It seems to be a theme of late: WorldNetDaily distorting facts to make right-wing Christians look good and anyone who holds them accountable for their behavior look bad.
WND continues its PR work for Elmira, N.Y., street preacher Julian Raven in a March 1 article that largely cribs an Elmira Star-Gazette article on the convictions of Raven and three other activists for disorderly conduct for disrupting a gay festival -- or, in WND's words, an "event celebrating homosexual behavior."
The misleading starts with the headline: "Christians ordered to pay big bucks – for praying!" The "big bucks" in question, in fact, are a $100 fine plus $95 in court costs for each offender. Raven's lawyers from the Alliance Defense Fund probably have that in their petty cash drawer.
And, of course, merely "praying" was not the issue here. While WND repeatedly depicts the offense Raven's group committed as only "praying," nowhere does it describe the specific circumstances in which the group did so. Which is strange, because the Star-Gazette -- from which it cribbed -- did: "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."
WND also claimed that "The newspaper reported [Elmira City Judge Thomas Ramich] called Raven reckless for even going to the park." That's false. From the Star-Gazette:
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.
"The midst" being, of course, in front of the stage, which WND never mentions.