MILLE CHENES, Calif. (KABC) –
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church carried signs, one of which said "God sent the shooter" as they gathered in front of Thousand Oaks High School on Monday morning.
This specific sign seemed to refer to the Mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, where 12 victims were shot by one armed man. Students from Thousand Oaks High School were among the victims of the shootings.
Among the other signs held by the group, which totaled less than five individuals, were: "The wrath of God is revealed", "The destruction is imminent" and "The wages of sin is death" .
The event remained peaceful on both sides.
The group was confronted by a much larger group of counter-partners who wore signs on their side of the street. Some signs of counter-demonstrators read: "Pride = Love", "You are loved", "TOHS Pride" and "#TOStrong".
The Westboro Baptist Church sent the following statement, in part, prior to Monday's event:
"WITH CELEBRATION AND THANKS ABOUT OUR LIES, THE FOLLOWING OF ONE TRUE CHRIST WILL PRECEDER HER WORD AND MESSAGE OF REPENTANCE TO STUDENTS AND THE FACULTY OF THOUSES OF GOATS AFTER THE EVOLUTION AFTER THE CHRISTMAS CITY, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11 "
In addition, Dr. Mark McLaughlin, Superintendent of the Unified School District of Conejo Valley, issued the following statement, in part, prior to Monday's event:
"With regard to the activity scheduled for Monday morning, we are fortunate to build a strong partnership with the Thousand Oaks Police Department and we continue to communicate with them about the planned event. neither endorses nor supports any of the messages published by the WBC, but it is illegal for the District to attempt to prohibit or silence this group, in accordance with the rights conferred on them by the First Amendment. attention to its activities, counter-demonstrations may take place by some people, but it is thought that ignoring them is the most effective response. "
Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, Kansas, is widely viewed as a hate group for its inflammatory rhetoric – especially against the LGBTQ community, soldiers and other religions.
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