The South Bay Pentecostal Church located in Chula Vista, CA, was vandalized over the weekend after the church voiced its strong opposition to a city-run children's event advertised as "Drag Queen Story Time" to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at the local public library.
KGTV reports local law enforcement officials are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Executive Pastor Amado Huizar said the vandals left their mark on the outside walls of the church building.
"Sure enough, at every corner, there were phrases, hateful words, and graffiti on the walls of our church," Huizar told the television station. He said that "there is no doubt" the church was targeted after its strong opposition to the Chula Vista Library Drag Queen Story Time event.
According to Huizar, the church's surveillance system recorded the video images of two men parking their vehicle in the church parking lot around 3:00 am Sunday and walking toward the building.
Approximately 15 minutes later, they are seen again on the video, jumping back into the car holding what appeared to be cans of spray paint.
"The Chula Vista Public Library said this (drag queen event) is a reflection of our community. I beg to differ," Huizar said.
Huizar said believes the event is not age-appropriate, nor should it be a public, taxpayer-funded program.
"If the people want to make that happen, do it at a private setting, at a book store or at a home, but not at the Chula Vista Public Library," he added.
The pastor said he filed a police report and asked for increased patrols around the church building.
"I'm all about diversity. I am all about inclusiveness," Huizar said. "When you do something like a 'drag queen story hour,' you are excluding a segment of the populous who are not in favor of this because of what we experienced today or scared to speak out."
Despite the incident, Huizar said he will not back down.
"I'm very sad," Huizar told the station. "I'm heartbroken, but I am going to continue to speak."
Pastor Huizar had a meeting scheduled with city Mayor Mary Salas on Monday. The pastor said he hoped to convince her to cancel the public event and have it become a private event.
Click here to sign the petition to show your support for the effort to have the city stop the drag queen event at the local library.
Last week, Huizar stood with other faith leaders from around the city at a press conference on the steps of City Hall for prayer and to oppose the drag queen event at the library.
The press conference was streamed live to the church's Facebook page.
Art Hodges, the senior pastor at the South Bay church, reminded the reporters at the press conference of the biblical message of Proverbs 14:34:
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people."
"We as the spiritual leaders in and of this community, as the proverbial watchmen on the wall, have a responsibility to sound a warning when we see danger approaching," Hodges said. "Edmund Burke said: 'the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good man do nothing.' Dietrich Bonhoeffer said: 'Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.'
"So we faith leaders see something that is not right in our community, robbing our community of peace and joy," Hodges continued.
The pastor drew a round of applause when he said: "A survey of Chula Vista residents have found that the overwhelming majority are not in favor of a drag queen story hour taking place at our public library."
"And many are incensed that this is being allowed and promoted by our city," Hodges added.
CBN News reached out to the South Bay church for comment about the vandalism. At the time of the publication of this story, we had not heard back.
Did you know?
God is everywhere—even in the news. That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1.