Home / News / Westboro Baptist Church plans protests in Spokane Thursday, Friday
Westboro Baptist Church protests in D.C. in 2015/Flickr photo by Elvert Barnes

Westboro Baptist Church plans protests in Spokane Thursday, Friday

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UPDATE – Westboro is now planning to be at Lewis and Clark High School on Friday morning at 7:30 a.m.

Westboro Baptist Church, known for its inflammatory protests at military funerals, against LGBT people, politicians and religions they deem unfit — like the Catholic Church, Islam, Orthodox Christians and Jews — have announced they will be protesting throughout Spokane on Thursday.

Identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Westboro Baptist Church said in a press release they will first picket outside Lewis & Clark High School at 7:30 a.m. Then they will make their way to the Spokane Convention Center at 11 a.m. Next the group will go to Gonzaga University at 11:45 a.m. (though their picket location is unclear). Then they will finish their protest back at the Spokane Convention Center at 5 p.m.

According to a press release, Westboro is picketing Lewis & Clark and Gonzaga because they claim educational institutions in America are failing in preparing the next generation of adults.

“Math, science, reading, writing, history, etc. are fantastic and necessary skills to have in this life, but when found outside the service of the Lord they are entirely meaningless,” the press release reads.

The Gonzaga protest happens to fall on the eve of the Gonzaga Institute of Hate Studies 20th anniversary program.

Westboro will be at the Convention Center to protest the North American Association for Environmental Education, which will be having a symposium at that time.

According to Business Insider, Westboro Baptist Church consists of approximately 70 members, each who are required to give 30 percent of their income to the church. Westboro also makes money from litigations, though the amount has not been disclosed.

In an email to students and staff this week Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh urged anyone wanting to counter protest Westboro, to do so in a non-violent way.

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About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons, who teaches journalism at Gonzaga University, is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 13 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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