5 May 2017Bean Blossom, IN
An Indiana community was shocked after a local church was vandalized with Nazi slogans and Donald Trump graffiti, but now police say it is a hate crime hoax and the church was not attacked by an outsider. They have charged the congregation’s own organist, a Hillary supporter and gay activist, for the crime.
After St. David’s Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom, Indiana, was vandalized, many suspected they were targeted by KKK members or a Nazi group. Members of the church urged police to investigate the incident as a hate crime, WTHR Channel 13 reported.
But after an investigation, the Brown County prosecuting attorney’s office shocked the congregation by charging the church’s own organist, 26-year-old George Nathaniel Stang of Bloomington.
It was Stang who first reported the vandalism to police last November only days after last year’s presidential election.
It was immediately thought to be a hate crime because the small Episcopal Church is a progressive congregation that welcomes gays. The graffiti spray painted on the church walls read “Heil Trump” and “Fag Church.”
But during their inquiries police quickly came to feel that the vandalism was done by someone familiar with the church and began looking at the crime as an inside job. After an investigation, police arrested Stang.
The church organist allegedly admitted to the crime telling police he did it because he wanted to “mobilize a movement after being disappointed in and fearful of the outcome of the national election.”
In a three-page confession entered into court documents, Stand reportedly said he was trying to spark his congregation into activism.
“I suppose I wanted to give local people a reason to fight for good, even if it was a false flag,” he wrote according to court records. “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.”
The Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis released a statement about the revelations calling Stang’s actions “profoundly misguided.”
“I was saddened to learn this morning that the vandalism of St. David’s Church in Bean Blossom was committed by the church’s organist, Nathan Stang, who has admitted to police that he spray painted hateful graffiti on the church last November in the wake of the presidential election. 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