Monday, March 08, 2010

From Churchgoer to Church Burner

My hometown of Van, Texas, makes The New York Times ... and not for something particularly noteworthy:
Jason R. Bourque grew up in a house full of crosses.

In a hallway leading to the 19-year-old’s bedroom, there is a picture of him graduating with honors from Van High School, where he was a state champion in debate, along with his framed Eagle Scout badge. He built a picnic area for a local church as his final scouting project. That good deed came after he had gone on several summer missions for his church to build housing for the poor.

But law enforcement officials say something went awry over the last year in Mr. Bourque’s sense of good and evil. He and a childhood friend, Daniel G. McAllister, 21, now stand accused of breaking into 10 churches since Jan. 1, piling hymnals and furniture up around the pulpits and pianos and then setting the churches ablaze, according to search warrants and arrest affidavits.

“This was not his character — he was raised Christian,” his mother, Kimberly Bourque, said.

On the streets of the small towns around Tyler, where the two young men grew up and lived, people are trying to fathom how boys who had been raised in religious families and, until recently, were regular churchgoers could end up accused of such a crime...

My Comments:
Of course, the Times blames it all on the young man's "strict Christian upbringing" against which he was rebelling. I'd be interested in knowing how the Times defines "strict". I doubt the young man was brought up any differently than I was.

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