Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas-based ministry famous for picketing the funerals of U.S. military personnel killed in action, is planning to demonstrate in front of the Dane County Courthouse in Madison at noon on July 6.
The church, which is headed by the obsessively anti-gay Rev. Fred Phelps and operates the website godhatesfags.com, intends to protest the sentencing of Philip Caminiti, 55, pastor of Aleitheia Bible Church in Black Earth.
On May 25, Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi sentenced Caminiti to two years in prison for teaching his disciples to beat their children with wooden spoons and rods as a disciplinary measure.
In March, a jury found Caminiti found guilty of eight counts of conspiracy to commit child abuse for teaching his church’s members what he described as a literal interpretation biblical discipline for children between the ages of 2 months and 5 years.
Police intervened in November 2010 and stopped the practice.
“What is important to me,” Sumi said during sentencing, “is there was and continues to this day no expression of remorse or repentance for the consequences of those actions, or what the whole chain of events has led the family and the community through.”
In announcing the Madison protest, Westboro issued a statement that said: “Look what you’ve done, doomed America (sic)! God blessed you with religious liberty. Lying false prophets taught you to lust after fag marriage. Now your judges are putting your preachers in jail for telling you the Bible says to make children behave. For over 20 years, Westboro Baptist Church has warned & entreated you to put away your proud sin, humble yourself before God, & be blessed.
“Instead, you chase lust harder, & now are hell-bent on marrying fags. Preachers & parents taught you to mock & reject God. Now 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!? He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes,? Pr. 13:24. You hate your children! Every preacher in this nation should be marching on Dane County, Madison, WI.