Members of the Westboro Baptist Church staged a protest in Moore, Oklahoma on Sunday, but were driven out of the area by community counter-protesters after only eight minutes.
The group showed up at Central Junior High School in an effort to demonstrate God’s wrath on society; according to the denomination, the tornado that occurred on May 20, 2013 was God’s way of punishing the world for abortion and homosexuality. The church bases its beliefs on Nahum 1:3.
Amanda Eccles a counter-protester and community member told Oklahoma City’s KFOR-TV, “It’s just sickening. You know, it’s just innocent kids that lost lives and it’s sicking for them to even think that way.”
During the Moore tornado, 24 people were killed, including seven children.
Westboro Baptist Church members had been granted a permit to picket in the area for 30 minutes, but were met with huge crowds of community members and motorcycles drowning out the sound of their chants. The group hurriedly left the site when six counter-protesting community members crossed the picket lines reports the Christian Post.
Moore police patroling the area informed KOCO News that no arrests were made during the protest and that crowds remained relatively calm despite the tension.