I have received two e-mails in regards to the article I reposted about vandalism at an Armenian Church in California. A painting of what appeared to be Turkey’s flag was deemed as a ‘hate crime’ by the local police. And while a Turkish-American who had nothing to do with the vandalism says he regrets the crime, the Armenian priest of the church says there was no vandalism and, thus, no need to apologize for it.

The first e-mail to me – the subject of which read, “i regret that your church was vandalized………..from a Turkish-American” – stated:


I regret what happened and I hope the culprit in the church vandalism is found soon.


Another e-mail, from a member of the church that was vandalised, informed me of a blog post by the church’s priest who sees no hate in the church vandalism. Fr. Vazken writes:

They did it to us again. After going through what we did after Christmas, the Glendale Newspress, showing its best side as a little town paper that’s trying to make it big, came out with a “Hate Crime” story: http://www.glendalenewspress.com/articles/2008/02/20/publicsafety/gnp-vandalism20.txt

It started Sunday – we noticed a child’s drawing on the wall. It was a moon and a star. I received a call later in the afternoon from an officer at the Glendale Police Department. The graffiti-art had been reported as a hate crime to the department.

Monday morning, a reporter from the Glendale Newspress came by the church looking for the evidence. Horizon (Armenian TV) sent a camera man. The Diocese (one of the priests) called and asked “What happened? Did someone paint a Swastika on your church?”  By midday, a non-story was taking form and shape.

And so… this morning, it didn’t surprise me when the Daily News headlined, “Vandal spray-paints Turkish flag on Armenian church wall”


Wow! A moon and a star had now been transformed into a Turkish hate crime against the Armenians!  What is it about hatred and evil that makes good copy? I guess it sells newspapers. 


Although it is amazingly kind of an Armenian priest not to see hate in the drawing, it is interesting that he refuses to call it a vandalism either.

Showing off? Perhaps, not. I have personally met Fr. Vazken and he is a very good person. This is the guy who organizes “Blood for Blood” event in April asking Armenians to donate blood in commemorating the Armenian genocide by the Turks.