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Westboro Baptist Church group protests at seven area churches

OAK CREEK — The Westboro Baptist Church, known for protesting military funerals came to Milwaukee this weekend to protest other churches. The group made stops at seven churches in the Milwaukee area, including the Oak Creek Assembly of God near 13th Street.

Outside of the Oak Creek Assembly of God Sunday, July 1st, members of the Westboro Baptist Church lined the street while counter-protesters stood across from them.

“I am here today to counter-protest stupidity. That’s basically it. Hate is not tolerable,” Kim Mickelson said.

Protesters from the Kansas-based church said hate is the opposite of what they were trying to preach.

“Our job is to put these words on a sign plainly and to warn you that your sins are taking you to hell. That’s the definition of love in the Bible,” Rachel Hockenbarger with Westboro Baptist Church said.

Westboro Baptist Church protesters said churches like the ones they targeted on Sunday preach a misleading message by accepting sinners.

“Tough times require tough measures. It’s time to stop talking about the Jesus that you’ve made up and talk about the Jesus Christ of the Bible,” Hockenbarger said.

At some of the protests, the counter-protesters really didn’t say anything, but outside Christian Faith Fellowship Church on Good Hope Road in Milwaukee, the counter-protesters were vocal.

Counter-protesters followed the Westboro protestors to multiple churches. A man who identified himself only as “Gary” says friends told him to ignore the protests.

“But if no one’s down here to let them know they’re not welcome, they’re gonna think we are hateful like them, so I think I need to be down here as one of the people to show them we don’t tolerate this,” Gary said.

“If they think going around and protesting soldiers’ funerals is strong and caring, then they’re wrong,” Mickelsonsaid.

The Westboro Baptist Church group has a demonstration planned for Wednesday’s Brewers game at Miller Park, saying America needs to stop worshipping sports stars.

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