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Brick assault on Christian church not 'hate crime'
Posted By On 10/18/2011 @ 8:48 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Brick thrown through window of Christian Liberty Academy
Arlington Heights, Ill., police told WND they are not classifying an Oct. 15 attack on a church as an anti-Christian “hate crime” after vandals hurled two chunks of concrete through a church window and threatened more aggression if the Christian group refuses to “Quit the homophobic s—!”
Asked why an attached note referencing “homophobia” wouldn’t qualify the offense as a “hate crime,” Arlington Heights Sgt. Mike Hernandez said, “Strictly by the state statute, it really doesn’t fit the criteria.”
As WND reported, on the eve of a banquet intended to expose the homosexual activist agenda, security cameras on the campus of the Christian Liberty Academy, a school run by the Church of Christian Liberty, captured the crime.
An unknown vandal or vandals threw chunks of concrete bricks through the school’s entryway with a message protesting the banquet, which was planned by Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, or AFTAH, to honor pro-family activist and author of “The Pink Swastika,” Dr. Scott Lively.
Upon the concrete bricks were written the words “Shut down Lively,” and the vandals included a note threatening more violence if the church and school didn’t stop hosting such “homophobic” guests.
“This is just a sample of what we will do if you don’t shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH,” the note reads. “F— Scott Lively. Quit the homophobic s—!”
Hernandez said the state’s laws don’t actually address hate of “homophobia,” so the offense is not classified as a suspected hate crime at the moment.
A person commits hate crime when, by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals, regardless of the existence of any other motivating factor or factors, he commits assault, battery, aggravated assault, misdemeanor theft, criminal trespass to residence, misdemeanor criminal damage to property, criminal trespass to vehicle, criminal trespass to real property, mob action or disorderly conduct …
Hernandez said if further investigation reveals motives that would qualify the offense as a “hate crime,” there could be changes.
“We’re investigating it,” he said. “Right now, there’s damage to the school. We have to find out what the motives were.”
He added, “We know what they wrote. We know they have a problem with the person’s beliefs.”
As WND reported, hours after the attack, a “press release” was sent by email to AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera, Church of Christian Liberty Pastor Calvin Lindstrom and the Chicago Independent Media Center claiming responsibility for the incident.
“In the early morning hours of October 15th, we put two chunks of concrete through the glass windows and doors of the Christian Liberty Academy,” claims the author of the release, identifying himself only by a vulgar nickname. “We did this because at 6 p.m. today they will be hosting an event organized by the homophobic hate group Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, that [sic] will be presenting an award to Scott Lively.”
The statement continued, “These chunks of concrete were thrown through these windows and doors for two reasons: to show that there is a consequence for hatred and homophobia in our community and to directly cause this event to be shut down. If this event is not shut down, and the homophobic day trainings do not end, the Christian Liberty Academy will continue to be under constant attack.”
“In my 20 plus years of pro-family activism,” Lively said, “I have never seen such a brazen act of ‘gay’ militancy.”
“We see the homosexual agenda is becoming so arrogant in its growing power,” LaBarbera added, “but we’ve never seen this before, what we would call ‘homofascism’ being raised to the level of domestic terrorism.”
The Christian Liberty Academy has hosted several events for Americans For Truth over the years, including last year’s three-day Truth Academy, which drew a large protest led by the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network, or GLN. The GLN also announced it would protest the AFTAH banquet.
When asked how the church would respond to the attack, Lindstrom answered, “In prayer. The Lord is our ultimate defender, and we trust the Lord will give us safety and will bring whoever did this to justice.”
“A lot of Christians cower in fear before the power and influence of the homosexual lobby,” LaBarbera added. “It’s not helpful. If you demonstrate you can be intimidated, you reward the bully. The ‘gay’ bully has been rewarded enough times, so many times they think they can get their way. We hope more churches will refuse to be bullied and will stand up to tell the truth about the homosexual agenda.”
Lindstrom said he wasn’t comfortable labeling the attack as a “hate crime,” since such legislation is “typically used against Christians.”
Matt Barber, AFTAH’s board chairman and vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, however, wasn’t so hesitant.
When asked if the attack could be grounds for an FBI investigation, he answered, “Absolutely: anti-Christian hate crime, civil rights violation, terrorism and potential others.”
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