Barrow, Alaska, Man Faces Charges for Vandalizing Catholic Diocese Building


In this dramatic story, a man seeking to set fires at a Catholic diocese building physically confronted the priest who tried to stop him, before kicking a door open and fleeing.


Ray Miles Kious is charged with first-degree arson, first-degree burglary and fourth-degree criminal mischief for the incident, which was reported to Fairbanks police at 5:20 a.m.

Not for a hate crime?


Curious, isn’t it?


Reading the news article, I was left wondering why he picked the diocesan building for this rampage. Certainly I wondered if this was an anti-Catholic crime.

However, the reporting didn’t mention that he made any comments, or left anything written, which would indicate he was motivated by religious hatred. Without that kind of evidence, I think hate crime penalties would be difficult to apply.


It is not hard to see your point, but I am opposed to hate crime legislation in general. There are no “love crimes”. If you do the crime, you should do the time without having to go into motives. The whole idea of hate crimes makes some people more equal than others, which I think you would agree with. If someone who is found guilty remains unrepentant, that could be considered before the criminal is considered for parole.

I hope this person is repentant and agrees to pay for any damage he did, if convicted. Then I hope he will experience true forgiveness. It could be a real teaching moment rather than making this a special class of crime.


Burning a Black church (and I assume attempted arson) is automatically a hate crime and pretty much the same for a mosque or synagogue, no need to verbal declaration needed.
But I’ve seen several stories of Catholic churches vandalized; spray painted, statues knocked over and broken &c all dismissed as plain vandalism.

I’m actually against the whole concept of “hate” crimes but as long as it exists it should be applied fairly.


That isn’t true. Church arson can be committed for a variety of motives, including simple vandalism.

Here is one example, plucked at random from a Google search.

If the hate crime charge is to stick, there has to be some kind of evidence that the crime was motivated by hatred of a religion, race, sexual orientation, etc.

As for the fellow in Alaska, clearly he needs help. If religious hatred is in the mix, that should be addressed in his rehabilitation.


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