Westboro Baptist member running for Kansas Board of Education

06/24/2012 11:01 PM

05/16/2014 6:50 PM

A Kansas state school board candidate who describes evolution as “Satanic lies” and wants to stop public schools from teaching the theory attends Westboro Baptist, the Topeka church known for anti-gay protests worldwide.

Jack Wu told The Topeka Capital-Journal that he decided to run for the

State Board of Education after learning that Democratic incumbent Carolyn Wims-Campbell

, also from Topeka, would otherwise be unopposed for a second term in the 4th District of eastern Kansas. Campbell supports the state’s current science standards, which treat evolution as a well-established, core scientific concept.

On a campaign

website

, Wu says he is a native of California drawn to the Kansas capital “after seeing the light of the Westboro Baptist Church.” Church members have staged anti-gay pickets for more than two decades, and they frequently protest outside military and other funerals.

Wu said he attends Westboro Baptist services and adheres to its teachings but isn’t a full, baptized member. He said his attraction to the church is unrelated to his efforts to unseat Campbell.

“She’s going to win my district without a fight?” he said. “I’m not going to let that happen.”

Church spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper said Wu is an “acquaintance,” and described him as “just a friendly little guy,” though not a church member.

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