Tensions were high this Sunday outside of Destiny Church in Rocklin, California, as opposing protest groups faced off over the church's choice to continue holding in-person services in the midst of a record-breaking pandemic and comments made by the pastor.
As CBS Sacramento points out, on one side were protesters hoisting Black Lives Matter signs, and on the other were supporters of President Trump and members of the far-right group Proud Boys.
Video of the event, which was streamed on Facebook, shows that at least one physical scuffle broke out. A column of Proud Boys can also be seen facing off with the protesters as the two groups shout at one another from opposite sides of a street.
Proud Boy got pepper sprayed today in Rocklin 😂 https://t.co/paSCfus1Ps
— sweet tea marxist (@jaimeeaIIover) December 21, 2020
Black Lives Matter activists have accused the church's pastor, Greg Fairrington, of preaching hate.
"What he's preaching is not of God," activist Damion Saunders said. "I've grown up in a church and what he's preaching is not of God."
According to Fairrington, he simply preaches what's in the Bible. "We are a Bible believing church and so we believe in god's original intent – a man and woman in marriage," Fairrington told local media. "You say that's hate? I don't believe that's hate, I believe that's the Bible."
Earlier this month, a former member of the church told ABC10 that multiple people had tested positive for COVID-19 after attending services. But Fairrington remains defiant.
During a sermon yesterday, pastor Greg Fairrington played a news clip featuring a former church member alleging that there's been a coronavirus outbreak at Fairrington's church, to which he responds, "I'm blessed" for being persecuted and "the favor of God is on this house!" pic.twitter.com/wpffXQpvRh
— Christian Nightmares (@ChristnNitemare) December 7, 2020
[via Raw Story]