CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — The pastor of a Castle Rock church where a right-wing group hosted a meeting last week is distancing the church from violent comments made during that event.
In an email to 9NEWS, Pastor Mike Polhemus said that The Rock "in no way supports violence, threats, slander, or hatred of any kind" and classified what self-proclaimed election denier Shawn Smith said as "inappropriate."
FEC United, a conservative group in Colorado with a militia wing, held what it called an emergency town hall last Thursday with Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and other election conspiracy theorists.
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Speaking to the crowd, Smith said, without proof, that he had evidence of criminal election conduct by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
"You know, if you're involved in election fraud, then you deserve to hang," Smith said to the crowd.
The suggestion was met with applause.
When 9NEWS asked if the church supports the idea of hanging the secretary of state and if the church would have FEC United back again, Polhemus on Friday said he had a deadline and would answer the questions later.
Griswold said she reported the comment to the Colorado State Patrol.
Polhemus' full statement is below:
On Thursday, February 10, an outside group using The Rock facility had a speaker that made an inappropriate comment. The Rock church opens up their facility to many outside organizations for events throughout each week. The views and statements made by these outside organizations do not reflect the position of The Rock church. The Rock in no way supports violence, threats, slander, or hatred of any kind. In all situations, The Rock strives to love well, speak with kindness, and bless with action – regardless of beliefs. We desire to represent Jesus well to the world around us and love as He loved us and gave His life for us.