Hate Comments Spur Pepperdine Community to Come Together

A sign reads "GOD LOVES. Period" on the main Pepperdine University sign located in the front of campus

Malibuites may have noticed something different while driving past Pepperdine University’s sign on the lawn in front of the campus this week. A banner with the words “GOD LOVES. Period” was secured to it on Monday, Feb. 11, ahead of a protest planned by Westboro Baptist Church. 

The church, known for its inflammatory and specifically homophobic comments, targeted Pepperdine and Thousand Oaks High School for protests earlier this week. A memo posted online stated protestors would be at the Malibu campus from 8-8:30 a.m. To prepare students, Pepperdine sent out an email to its students, assuring them the sheriff’s department had been contacted. 

The Pepperdine University Student Government Association created banners for students to sign ahead of the protest and put them up in locations around campus.

“In the face of hate, please continue to support one another, love each other, and affirm our Pepperdine values together as one united community,” the official email concluded, as shared online by the Pepperdine


Reports indicate a few members instead went to the high school, where a counter protest occurred, on Monday. The California Lutheran University Student Union held a LGBTQ+ rally at the Thousand Oaks Community Park—located near the high school—earlier the same morning to “show the Thousand Oaks High School community our love and support.”

The WBC protesters then arrived in Malibu later in the day to protest in front of the university. There were no reports of trouble during the protest that The Malibu Times is aware of.