Vandals threw bricks through the window of a Christian school in suburban Chicago Saturday, the morning before a scheduled appearance by well-known conservative Christian activist against homosexuality, Scott Lively.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, plastic bags containing bricks scrawled with messages like “Shut down Lively” smashed multiple windows of Chicago Christian Liberty Academy as reported by the school’s pastor Calvin Lindstorm.
Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries and a strongly conservative voice against homosexuality, was scheduled to speak before a gathering Saturday evening hosted by Naperville-based Americans For Truth Against Homosexuality, a group that according to its website dedicates itself to exposing the homosexual activist agenda.
Fervently against homosexuality, Lively has previously stated that there is justification for the criminalization of “the public advocacy of homosexuality” and has also been linked to pending anti-gay legislation in Uganda that seeks to make homosexuality punishable by a long prison sentence or death.
Arlington Heights police spokesperson said several windowpanes and a glass door panel were shattered at the school sometime near 8 a.m. Saturday.
According to the Sun-Times, an envelope in one of the bags included a handwritten note with expletives against Lively, pleas to end homophobia and threats of what they would do if the school did not cancel the scheduled AFTAH presentation.
AFTAH leader Peter LaBarbera 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 in the Sun-Times.
According to Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Chicago based Gay Liberation Network (GLN), 30 people from his group and other related organizations protested during Lively’s speech.
Thayer said he doesn’t know who vandalized the academy but doubts it was the work of gay activists.
Southern Poverty Law classifies both AFTAH and ATM as a “hate groups”. Police have declined to comment on whether or not this act would be considered a hate crime.
According to their website, Abiding Truth Ministries is a conservative Christian group that seeks to promote and defend the Biblical view of marriage and family through education, training and funding.