Pride flag damaged, then stolen from Oceanside Lutheran Church
A pride flag was flown from an Oceanside church on Tuesday night.
Reverend Alex Raabe of the Oceanside Lutheran Church said the flags were targeted three times. He says they were stolen twice and another was damaged.
Raabe says the pride flag hung above the entrance to the church is an important symbol that everyone should feel safe inside their sanctuary.
Around noon on Tuesday, someone tried to pull down a pride flag – but couldn’t – instead left the flag with a tear in the side. Around 7:30 p.m., someone else came and managed to steal the flag.
“I couldn’t believe this happened for the second time in one day,” Raabe said.
He says someone flew another pride flag in September.
The Reverend says the thefts are a concern – given the anti-Semitic leaflets that have recently been distributed nearby.
“It’s disturbing to see hateful actions being taken against groups of people,” Raabe said.
This did not stop Reverend Raabe, however. He hung a new flag on the door Wednesday.
He says nothing will stop him from keeping it there as a symbol of acceptance and inclusion.
Raabe says he wishes he could sit down and have a chat with whoever is flying the flag. He says he wants to let them know what they are doing is not OK.
The Reverend says he did not go to the police to report the incidents. The church, however, installed a camera to prevent future thefts or find the person responsible.