Last November, just days after the election, the Washington Post published in its “Acts of Faith” section the inspiring story of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Indiana. The church building had been vandalized, but leaders decided not to remove a swastika and the words “Heil Trump” and “Fag Church” that had been spray-painted on the building.
This Indiana church was defaced with "HEIL TRUMP" graffiti — and is keeping it https://t.co/HDz8g3TwsP
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 16, 2016
“We’ve decided to leave them up as symbols of hope,” the Rev. Kelsey Hutto said, explaining that the church was proud for being targeted as inclusive welcoming and would remain a safe space from hate.
“It’s no secret that the atmosphere of hatred has kind of permeated the nation right now,” Hutto added. “And I wanted to make it clear to my congregation that just because that has happened doesn’t change who we are as Christians.”
Hutto said she learned about the graffiti from the church organist, which, in retrospect, isn’t a surprise at all, considering that organist George Nathaniel Stang, 26, was arrested last Wednesday and charged with institutional criminal mischief.
“Stang stated that he wanted to mobilize a movement after being disappointed in and fearful of the outcome of the national election,” said a release from the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office.
can anyone find the name George Stang, George Nathaniel Stang or any variations on the @washingtonpost? Because Google can't.
— Baby Goat Alliance (@AceofSpadesHQ) May 8, 2017
It’s there now. The Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher pointed out last Friday that not only hadn’t the Washington Post’s piece on the vandalism been updated — the original piece also cited another incident “in the wake of Trump’s Election Day win” that has since been debunked.
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) May 5, 2017
The story also makes reference to an incident at the University of Michigan where a student “was approached by a stranger who threatened to set her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab,” according to campus police. Police determined last December that the story had been made up.
University of Michigan student wearing a hijab threatened to be lit on fire, police say https://t.co/Sb8Ld170r0
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 13, 2016
The Washington Post on Monday added an editor’s note to the piece acknowledging Stang’s arrest:
Update May 8, 2017: The Brown County Prosecutor’s Office charged George Nathaniel Stang with institutional criminal mischief, following a lengthy investigation. Stang, 26, was the organist at St. David’s Episcopal Church, according to a news release. “Stang stated that he wanted to mobilize a movement after being disappointed in and fearful of the outcome of the national election,” the release stated.
However, despite that update, there’s no mention that the University of Michigan story cited in the piece was debunked months ago. Admittedly, keeping track of all of the hate crime hoaxes since November is a bigger job than many suspected.
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Here we go again! ANOTHER viral anti-Muslim attack hoax fueled by media feeding frenzy https://t.co/4BuaEZMYF2
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) December 14, 2016