Brown County church vandalized with hate speech

BEAN BLOSSOM — Parishioners of St. David’s Episcopal Church arrived for services Sunday morning to find three “tags” painted on their church: a swastika, “Heil Trump” and a gay slur.

The incident was reported to police early Sunday morning.

The Rev. Kelsey Hutto reported in an email that “anyone is welcome on the sacred ground of the church.”

“We are disappointed that our safe haven has been vandalized, but will not let the actions of a few damper our love of Christ and the world,” she said. “We will continue to live out our beliefs and acceptance of all people and respecting the dignity of every human being. We pray for the perpetrators as well as those who the derogatory marks were directed at.”

“This is only one image of a worldwide phenomenon in which we are dividing ourselves and the world from God,” Hutto said.

The Episcopal Church worldwide has openly accepted homosexual people since the 1970s, and in 2003, the church consecrated its first openly gay bishop. In 2015, the canons of the church were changed to make the rite of marriage available to all people, regardless of gender.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Department is investigating.

According to the sheriff’s log, there were no other incidents of vandalism anywhere else in the county over the weekend.

In Bloomington late last week, the B-Line Trail was tagged with swastikas and “KKK” graffiti, and slogans were written on windows and door on the Democratic Party headquarters: #MAGA, #YUUGE, “Safe Spaces Aren’t Real” and “Hillary 4 Prison.”