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Christian school targeted by vandals prior to speech by anti-gay activist

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — A Christian school in suburban Chicago was vandalized on Saturday in advance of a scheduled appearance by anti-gay activist and hate group leader, Scott Lively.

Calvin Lindstrom, pastor of the Chicago Christian Liberty Academy, said that plastic bags containing bricks and scrawled with messages such as “Shut down Lively” were thrown through the school’s windows, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

Lively, an anti-gay speaker and author, was scheduled to speak before a dinner gathering Saturday evening hosted by the Naperville, Ill.-based Americans for Truth Against Homosexuality, (AFTAH) — a group that has been classified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their ongoing propaganda campaign of demonizing the LGBTQ community.

Lively is a vehement activist against LGBTQ people and the president of Abiding Truth Ministries, a conservative Christian organization which also is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He has stated that there is justification for the criminalization of “the public advocacy of homosexuality,” and has also been directly linked to pending anti-gay legislation in Uganda that would, if passed, make homosexuality punishable by a lengthy prison sentence or even death.

Sergeant Tom Boggs, a spokesman for the Arlington Heights Police, said several window panes and a glass door panel were shattered at the school located sometime before 8 a.m. Saturday. Police have declined comment on whether or not this act would be considered a hate crime.

According to the Sun-Times, an envelope in one of the bags contained a handwritten message saying, “This is just a sample of what we will do if you don’t shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH. Fuck Scott Lively. Quit the homophobic shit.”

Late Saturday, Peter LaBarbera, head of AFTAH, said he considered the incident to be a hate crime committed by gay activists.

“If this would have occurred at a gay church, there would have been a public outcry,” LaBarbera said.

Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Chicago based Gay Liberation Network (GLN), said 30 people from his group and from the group Anti-Racist Action protested during Lively’s speech. He said he did not know who vandalized the academy but doubted it was the work of gay activists.

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37 more reader comments:

  1. yeah i’d vandalize a crappy place like that too

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:24pm
  2. Good stupid place !

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:25pm
  3. this acually is quite sad no one should be persecuted for their beilefs even if they did want someone anti gayy to come speak to them what was the point of vandalizing someting of a positive nature??

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:29pm
  4. I disagree with the method, but agree with the reasoning. It’s never right to do something like that, and there are other ways the same message could’ve been put across. On the other hand, yeah. Fuck him.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:29pm
  5. to them anyway

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:29pm
  6. by vandalizing the school it only gives credence to some of their hate.. we do not need to stoop to their levels of stupidity… there is nothing wrong with staging protests around where he is giving speeches. Ghandi proved that non violent protest get the job done

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:29pm
  7. this doesnt make us look good, remember they are the haters, we need to not be like them

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:29pm
  8. I don’t defend the vandalization, but this man is sick and disgusting and I hope the protests are hard and heavy.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:30pm
  9. they really need to learn that us gays do not bother no body. im glad the Christian school got vandals, you fuckin cunts.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:32pm
  10. I understand that these hate groups should not be spreading ignorance and homophobia. However, that being said, if members of the GBLTQA community go around committing acts of questionable legality such as this, it makes us no better than the hatemongers.

    We need to fight against ignorance, homophobia, and hate with EDUCATION, UNDERSTANDING, ACCEPTANCE, TOLERANCE AND LOVE. That’s is the only way we can truly be equal.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to burn down Westboro Church with most of their congregation in it, but that kind of wishful thinking makes me just as bad at spreading hate as them.

    Just educate, not hate!

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:34pm
  11. I wouldn’t be surprised that the AFTAH group did it themselves and is framing the LGBT community. They are sick people.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:36pm
  12. Regardless of how angry we are and how ignorant and hurtful this man’s views are to us and to our society in general, this kind of behavior is not something to be applauded. We have done nothing but give these people more ammunition against us. Remember, they like to cast stones (a lot) and we just tossed them a few more. There is a better way to get the message out and protest bigotry than this. The LGBT community needs to publicly condemn this vandalism now. Rise above people.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:36pm
  13. Ho hum…yet another no-life hate-filled moron…

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:36pm
  14. Eye for an eye is how I see not a hate crime at all.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:36pm
  15. Scottessa even LOOKS evil…he”s got those creepy eyes like a gypsy..

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:38pm
  16. Protests are great when they don’t break the law. Vandalizing a building breaks the law. I do not approve.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:40pm
  17. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to just throw bricks at Scott Lively?

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:40pm
  18. Fuck it. Love & hate are one & the same. Knowing that people are getting all vigilante gives me hope. Seriously. It is ok to hate. I hate people that hate homosexuals. I do not wish them harm. Someone else has obviously got me covered. YO.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:51pm
  19. And fuck your law, too. In reference to above statement.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:52pm
  20. :::approval not needed:::

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:53pm
  21. Considering how one of the latest tactics of these anti-gay groups is to present themselves as being “victimized” for having their views, I wouldn’t put it past them to orchestrate something like this themselves simply to perpetuate that nonsense. I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that this was done by gay activists.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:55pm
  22. Yeah I’m sure if the KKK were still around today no one would defend their right to preach hate towards black people, so none of this free speech talk has any validity to me.

    I dunno what sort of vandalism they’re talking about, but I’m hoping they spray painted their walls with hearts and rainbows.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:58pm
  23. Also, what Kevin said. Perfect op to get sympathy.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:58pm
  24. Great point Kevin..while I may talk like I think it’s ok to act out violently (because we KNOW we are right), if I were next to somebody who was about to beat the shit out of a gay-bashing protester or congregation or whatever, I’m sure I would likely try to calm dude down…tho on the other hand, I might join in.. hypotheticals aside, violence ain’t cool

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 4:03pm
  25. If someone from our community did this, it’s not gonna help our cause. You don’t win support for us by acting like the opposition and tearing up their stuff. Now, having said that – could this be a hoax, perpertuated by anti-LGBTQ’s into getting sympathy for their hate? Possibly. It has been done before.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 4:05pm
  26. I’m not sure peaceful protesting is getting any of us anywhere….hence, I am torn between rooting for “blowing up the outside world” or doing the good, equal opposite…whatever that may be

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 4:07pm
  27. Very strange/conflicting when it’s your own heart & soul that the world is in an uproar about…makes it easier to just sit aside and let what happens go down

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 4:09pm
  28. oooops!!

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 4:28pm
  29. There’s a good chance this guy did it himself and/or instructed another hate monger to do it to some how tie it into some hateful message he was bringing. He’s my prime suspect. Glitter bombs maybe. Not rocks put in baggies with little notes. Sounds too much like a hetero’s stereotype thinking of gayness.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 4:31pm
  30. You are right Pamela.Lets all hope we (our family) members did not do this.If so we are as low as they are.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 5:17pm
  31. Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 6:45pm
  32. @Jim Halpin,
    Make sense? Yes! Still, unfortunately, it wouldn’t accomplish anything in the long run. Eye for an eye only leaves everyone blind. Lively is a waste of human flesh to be sure. People are being killed in other parts of the world because of his propaganda. We have to be more wise in the way we choose to fight these battles.

    Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 8:03pm
  33. Just to let you know, Liz, the kkk is unfortunately still around.

    Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 at 12:09am
  34. Parents: why the hell do you send your children to a place like that? Look at this guy. He looks like a bear or a leather daddy. He kinda reminds me of the bad guy in the movie The Sum of All Fears. I’d love to see what’s on his computer.

    Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 at 7:09am
  35. I don’t think that vandalizing the school helps the LGBT community’s reputation at all. Yeah, I disagree with this Scott Lively dude, yeah I think what he’s done is harming the LGBT community, but no, I don’t think vandalism is a good answer. Let’s not stoop to their level.

    Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 at 8:40am
  36. Lizz, Lucas, and others:

    The KKK is actually still around, contrary to what you (Lizz) seem to believe. They still enjoy their First Amendment right to free speech, and while the idiocy of what they have to say is only matched by the depravity of their ideas, we allow people to express their ideas without punishment, provided they do not act in contravention to public safety. (i.e. You cannot yell, “Fire!” in a crowded theatre unless there actually *is* a fire.)

    We validate hate speech when we respond to it with violence and hate. Hate only grows stronger off of violent opposition. Dr. King knew this. Mr. Gandhi knew this. They also knew it was incredibly important that we not silence our opposition, for how can their folly be recognized publicly as such and be responded to as such if they are not allowed to speak? How can we hope to salvage their humanity and honor our own if we deny them what we insist must be protected for us? Words are powerful, yes. Hateful words can be extremely powerful, but history shows that persecution rarely succeeds in stamping out harmful ideologies, whereas non-violent resistance is near-universally respected by the general populace.

    I’m not discounting the possibility that Mr. Lively or some of his supporters orchestrated this as a way to get attention and play into their victimization narratives. Had this been an LGBT center attacked by anti-gays, I assume you would undoubtedly be screaming in self-righteous moral outrage. Yet your own comments indicate you applaud these methods when used against others, and that is not something I’m prepared to sit silently and accept. We who do not condemn violence and bullying such as this are complicit in its perpetration. We who selectively condemn it are hypocrites at best.

    Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 at 9:11am
  37. At least they didn’t use bombs like white christian conservatives have a history of using when trying to send a message to a whole population…oh that’s called terrorism, but only if gays and Muslims do it of course.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 6:29am