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.