COLORADO SPRINGS — The infamous Westboro Baptist Church is planning several protests in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs in October.
Manitou Springs Interim Police Chief Joe Breister received a letter last week from a WBC spokesperson informing him that the group would be staging a protest on October 14 at Manitou Springs High School.
Superintendent Elizabeth A. Domangue sent a letter warning parents Wednesday that there is a scheduled protest and that the “members have been known to hold large signs and yell at passersby (of all ages.)” She also wanted to assure parents that keeping children safe is the district’s number one priority and there will be more police presence that day.
The scheduled protest will be from 7:35 am to 8:05 am. The school is working with the district and local authorities to make sure it is a peaceful protest. The Superintendent doesn’t know why their district is being selected.
The group’s website also lists three public preaching events in Colorado Springs on October 13. Those churches include:
Sacred Heart Church of Colorado Springs 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
The Sanctuary Westside 9:15 AM – 10:00 AM
Church For All Nations 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
The Sanctuary Westside Lead Pastor Eric Sandras sent FOX21 the following statement in a press release.
” The Sanctuary Church’s reputation of being a church for the marginalized and mis-fits seems to have garnered the attention of Westboro Baptist Church. The Sanctuary Church plans on being a blessing to the groups that Westboro curses by donating $50 per WBC protester that shows up on their property on October 13th to three charities in Colorado Springs: The Crawford house (which serves at risk veterans), The Dale house (which works with LGBTQ and other at risk youth), and a Southside African American church whose name is being withheld.”Lead Pastor Eric Sandras
Church of All Nations also sent a statement regarding Westboro Baptist Church scheduled protest.
“We are repulsed by and reject the message and tactics of this group. This event and organization are in no way associated with Church For All Nations. We will continue with church as normal that day and ask you not engage or react to the protest. We preach that the love of Christ is available to all who believe in Him. Please respond in love, and keep the other churches that are being targeted and our city lifted up in prayer.”Carrie Pendleton on behalf of Church For All Nations
WBC has been labeled a hate group by anti-discrimination watchdogs and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group has received negative press due to their protest signs that often say derogatory slurs against LGBTQ and military service members. The church has also been criticized for some of its members stomping on the American flag and holding signs that say “thank God for dead soldiers.”
The letter sent to Breister said that WBC “members are at all times and in all ways law abiding and non-violent.”