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rojo's avatar

What do you do with someone who breaks into a church to pray?

Asked by rojo (24159points) September 13th, 2013

A 19 year old broke into a church to pray. He did no damage, other than maybe to the door he pulled open, he did not run when the police were called he was just sitting quietly at the piano. article
What do you think? What would you do if it were your church or sanctuary?

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30 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Death Penalty.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Arresting the person is idiocy.

The pastor/clergyman should have engaged the person in conversation and offered his help. Any other reaction is just dumb.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Churches should be manned 24/7 and never locked in my opinion, but in that particular case, if he did no harm, I wouldn’t press charges.

What kind of person breaks into a church to pray, it’s a little odd.

Headhurts's avatar

I would make him to do jobs for the church, any jobs that they require, with no pay. In return he gets to pray whenever he needs to. He should also be made to pay a lump some to the church for any damage he caused.

rojo's avatar

@KNOWITALL seems to me the kid was calling out for help and went to the only place he thought he could get it. I don’t know how this will turn out but I hope someone will at least talk to him and try to help him. To my way of thinking he was reaching out.

talljasperman's avatar

I did this… but God left the door for open for me. I was found crying in the pew. The priest consoled me.

elbanditoroso's avatar

This reminds me of an old joke that they used to tell at my synagogue when I was a kid..

While almost all synagogues are open to all comers year-round, on the High Holy Days they are overflowing and you have to pay for tickets.

A Jew comes to the door without a ticket and explains to the usher that he doesn’t want to stay, he just wants to give a message to someone inside.

After a tense confrontation, the usher agrees to let the person in, but warns sternly: “Don’t let me catch you praying.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@talljasperman I’m so glad He did, what a lovely gift.

Coloma's avatar

Haha…oh jeez…what to do with them?
A thousand hail Marys and a portable confession booth.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I fail to understand why any church would ever be locked.

Is God only open for business at certain hours?

rojo's avatar

Sign of the times. @RealEyesRealizeRealLies they have a lot of expensive equipment such as Audio/video systems, computers, televisions, etc. Can’t blame them for the locking up. Perhaps what each needs is a small separate chapel or sanctuary that has nothing of value in it but is open to all at all times.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Nothing for God’s sake, I would try and help out the youth if I were the pastor. The person was obviously in desperate need, would God’s servants turn him away or punish him?????

WestRiverrat's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies My dad’s last church used to do this, until some kids did over $100,000 worth of vandalism to the church.

ucme's avatar

Up my way we have Durham Cathedral, on the main gates there sits what is known as the Sanctuary Knocker. So called because in centuries past any criminal/wrongdoer would bang on the door & once inside would be shielded from the law, albeit temporarily.
How times have changed.

Jeruba's avatar

I think he should be given the help he was asking for, or at least the help humanly available. A quiet place to pray in the presence of symbols and artifacts of faith doesn’t seem like a lot to ask. “Sanctuary.”

It’s the woman who needs some instruction.

Headhurts's avatar

@ucme Is your accent more Durham than Geordie?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

The woman who had him arrested should have her children taken away, her house burned to the ground, her livestock killed, her land salted, and she herself should be forever banished into the desert.

ucme's avatar

@Headhurts Aye it is, think Robson Green & you’re more or less there.

Berserker's avatar

Well, it’s still breaking and entering. If the doors are locked, then you’re not allowed in. It’s the freakin’ law. What if I bust in a bank just because I like the chairs and I wanna sit in em? I couldn’t do it. Technically, they had the right to get the person arrested. If you let them off, then people are going to think it’s alright to bust into churches to pray.
I know, I’m an asshole, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think this guy shouldn’t get the help he needs, if he’s willing to break into a church to pray. But the law is the law, and unless you’re defending yourself or stealing food for your starving kids, I don’t really see why there should be exceptions.

Blondesjon's avatar

Give them a pancake and a smoke.

or perhaps a crepe and a pipe?

ucme's avatar

A flapjack und a shigarette?

filmfann's avatar

@KNOWITALL‘s comments are mine as well. Churches should be open 24/7. Are they afraid sinners will go inside?
I understand the reasoning for the arrest, since it is important to respect and protect the church, but since he wasn’t doing anything destructive, he should have been counseled and sent home.

Jeruba's avatar

It’s not just that the woman called the police. She dialed 911 for an emergency. It was an emergency that a young man came in without authorization and was sitting quietly at the piano saying he wanted to pray.

WestRiverrat's avatar

There are a lot of small churches that cannot afford to have someone at the church 24/7. My dad was a pastor for over 50 years. He was always available 24/7 and our home was always within a block of the Church, usually next door.

DaphneT's avatar

Give him the key.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

That is kind of like stealing a bible. Counter-productive.

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