Westboro Protesters are in Wisconsin. They visit Madison Friday.

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Westboro Baptist Church members will visit Madison on Friday July 6. They have been spreading their messages of hate since July 1 in Wisconsin.

When they visit their Madison sites (Dane Co. Courthouse from 12-12:30 PM and the State Capitol from 12:30 -1 PM) they will be greeted by counter-protesters.

Jonathan Dedering, a candidate for the 78th Assembly seat, has organized the facebook event “Food Drive & Picket to Oppose Westboro Baptist Church Hate …” where Wisconsinites are asked to “Please bring canned goods, toys, and school supplies. We will be turning hate into love.”

Why Dane County Courthouse?

To justify their protest of our courthouse, WBC proclaims on its web site “you have a corrupt judicial system that loves to turn over children to fag & dyke couples, while putting preachers in jail when they say you should spank a child!”

The preacher in question is Philip Caminiti, former leader of Black Earth’s Wisconsin Aleithiea Baptist Church. Those “spankings” the WBC refers to were delivered through wooden rods the thickness of a quarter to children as young as 2 months old.

From the No Longer Quivering blog: “Church members say children and infants were punished for things such as being emotional, grumpy or crying, not sitting quietly through church, crying when being handed from a mother to another person or for potty training mistakes.”

WBC explains that it will protest Wisconsin’s “Statehouse” because Wisconsin’s “oath-breaking legislature” passed a law making it a crime for WBC to “preach at your funerals”. They also will stand there to “tell your Governor that he has the power and the duty to immediately pardon Pastor Caminiti.”

Today the WBC visited Miller Park (Brewers v. Marlins game) in Milwaukee, WI 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

According to WBC’s web site protesters have also stopped in at Hales Corner, Brookfield, and a roster of churches in Milwaukee. TMJ4‘s report lists the churches and you can check out the facebook event Counter Protest the Westboro Baptist Church Protests! to see Milwaukee counter-protest photos and articles.

The WBC are best known for their anti-gay protests at military funerals. Church members say that military deaths are God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of gays. The church had only 40 members in 2011, but their name is known far and wide because, according to wikipedia, they protest 6 locations per day and frankly they’re like a grisly accident: some people tell us to look away and not give them attention but most of us find ourselves drawn in, staring at their awful display.

The church has a right to protest military funerals using offensive language and signs [according to a case which went all the way to the Supreme Court], but they are universally reviled. I feel pity for their children, whom they bring everywhere to protest.

Finally, along the way I learned that The Patriot Guard are bikers that shield grieving families from WBC protesters at funerals.

They go everywhere. I’m really glad they do this. Here’s their collection of Wisconsin photos.

Footnote: There is a real problem with corporal punishment in the Christian community. One thing led to another and I found myself reading about that too. I don’t have the heart to write about that right now but here are some of the good resources I found on that.

Thou Shalt Not Abuse: Reconsidering Spanking
A Christianity Today editorial – January 2012

Preaching Virtue of Spanking, Even as Deaths Fuel Debate – NYTimes November 2011


Sparing the Rod: An outraged mom’s campaign to ban a spanking tool marketed as biblically based.
– Undated

Spare the quarter-inch plumbing supply line, spoil the child – Salon 2006

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  8 comments for “Westboro Protesters are in Wisconsin. They visit Madison Friday.

  1. Giles Goat Boy
    July 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    So it turns out that the Westboro Baptists skipped their Madison appearance. The local police were all set to patrol in front of the courthouse. The counter-protestors were there with signs. The haters never showed. Police contacted them and they said they would not be coming to Madison after all, allegedly because it was too hot.

    Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy.

  2. Prup (aka Jim Benton)
    July 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    This may be ‘blog-whoring’ but “Bible-Based Baby Beating” has been an issue for me for several years — if everything I’d ever written on the net disappeared tomorrow, this piece from six years ago on the topic might be the only real loss. It gives details and substantial quotes from “Christian Child-rearing manuals” — it was Martin Rundkvist, the editor, who included the pictures of the covers — enough to truly sicken you.

    This is not simply some throwback to the days of our grandparents and earlier (and I’m 66, for many of you, it’s two generations later). where a lively and unruly 10 year old might be ‘taken to the woodshed.’ That’s wrong in itself, but nothig like the — my apologies, but I am being strictly accurate — pure evil taught by the Pearls, Ted Tripp and the Fugates. This quote from Tedd Tripp — emphasis mine — describes precisely the attitude these people wish to implant in newborns:

    Acquaint your children with authority and submission when they are infants. This training starts the day you bring them home from the hospital.”

    Of course this is ‘pinned’ to their warped version of Christianity by “You must provide examples of submission for your children. Dads can do this through biblical authority over their wives, and Moms through biblical submission to their husbands.”

    And this is not just the foible of the already hated Westboro fools. These manuals have been the subject of many suits brought against parents whose following of them has resulted in injury or even death, and they sell enough to keep their authors in luxury. They are recommended by many conservative “Christians’ and in some states, their followers have even infiltrated the Child Protection Services — a particular aim of theirs.

    In fact, if a local candidate speaks of supporting the “Parental Rights Amendment” the rights they are seeking are not ‘merely’ the right to teach their child creationism, or to take him or her out of sex ed classes — or even to homeschool them without any way of testing their education against state standards. All too often — well, any instance would be ‘too often’ — they are seeking the right to ‘chastize’ their children using the following ‘age-appropriate’ polyvinyl or wooden rods — quoting the Fugates:

    A child should be, if necessary — which it shouldn’t be since he should be already trained to obedience by eight to twelve — chastized up until the age of twenty.

    •From the time the toddler begins to crawl until about 15 months (“age is no real criteria [sic] — how large and how stubborn the child is will be the real issue”) use a blackboard pointer, a balloon rod, or an eighth-inch dowel rod.

    •Age 1-2 a “tot rod” — 3/16″ by 24″ dowel

    •2-4 “mob control’ — 1/4″ by 24″

    •4-8 “train or consequences” — 5/16″ by 27″

    •8-12 “the equalizer” — 3/8″ by 27″

    •12+ “the rebel router” — 1/2″ by 33″
    (The last is the length of, and one third the thickness of, an average major league baseball bat.)

    Two last quotes from the Fugates:

    “Adult sons who have been over-protected … may even become homosexuals. Biblical child training principles can be self-applied by any adult who identifies himself with this type of upbringing.” p. 125

    and [emphasis mine]

    “A wriggling six-month-old baby who intentionally refuses to be diapered can be taught the meaning of “no” in one or two simple lessons. When he tries to crawl away during a changing, he can be told “no,” pulled back, and held in place for a moment. The next time he tries to crawl away, he should be told “no” once firmly and lightly tapped once or twice on the upper leg with a small switch. The shocked look and tears will indicate you got his attention and that the command “no” has taken on a real meaning. An angry cry and continued squirming may indicate a strong-willed child who will require more pressure in both intensity and frequency.” p. 127

    Please feel free to distribute copies of the article at the counter-protests and realize, by bringing this issue to the fore, even the Phelpses may have, inadvertently, done some good.

    • July 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you very much for sharing this information, Jim. This is deplorable.

  3. Joe Rogo
    July 5, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    According to TMJ4’s article, the local targeted churches are asking their members to react to WBC with peace, love and to not get caught up in their rhetoric.

    God on no god, that and Dedering’s approach to be, “turning hate into love” are far more sensible approaches than trying to mask WBC’s offensive behavior with the additional offensive spectacle of intimidation and annoying vehicle noise. I hope the sensible approach prevails in Madison tomorrow.

  4. Joe
    July 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Please dont advertise for the WBC. They have a $0 advertising budget. Unlike most crappy things in this world, if you ignore them, they WILL cease to exist. The only thing that keeps them popular, is articles like this.

  5. stephanie
    July 5, 2012 at 6:23 am

    i was at the counter protests in Milwaukee at three churches on july first and at miller park july fourth. i am seriously considering coming to madison on friday. we need to get these people out of our state. they are pathetic and dont know how ridiculous they make themselves look. hope i can see everyone in madison as well. i have to try to persuade my husband to let me go lol.

    • OnWisconsin
      July 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Please do go and bring all of your friends with you – and if you bring hubby, he won’t have to worry about letting you out of the house with shoes on…. ;)

  6. Henrietta
    July 5, 2012 at 3:45 am

    So people will have to keep in mind that there are children there when they counter protest. I wish these hate groups would stay in their own states and towns.

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