery memories."

Yep, ever senior leadership in the Seventy thought there was a "coven" in every stake.

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Another one. 

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900083865/layton-utah-lds-latter-day-saints-mormon-church-fire-curtains-missionaries.html

Investigators believe the fire was intentionally set, as there were no other possible explanations for how it started, Cook said. A burned piece of paper was also found near the curtains, he said, and notices posted on a bulletin board in the building had been pulled off and strewn across the floor.

Cook said the church does not have security footage of the incident.

"Unfortunately, these things are not … uncommon," he said, noting that the Layton Fire Department has dealt with a handful of similar cases in recent years. "It is one of those things that pops up every little while."

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On 7/28/2019 at 1:15 AM, jpv said:

Yep, ever senior leadership in the Seventy thought there was a "coven" in every stake.

Glad we discredited that rumor before we were exposed.

Ia Cthulhu!

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I wonder if this is copycat fires. It is really sad that someone would target houses of worship.

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Another fire.  This one in Layton:

https://kutv.com/news/local/missionaries-put-out-fire-at-latter-day-saint-meetinghouse

More details from KSL: https://www.ksl.com/article/46616508/latter-day-saint-missionaries-extinguish-small-church-fire

It appears to have been arson:

Quote

The group of missionaries was playing football at about 3 p.m. across the street from the Latter-day Saint church building, 1715 W. 1600 North, when a few of them had to use the restroom, according to Layton Fire Battalion Chief Jason Cook.

The missionaries had permission to use the church, and when they entered they saw smoke, Cook said.

They soon discovered it was originating from the gym, where they saw two curtains on the stage in flames. They used a fire extinguisher from the building to put the small fire out, Cook said.

After the fire was extinguished, the missionaries went outside. That’s when some of them saw a vehicle fleeing from the parking lot, according to Cook.

A few from the group tried to chase after the vehicle to get a license plate number or a description but were unable to. Cook said authorities are investigating the incident and believe the blaze was intentionally set by someone.

Once authorities arrived on the scene, they found a bulletin board in the church that had all its papers knocked off, Cook said.

As for how the fire was started, Cook said investigators are looking into that. He noted that papers were found near the curtains, so the working theory is whoever started the fire lit the papers on fire then used them to light the curtains.

Thanks,

-Smac

EDIT TO ADD: Go, missionaries! 

2nd EDIT TO ADD: We need to do better with physical security of our buildings.

Edited by smac97
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On 7/26/2019 at 2:59 PM, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

It is such tragic thing, that anyone could be so filled with hate, or be so disaffected with our Church, it would lead to such actions. I grew up in the South, in a time where the burnings and bombings of other places of worship took place. It took so long to bring the person (J.B. Stoner) to justice who bombed and killed the four little girls of a Black Church in Birmingham Al, allowing him to continue spreading his hate everywhere he could. When I was about 12, he was protesting at a store in Cartersville, GA (Kay’s Kastle, Ice Cream Shop), because they were going to begin serving both Black and White patrons. I asked my brother to take me to town, I told him I wanted to go to another store, but I went to confront him in public. My brother was dragging me down the sidewalk as I yelled, “murderer” over and over! Of course authorities tried to get a conviction, but each time it became a mistrial. But at long last, they finally convicted him. A local Jewish Synagogue down the street from where I lived, on Preachtree St, in Atlanta, was also bombed, another bombing he linked to as well. 

No matter the reason, and no matter the disagreement, I fear for anyone who may have to stand before God, and be judged for having burned down, or bombed “ANY” Church. Having lived through and in many communities where such things have taken place, it is a topic that makes my blood boil. I pray that any who do this can repent, but I am unsure if any true restoration, or restitution can ever be made, allowing true repentance to occur. But, I will leave that matter to a loving God, knowing I probably don’t have the charity to do so. Each time I think that I have put such feelings to sleep, each new story, awakens my ager of long ago memories. Currently I live just 18 miles from the location of the first LDS Chapel in Georgia, maybe even the South. It was taken down just a few years ago when a new building was built, but it had many bullet holes in it, from those of other Faiths. About 50 miles North of where I live, stands the “Joseph Standing Monument”, in as a reminder of “Elder Standing”, who was shot and killed by the Klan. His companion lived, and later became, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, I forget his name, “Clawson” I believe.    

Good ole boys are still at it i see.  For all the grief i give you guys this is why you're one of my favorite Christian themed groups in the country, compared to other groups you've acted far kinder than most.  I can go through Utah, Idaho and parts of Colorado and see the good your people have done when building communities. 

I had no idea you guys stood up to the klan, bravo.  Back in the day many Baptist and Methodist preachers had their clan robes next to their Sunday best, bothers me how they rip on you guys yet conveniently forget things like that.  Learned recently a good chunk of my fathers side didn't like me too much since moms not caucasian, even worse is seeing that kind of bigotry make a come back.  At least mormons welcome diversity with open arms.

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On 7/27/2019 at 2:23 PM, clarkgoble said:

Given how cheap internet based cameras are these days I'm surprised the Church doesn't just centralize security cams in all churches. At least in the US and Canada where internet is standard in chapels. It'd probably pay for itself rather quickly and would have other benefits as well in terms of safety. Not just for others but also for claims about say leadership actions in Churches. It'd be considerably cheaper than say changing all the doors to have clear glass so people in hallways can see into classrooms. That must have cost thousands of dollars per church. Security cameras probably could be bought in volume for less than $1000 total per Church.

LOL. Everyone seeing that five sided star as something occult is one of the more annoying features of America - particularly in the 70's and 80's which was when I think heavy metal latched onto the occult symbols as a form of rebellion. Which led Evangelicals and other conservative Christian groups to freak out and see satantists behind every tree. It was a particularly silly time which would have been funny had so many lives not been destroyed once psychologists discovered "recorvery memories."

I always thought the star thing in the earlier temples were influenced from the masonic ties Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had.  The order of eastern stars symbol is an inverted pentacle/pentagram.  Never understood why people hate the symbol, besides the west China has used it for a long time.  Good old ignorance. 

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23 minutes ago, poptart said:

I always thought the star thing in the earlier temples were influenced from the masonic ties Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had. 

Apparently not.  See this comment by Matthew Brown:

Quote

Some anti-Mormons claim that Joseph Smith 'stole' the inverted star design from the Freemasons.  But the Order of the Eastern Star, which utilizes the inverted five-pointed star as its emblem, was not even conceived by Robert Morris until 1850 -- long after Joseph Smith's death.

And here:

Quote

Dr. Robert Morris, the poet laureate of Freemasonry founded the Order of the Eastern Star in 1850. Morris a well known and respected Masonic author who traveled far and wide felt that it was a shame that all the good in Masonry was confined to men alone. He knew that the ancient landmarks of the order did not permit women from joining the fraternity and thus harbored his ideas for many years without action. It was in 1850, while confined to his home following an accident that Morris wrote the initiatory Degrees of the order. He first initiated his wife and daughters and expanded to some neighbor ladies. The signs and modes of recognition given to them, he freely communicated to Masons so that they would be able to recognize the newly initiated women.

See also here:

Quote

Along with the Nauvoo Temple, the symbol is also used on the Salt Lake Temple and Logan Temple as well as other temples. The use of the symbol is all over many Catholic Cathederals throughout Europe as well as artwork dating back centuries to the earliest times of Christianity on historical record.

However, the association of the symbol with the occult didn’t even begin unil the mid-nineteenth century. Unfortunately, the most recent association seems to be the strongest, nevermind the fact that it hasn’t even been 200 years yet.

Interesting stuff.

23 minutes ago, poptart said:

The order of eastern stars symbol is an inverted pentacle/pentagram.  Never understood why people hate the symbol, besides the west China has used it for a long time.  Good old ignorance. 

Yep.

Thanks,

-Smac

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35 minutes ago, poptart said:

I always thought the star thing in the earlier temples were influenced from the masonic ties Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had.  The order of eastern stars symbol is an inverted pentacle/pentagram.  Never understood why people hate the symbol, besides the west China has used it for a long time.  Good old ignorance. 

And the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

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6 hours ago, smac97 said:

Another fire.  This one in Layton:

https://kutv.com/news/local/missionaries-put-out-fire-at-latter-day-saint-meetinghouse

More details from KSL: https://www.ksl.com/article/46616508/latter-day-saint-missionaries-extinguish-small-church-fire

It appears to have been arson:

Thanks,

-Smac

EDIT TO ADD: Go, missionaries! 

2nd EDIT TO ADD: We need to do better with physical security of our buildings.

Day time arson seems pretty bold. I have to wonder though if all the traffic cameras are utilized to locate person of interest.

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3 minutes ago, provoman said:

Day time arson seems pretty bold.

Actually, I thought daytime arson makes more sense (from a criminal perspective).  During the day, an aspiring arsonist can drive in, check the doors, and walk through an unlocked one.  If he is caught inside before he gets a chance, he can just say that he was there to get a drink, or go to the bathroom, or meet a friend, or some such plausible excuse.  A night-time arsonist caught inside a church building would likely be arrested immediately, searched, and the implements of arson would be found on him (cig lighter, for example).

All the more reason for the Church members (and the Church itself) to be more proactive and vigilant in protecting our buildings.

3 minutes ago, provoman said:

I have to wonder though if all the traffic cameras are utilized to locate person of interest.

I hope so.

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27 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Apparently not.  See this comment by Matthew Brown:

And here:

See also here:

Interesting stuff.

Yep.

Thanks,

-Smac

Huh, that's interesting.  I mostly know about masonry, pretty much nothing about Eastern Star except they do the cooking and a lot of the work that makes things possible.  Funny how people always ignore domestic labor, women work their backsides off to make things happen and I sometimes think few men appreciate it.

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27 minutes ago, provoman said:

And the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

What?

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