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Tuesday, March 25, 2008
WND Still Not Telling the Truth About Elmira Prayer Protest
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A March 24 WorldNetDaily article stated that an appeal "has been filed on behalf of four Christians who were fined for praying in a public park in Elmira, N.Y." The article continues:

The case stems from a visit by seven Christians to a homosexual festival in a public park in Elmira last year. They were convicted of "disorderly conduct" even though the police officer who arrested them testified their actions were peaceful.

[...]

The Christians were arrested June 23 after they entered Elmira's Wisner Park with their heads bowed to pray for the participants of the homosexual festival going on. Materials advertising the event stated it was open to the public and all were invited to attend.

[...]

The Elmira Star-Gazette reported police Sgt. Sharon Moyer told the court she warned Julian Raven that his rights at the event were limited..

"He said he was there to preach the word of God," Moyer told the court, the newspaper reported. "I explained he was welcome to be there (at the festival), but he would not be allowed to confront the participants."

The officer accused the street preacher of being antagonistic.

[Street preacher Julian] Raven, however, said it was Moyer who was "aggressive from the get-go" and said her orders amounted to a deprivation of his rights.

WND, as it has previously done, fails to tell the full truth about the incident. Merely "praying," as WND repeatedly asserts, was not the issue here; nowhere does it describe the specific circumstances in which the group did so. According to the Elmira Star-Gazette: "The four protesters claimed their right to free speech was violated when they were arrested June 23 after laying prostrate on the lawn in front of a temporary stage in the park."

The article also repeated WND's previous false claim that "A local newspaper reported the judge determined Raven was reckless for going to the park." In fact, what the Star-Gazette stated that Elmira City Judge Thomas Ramich "said in his decision that Julian M. Raven, the leader of the protest group, was being reckless when he inserted the four into the midst of the event participants" -- that is, having them lay prostrate on the lawn in front of a temporary stage in the park, not simply the act of "going to the park."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EDT

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