BEAN BLOSSOM, Ind. — An Indiana Episcopal organist who identifies as a homosexual has been charged with criminal mischief after he initially claimed to have found a hate slur and a swastika spray-painted on St. David’s Episcopal Church, but has now admitted to staging the graffiti himself.
George Stang, 26, of Bloomington has outlined in a written statement that he painted “Heil Trump” and “f*g church” on the building last November to “mobilize a movement after being disappointed in and fearful of the outcome of the national election.”
“I suppose I wanted to give local people a reason to fight for good, even if it was a false flag,” he wrote. “To be clear, my actions were not motivated by hate for the church or its congregation. I of course realize now, this was not the way to go about inspiring activism.”
Stang’s leadership is embracing of open homosexuals. Kelsey Hutto, the head of St. David’s, called police after being told by Stang that someone had vandalized the building.
Police have been investigating the matter for the past six months, and determined that the graffiti was an inside job. Officials obtained a warrant to review Stang’s cell phone records, which they discovered would have put him in the vicinity of crime at the time it occurred.
Stang was consequently questioned about the matter in February, but he denied being at St. David’s the night of Nov. 12. He was interviewed again by police in late April, and finally admitted to staging the vandalism.
The Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis condemned Stang’s behavior.
“This was a hurtful, dishonest and profoundly misguided action that stands against the values of the people of this diocese and the Episcopal Church, and we will continue to cooperate with the authorities who are pursuing this case,” Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, the organization’s “bishop,” said in a statement.
However, she opined that “sexual, religious and racial minorities have well-founded reasons to be fearful” as Stang said.
If convicted, Stang faces up to one year in jail and a fine of $5,000.
As previously reported, last year, Jordan Brown of the Church of Open Doors in Texas, also a homosexual, filed a lawsuit against the health-oriented grocery chain Whole Foods, claiming that an employee wrote a slur on his “Love Wins” cake order. He sought emotional damages from the company for committing what he tearfully declared during a press conference as being an act of hate.
However, when Whole Foods investigated and discovered that Brown’s story didn’t add up, they counter-sued. Brown subsequently admitted to lying, acknowledging that he staged the accusation by writing the slur on the cake himself. He also dropped his lawsuit against the company.
“I am dismissing my lawsuit against Whole Foods Market. The company did nothing wrong,” Brown said in a statement. “I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story.”