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WBC Protestors Target Lansing Eastern HS, MSU

Members of a controversial Kansas church returned to mid-Michigan Monday to picket students at Lansing Eastern High School and Michigan State University. 

The protest by the Westboro Baptist Church based in Topeka, Kansas was the group’s second in mid-Michigan since November 2010.  Its members are known for fiery rhetoric against homosexuality and picketing military funerals.  No more than five activists stood on the west side of Pennsylvania Avenue, facing some 200 students and adults who lined up with their backs turned.  The church’s Shirley Phelps says high schoolers are being taught to rebel against God.

"They broke their moral compasses, then sent them out onto the killing fields in Iraq, and God is killing your soldiers," Phelps says.  " And 9/11 came 10 years into our pickets.  We’ve been on these streets 21 years warning this nation.  They’ve got no excuse.”

The counter protestors carried their own signs. 

Tiffany Hannay says she was outraged when her roommate told her about their upcoming visit.

"He actually called me up at work to tell me, because he was pretty outraged too," Hannay says.  "It's just...I don't know.  I can't believe that we live in a world where people are still so ignorant, you know?  It blows my mind."

The protestors left Lansing Eastern to picket outside Michigan State University.  Both events ended peacefully.



Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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