Letters were sent to the Salt Lake City headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where powder spilled on a mail clerk's hand, and also to a temple in Los Angeles. Priliminary tests have found the white powdery substance found in both packages tested nontoxic, the FBI said Friday.
"The FBI on Friday also said it has labeled its probe into the incidents as a domestic terrorism investigation.
"Obviously it instills fear in the public eye and causes people not to feel safe," Becerra said. "It is illegal to mail something out and to threaten the use of a biological weapon or even pretend it's a biological weapon."
The LDS temples in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles received envelopes on Thursday containing a powdery substance. So did the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization based in New Haven, Conn. Both organizations were heavy backers of Proposition 8, the measure in California that narrowly passed Nov. 4, banning same-sex marriage.
LDS temples in California, Salt Lake City and New York have been the subject of mass demonstrations over the faith's heavy involvement in the campaign to pass Proposition 8. More demonstrations are planned this weekend over marriage and gay rights — including three in Salt Lake City." from: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705263061,00.html?pg=2
"The FBI is still investigating both cases, spokesman Juan T. Becerra said, noting that it's a crime to release a substance to threaten harm and stoke public fear.
"Even if you send a hoax threat, you're still in violation of federal law," Becerra said.
Separately, the coalition of religious groups behind the successful measure held a news conference to denounce protests carried out since Election Day.
The backlash has included calls for a boycott of Utah ski resorts and California businesses whose owners donated to the cause.
"Our opponents do not like the outcome and that is to be respected. They fought hard and they feel defeated and that is understandable," said Frank Schubert, co-manager of the Yes on 8 campaign. "What they do not have the right to do, however, is to harass and intimidate people. And they do not have the right to commit acts of domestic terrorism against our supporters"." - from: http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=321402
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' First Presidency issued a statement Friday urging respect and civility in public discourse:
"Since the people of California voted to reaffirm the sanctity of traditional marriage between a man and a woman on November 4, 2008, places of worship have been targeted by opponents of Proposition 8 with demonstrations and, in some cases, vandalism. People of faith have been intimidated for simply exercising their democratic rights. These are not actions that are worthy of the democratic ideals of our nation. The end of a free and fair election should not be the beginning of a hostile response in America.
The Church is keenly aware of the differences of opinion on this difficult and sensitive matter. The reasons for this principled stand in defense of marriage have already been articulated elsewhere. However, some of what we have seen since Californians voted to pass Proposition 8 has been deeply disappointing.
Attacks on churches and intimidation of people of faith have no place in civil discourse over controversial issues. People of faith have a democratic right to express their views in the public square without fear of reprisal. Efforts to force citizens out of public discussion should be deplored by people of goodwill everywhere.
We call upon those who have honest disagreements on this issue to urge restraint upon the extreme actions of a few that are further polarizing our communities and urge them to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other." - from: http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/first-presidency-urges-respect-civility-in-public-discourse
A Letter to the Editor
5 years ago