Members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church protested outside multiple churches in Colorado Springs on Sunday.
Over the last couple decades, Topeka’s breakaway church has gained attention by organizing more than 60,000 public demonstrations across the country.
Its members protest the military, gay people and a number of religious groups.
Parishioners filed into the Sacred Heart Church Sunday morning, while members of the Westboro Baptist Church lined up outside.
Counter protestors rushed over to confront them.
“It just says: love has no gender. Compassion has no religion. Character has no race,” Desiree Lorenzana said as she explained her sign.
The WBC has shrunk to less than 100 members since it opened in 1955. Many of them, related to its now deceased founder, Fred Phelps.
Most recently, the WBC caught the nation’s eye when Phelp’s granddaughter, Megan Phelps-Roper, left the church and wrote a book about her experience.
“She’s basically describing a cult,” said a counter protester on Sunday.
We heard from a man who shares her last name; their relation is unclear.
“We’re here to preach the word of God to these people who clearly are in open rebellion against it because they don’t know any better,” said Luke Phelps-Roper.
He said, according to God, gay marriage is part of the problem.
“He says what marriage is. He says it’s one man, one woman for life,” Said Luke Phelps-Roper.
“God doesn’t love everybody. Repent and obey the Lord your God,” added Chris Jaques, another WBC member.
“Nobody here supports their message and we don’t want them around here,” argued one counter protester.
Still, WBC members headed up the street to The Sanctuary Church, where we asked the pastor there why he thought his parish was targeted.
“We support veterans, I have a black teaching pastor on my staff, we don’t shame LGBTQ people, and I once wrote a book about Catholic saints. So, I don’t know, take your pick,” said Pastor Eric Sanders.
The WBC was supposed to end its demonstration Sunday at the Church For All Nations, but never showed up.
Its members are scheduled to gather outside Manitou High School Monday morning.
School officials are telling parents and students to ignore the protestors, saying it’ll make everything go smoother.