Absence of respect

From time to time punks leave their mark around town. Arguably, dogs do too, but we expect humans to know better.

During our time as chairman of the Wellington County Police Services Board the subject of graffiti came up at a meeting and evidently in particular cases it has ties to gang activity. The style of writing and colouring is referred to as a “tag” as in “that’s my tag man.” After hearing about it, any time graffiti showed up on walls downtown, we would look at such things differently.

Ugliness on the side of walls is not something new although it has become more prevalent. Downtown stores have seen their beautiful stone walls ruined by paint before. But this past weekend’s desecration of walls and doors at St. Andrew’s Church in Fergus is beyond the pale. It appears to be a very poorly conceived idea, rather than gang activity.

References to Satan, symbols denoting evil and hateful expressions that are hurtful to members of a congregation were painted on walls and doors. Perhaps the only truth scribed in paint that night was “Jesus loves me” on one side door, albeit it was unnecessary to have slathered it on with a spray bomb.

For anyone that has had to deal with removing paint from porous surfaces, the job is difficult and in severe cases the toxic chemicals used to erase the message, can leave shadows. Sweat and toil will be required and, regrettably, the perpetrators will likely not have a hand in the cleaning since this work needs to be done now.

More important to this community is that once again the real world has come crashing down on a relatively quiet town. Thefts in area churches appear to be more commonplace today, but the purposeful imposition of improprieties on a house of worship is too much. The next time a synagogue or mosque is defaced, we will all likely listen a little more intently to how hurt the congregation feels having had their place of worship violated.

Respect is obviously absent on the part of the perpetrator(s), yet fully present, more than he, she, or they may know, is this community’s great dismay that joy could be derived by anyone committing such a pathetic crime.