"Hate Flyers" Distributed at Episcopal Church in Rehoboth - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

"Hate Flyers" Distributed at Episcopal Church in Rehoboth

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - A coastal church told WBOC that a "hate letter" was left on the windshields of cars, and found by church goers, as they left services Sunday. The three-page flyers were critical of the All Saints Episcopal Church, for both their acceptance of gay and lesbians as well as their allowance of females to hold church leadership positions. 

"It's really disturbing for people to receive this," said Rector Max Wolf. "To all sorts of people. Certainly the gay and lesbian members of our parish were offended. But also all their friends and family that love them just the way God made them." 

Wolf said the church was likely targeted due to it's policy of being "fully inclusive." Since same sex marriage was legalized in 2013, the church has married about 50 gay and lesbian couples. The church also has female bishops in leadership roles at the church. 

The letter was left anonymously, and included verses from the bible. In the margins, the writer also scribbled additional notes, that were deemed offensive by many church goers. The writer called homosexuality a "shameless act," and in another section the writer turned the attention on women, calling them "emotional basket cases." 

"Be honest with yourself," the flyer read. "Do you really want a woman on the altar as a priest?" 

Rehoboth Beach Police responded to the church Sunday. Chief Keith Banks said they are not classifying this as a hate crime as of now, although they are "concerned" by the language in the letter. About three years ago, the church received similar letters, with "nearly identical" copy and similar handwriting in the margins. 

Banks said the distribution of flyers of any kind are also illegal, due to a city ordinance. Police is currently searching for the flyer's creator so they can issue a fine. 

"Anybody has the right to any kind of protest," Banks said. "But you come to the city of Rehoboth Beach in this case and get a permit. And then we go ahead and get it sanctioned." 

Wolf had a message for the author. 

"It's too early to forgive," he said. "But certainly this inspires me to work harder so we can help break down those barriers." 

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