Controversial church group sparks outrage in Hampton Roads


by 13 News

Posted on March 1, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 11:40 PM

NORFOLK -- Members of Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas brought a very different message to Hampton Roads than the traditional church values of love and forgiveness.

"They hate Catholics and Jewish people, gay people, military, America ... I guess from my understanding they hate America in general," said Scott Cravey, who learned of the group when it came to Lynchburg eight years ago.

The WBC will picket locations in Norfolk Monday and will move to Virginia Beach later in the week.

"I think it's important for people to know that they're gonna be here so that they don't just see it and get angry, but can understand who these people are and maybe not react," said Cravey.

Protests are planned at Naval Station Norfolk, several Jewish temples and Maury and Granby high schools in Norfolk.

"The last thing we want to do is to have any of our children engage them in a negative way and simply give them what they want which is attention," said Mike Spencer of Norfolk Public Schools.

A counter protest was launched on Facebook, encouraging people to join counter demonstrations and stand against the church.

"The people who are joining this Facebook group, I agree with them, I hate to see this group even come to Hampton Roads," said Cravey.

Police will be at each location where protests are planned to make sure everything remains peaceful.

The protesters will be in Hampton Roads through Wednesday, March 3.

Here is a list of where they plan to stage demonstrations.

Picket Schedule for Hampton Roads from Westboro Baptist Church's Website 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Granby High School, Norfolk

Maury High School, Norfolk

BINA High School, Norfolk 

Ohef Sholom Temple, Norfolk

Norfolk Naval Station

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Landstown High School, Virginia Beach

Simon Family Jewish Community Center, Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Churchland High School, Portsmouth

Torah Day School, Portsmouth

Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach

Norview High School, Norfolk