The members of Westboro Baptist Church held a protest in front of four Glendale churches during their services on Sunday morning. According to reports, members of the churches protested launched their own counter-protest in order to defend their faith.
Nearly 150 people showed up to form a "Wall of Protection," effectively blocking the Westboro protestors from being seen with their signs claiming that "America is doomed" and "Abortion is murder." The Westboro Baptist Church is used to being at the center of protests and having to deal with counter-protests, but this is one of the few occasions on which they dealt directly with churches.
"They come out for the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes," Pastor Keith Banwart Jr. of St. Matthew's Church told the Glendale News-Press. "Westboro Baptist Church is a cult that operates out of Topka, Kan. led by Fred Phelps. They travel across the country protesting at churches, military funerals, believing that God's wrath is coming down on America and now allowing LGBT people to live in peace."
"These people," he said of the counter-protestors, "want to show that God's love is bigger than the hate that may be displayed here this morning."
In all, the Westboro Church protested four churches in the area: Salem Lutheran Church, First United Methodist Church, Glendale Presbyterian Church and Holy Family Catholic Community Church before heading to the Golden Globes at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The group is dedicated to protesting popular events and military funerals and spreading the message of God's supposed hatred of LGBT persons.
"One of the things I say every morning is 'good morning saints, good morning sinners,'" Pastor Kurt Christenson of Salem Lutheran explained. "We carry the same hate in our hearts. We know that the folks in Westboro are angry, and that comes out in hate. At this point I think they're just angry at everything. I think they're angry at the way America seems to be going. It's not like it used to be. They've decided they don't want to engage in conversation. They just want to yell and scream and protest. There is an opportunity to say at the end of the day that love is stronger than hate."