A church explosion in El Monte, California is now being investigated by the FBI. The explosion happened early Saturday morning at a church known for its anti-LGBT stance. The First Works Baptist Church’s stance on this issue is so extreme that it is on the official “hate map” of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Explosion Follows Protests
The explosion came on the heels of weeks of protests over the church’s extreme hate speech directed toward the gay community. While the FBI said it was premature to classify this as a hate crime, they are going to do their due diligence to properly investigate the intent. There were no injuries reported as a result of the explosion.
First Works Baptist Church Beliefs
The First Works Baptist Church has been a target of the SPLC ever since it called on the U.S. government to murder homosexuals simply based on their sexual orientation. While the lead pastor has not asked his followers to personally instigate the violence, he advocates that the government do it instead.
History of the SPLC
This church has been included on the SPLC hate map, indicating that it has a history of being a hate group. The SPLC has a reputation for turning its sights on groups that are against their personal ideology as an organization. However, there is no denying that the SPLC was a significant ally in bringing down the power of real hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Along with this legitimate policy, the SPLC has expanded its program to classify more mainstream religious organizations as being hate groups.