2 Black Lives Matter Signs Slashed At Oak Park Churches, Leaders Call For Forgiveness

Rob Hart
July 13, 2020 - 12:20 pm
Oak Park Black Lives Matter sign

CBS Chicago

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Officials in Oak Park are condemning vandalism, after two Black Lives Matter signs were allegedly slashed over the weekend. 

The signs, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, were located at two Oak Park churches; and were slashed days after a mural in the same near west suburb was defaced.

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The one sign, located at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, at 545 S. East Ave. in Oak Park, had been fixed by late Sunday afternoon.

The sign reads, “Black Lives Matter to God and Us.”

Church goers woke up Sunday to the sign being slashed. According to CBS 2, they originally thought it was wind damage, until they realized another church’s Black Lives Matter sign about a mile away at the First United Methodist Church Oak Park, 324 N. Oak Park Ave., also had a large slash in it.

St. Christopher’s Board Chairman Peter Walters told CBS 2 that it might have been an attack on religion taking a stance on the issue.

“Possibly so,” Walters said, “although certainly, there’s no religious context to the Black Lives Matter mural that was painted on the street.”

A Black Lives Matter mural on Scoville Avenue was painted over to read "All Lives Matter." 

That vandalism happened Wednesday, about two weeks after the mural was painted.

Walters said the church contacted the village board over the vandalism, instead of the police department. He said the perpetrator should be forgiven and not punished.

“We decided not to inform the police department in Oak Park about this, but rather to simply inform the village board,” Walters said. “We’re not looking for punishment. We don’t want to be punitive about it. We are certainly not supportive of this sort of action.

“We’ll follow Jesus’ example and love our enemies,” Walters said.

The sign at the Methodist Church remained slashed and damaged Sunday.