This week the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Aimenn D. Penny was sentenced to 216 months in prison and three additional years of supervised release for attempted arson of a church.
The 20-year-old man had pled guilty last October to hate crime charges under the Church Arson Prevention Act and to using explosives to commit a federal felony. According to the DOJ press release:
Angered by the church’s plan to host two drag events the following weekend, Penny threw two Molotov cocktails at the church, hoping to burn it to the ground. Through Penny’s guilty plea, he admitted to using force through fire and explosives, intending to obstruct CCC congregants in their enjoyment and expression of their religious beliefs.
The DOJ’s fervent prosecution of Penny, who will spend the next 18 years behind bars, prompts one to ask: is that same fervor applied to all cases of church vandalism?
Two-Tiered Justice System
>> CHECK OUT THE CATHOLICVOTE CHURCH VIOLENCE TRACKER <<
“The response from the Biden administration has been the equivalent of a shrug and a yawn,” commented CatholicVote Director of Government Affairs Tom McClusky.
So what has finally motivated the Biden administration to protect a house of worship? The latest exception to the rule is that the Community Church of Chesterland (CCC), in Chesterland, Ohio, hosted drag show events where grown men dress up as women and act out in a sexually aggressive way, often in front of children.
It is appropriate that the culprit is being charged. And what of the hundreds of various other crimes against churches in the past two years? Does the Biden FBI truly not care about churches burning, being vandalized, and getting shot at – simply because they are Catholic churches and the Biden administration opposes Catholic teaching on life and marriage?
In a quick review of the last three years of the Biden DOJ’s prosecution of hate crimes, one thing stands out: they’re quick on the draw when it comes to protecting certain classes of Americans. They’re not so quick in responding to the over-400 attacks on churches and pregnancy resource centers that they see as their political opponents at best, “deplorables” at worst.
Silencing Political Opponents
The Biden administration’s DOJ has not held back when it comes to prosecuting Americans with so-called “conservative” political views – whether guilty or innocent.
On September 23, 2022, pro-life activist Mark Houck was arrested by the FBI at his home for allegedly pushing an abortion clinic volunteer who had harassed his son. Houck’s arrest occurred despite the fact the charges had been dismissed by local authorities.
On September 29, 2022, the Eastern District of New York announced Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act charges against Fr. Fidelis Moscinski, a pro-life activist and Franciscan monk, for padlocking an entrance to an abortion facility and engaging in non-violent civil disobedience, for which local authorities previously sentenced him.
On October 5, 2022, Eva Edl, an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor, was charged under the FACE Act for engaging in civil disobedience at a Tennessee abortion center. Ten other pro-life activists were also arrested for participating.
More recently, the DOJ announced a guilty verdict against six more pro-life activists under the FACE Act for their actions at an abortion facility in Tennessee. The “Tennessee Six” face up to 11 years in prison and fines that could exceed $260,000 each.
What did these radical protestors do to bring down the full force of the Biden administration? Video footage of the protest shows a group peacefully praying and singing hymns.
McClusky added: “We can only conclude that the Biden administration thinks only the rights and beliefs of drag queens are worth protecting, not those of Catholics and pro-lifers.”