Police are looking for the person or persons responsible for two instances of church vandalism that happened in Guilford County, North Carolina, over the weekend - the first of which occurred at Bales Memorial Wesleyan Church in Jamestown. Fox 8 reports:
Bales Memorial Wesleyan Church in Jamestown was spray painted, had flowers torn up, parking signs were ripped up and windows were broken.
The church sign was also broken and letters removed and the front entrance to the church was egged and sprayed with silly string.
One spray-painted message on the church door reads, “God loves (expletive)!!! He hates you!” Another said “Gay’s ok!”
Time Warner Cable News quoted senior pastor Carl Pulliam as saying his church welcomes all people, and that he doesn't know why this happened to Bales Memorial Wesleyan:
The church leadership said the congregation isn't hateful toward gay people and they doesn't understand why someone would lash out at them.
"I can't tell you a reason that someone would target this church, particularly because this is a loving church. This is not a judgmental place or a place where someone would ever feel provoked to these kinds of acts,” said Carl Pulliam, a senior pastor.
Damage at the church was estimated to be around $10,000.
Grace Baptist Church in Greensboro was also targeted with similar graffiti and vandalism, although police don't know at this time if the two incidents are connected:
Police told us the vandal(s) broke windows, painted “words” on the church along with a rainbow, and threw eggs and toilet paper at the building.
In the last few years, North Carolina has been home to contentious debates between gay marriage advocates and proponents of traditional marriage. The members of the state legislature in both houses in the last month have proposed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act similar to those that were signed into law recently in both Indiana and Arkansas.
The Guilford County Sheriff's Department is asking anyone with information that may help them find the vandals to call the Sheriff's office at 336-641-3690 or Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000.