A group claiming responsibility for vandalizing a sign belonging to Focus on the Family claims the criminal act was in response to “hateful theology” after a nonbinary gunman killed five people and wounded 18 others at a local bar.
Police told the Colorado Springs Gazette the incident occurred overnight Thursday at the Christian ministry’s headquarters in Colorado Springs.
The Focus on the Family sign was defaced with the spray-painted phrases, “THEIR BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS” and “FIVE LIVES TAKEN,” an apparent reference to the Club Q shooting on Nov. 22.
Focus on the family vandalized in response to the club q murders in Colorado Springs “THEIR BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS— colorado peoples press (@colpeoplespress) November 25, 2022
FIVE LIVES TAKEN”
A press release and report back from those who completed this direct action: pic.twitter.com/LszpJrTmzX
In response, Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, told The Christian Post: "We recognize the community is hurting in the aftermath of the reckless and violent actions of a very disturbed individual. This is a time for prayer, grieving and healing, not vandalism and the spreading of hate. Focus on the Family is privileged to be one of many organizations in our city positioned to help and support the needs of struggling individuals and families. The families of the five individuals killed in Saturday night's senseless attack are in our prayers.
“We urge everyone to pray for peace and we also pray for the individual or group responsible for this mischievous and unwarranted defacing of our ministry's property," Daly added.
Several images of the vandalism were shared on social media before most of the graffiti was covered with a plastic sheet by Thursday afternoon, the Gazette reported.
The vandalism also referenced 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, a Bible verse about “servants” of Satan disguising themselves as “servants of righteousness.”
A statement attributed to “Members of the Front Range Queer Community” read in part, “We chose to proceed with this action because of the incredible violence that Focus on the Family continues to perpetuate against the 2SLQBTQIA community.”
Calling the Club Q shooting a “targeted act of hate,” the statement notes the shooting took place on the “eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance” and as the club was “preparing an all ages drag show.”
The group then called for Focus on the Family to be “held accountable for the ramifications of their hateful theology” and claimed the ministry’s goal is “to eradicate queerness” by using “indoctrination,” “conversion therapy” and other tactics.
“Focus on the Family likes to promote themselves as people who are ‘bringing about the kingdom of [God],’” the statement read. “But we want to remind you that even the [Bible] warns us to be cautious of folks such as these.
“2 Corinthians 11:14-15 reminds us that ‘even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, so it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.’”
It’s unclear whether any hate crime or other charges will be pursued.
Founded by Dr. James Dobson in Southern California in 1977, Focus on the Family moved its headquarters to Colorado Springs in 1991.
Following the Club Q shooting, Daly strongly condemned the murders, adding such violence “exposes the evil and wickedness inside the human heart.”
Anderson Aldrich, 22, has been arrested as a suspect in the shooting. Aldrich was previously arrested in 2021 for allegedly threatening to harm his mother with a bomb and was charged with three counts of first-degree kidnapping and two counts of felony menacing at the time.
According to the Gazette, formal charges were not pursued, and the case has "since been sealed.”
Aldrich, meanwhile, identifies as nonbinary, uses “they/them” pronouns, and prefers to be called by the name Mx. Aldrich, the New York Times reported.
He made his first court appearance Wednesday and is being held without bail.
Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: email@example.com.