The common wisdom about the “God Hates Fags”-believing Westboro Baptist Church is that the congregation consists only of people named Phelps, that it’s all white, and that you can’t really “join” it.
Jack Wu can prove all of that wrong in an instant: He was born in Taiwan and began attending the church in 2008:
Oh. And he’s running for a seat on the Kansas Board of Education:
Wu’s campaign, small as it is, comes at a time when the state school board is expected to consider new science standards, raising the prospect of revisiting the evolution debate that consumed the board in 1999 and again in 2005 — an issue about which Wu has strong views.
Wu is well aware of the attention his latest candidacy has attracted and expects people to scoff at his beliefs. But he said his candidacy is not about being part of the political mainstream.
“If you’re mainstream, you’re going to hell,” he said.
His campaign website elaborates on his mission… and he gets right to the point:
My mission, in running for the Kansas State Board of Education, is to throw out the crap that teachers are feeding their students and replace it with healthy good for the soul knowledge from the holy scriptures.
Let’s be specific. Evolution should never be taught in public schools as science. Evolution is false science! God made the heaven and the earth and created humans from the dust of the earth! The very bad teachers that teach that men descended from apes via evolution need to have their teaching licenses revoked. Yes, students should be taught that God created everything.
Just to provide some context, even Answers in Genesis, the group behind the Creation Museum, doesn’t support removing evolution from school curriculums:
“Answers in Genesis opposes efforts to remove evolution teaching from schools. It is a major worldview that affects so much of society, and thus it needs to be studied,” said [AiG co-founder Mark] Looy.
There’s a possibility Wu could win the race if the Republican majority in the state just votes down party lines but his stances may be too extreme even for them.
To find out more about Wu, I asked him if he’d be willing to answer some of my questions for this website and he accepted. Below is our interview (with minor edits made for grammar and clarity):
You say you’re campaigning to oppose the teaching of evolution in schools… but hasn’t that issue already been settled, both in the law and in the scientific community?
Jack Wu: Consensus doesn’t equal truth and just because a whole bunch of people agree on something as stupid as evolution doesn’t make it a fact. We live in the age of Wikipedia, where anyone can make an edit on a topic of discussion, but who really controls the content on Wikipedia? The administrators and the bureaucrats do. They are kind of like judges. And you know there is such a thing as a good judge and also bad or corrupt judge that can be bribed and such.
Now in the end, God is the ultimate Judge of all the earth. And it’s his words and his laws that count. It is said in the scriptures that He judges the other judges. (Psalm 82:1).
So we go by his word in Genesis Chapters 1, 2 and the rest of the Bible where it says he created the heaven and the earth and that God formed man of the dust of the ground. That’s what the truth is. On the other hand you have evolution, a consensus of lies started by an editor named Satan.
Now while we are alive on this earth, we can and should actively campaign against the lies of Satan. We may possibly influence the judges of this earth also that they may act in our best interests and do what’s right and do justice. And if these earthly judges fail to follow God’s law and God’s judgments, then God will deal with them. He will also deal with those leaders in the scientific community that hate his laws.
Do you really think you’ll win this election? (Seriously.)
Wu: I’m optimistic about winning this election. And I’m prepared for it to go either way.
Do you consider your opponent [Carolyn Campbell] a true Christian?
Wu: No. What kind of a Christian reads the first two chapters of the Bible and then goes on to promote the teaching of evolution? A fake Christian that doesn’t really believe the Bible, the works of God and his mighty hand.
How does a computer science major become a Westboro Baptist Church Christian? Your history suggests you become a fundamentalist Christian *after* you graduated… were your religious beliefs and your college education ever in conflict?
Wu: It’s a work of God how any man or woman becomes a true Christian. A Christian may come from any walk of life “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9)
Now I’m not a member of Westboro Baptist Church but what drew me to them was their zeal and passion for God and his words. They intrepret the scriptures plainly and and they don’t water down the truth or offer “sloppy agape” lies like fake Christian churches I’ve attended in the past. [Hemant says: Just to be clear, Wu attends WBC, but he is not yet a confirmed member.]I’ll try to arrange this history chronologically.
I started reading the Bible [in] 5th or 6th grade and also attended so-called Christian churches. I also attended a private Christian school starting in 7th grade.
The more I read the Bible, the more flaws I saw in many church practices such as Christmas celebrations which match the pagan idolatry and customs described in Jeremiah 10. I grew up also in the time when Internet usage exploded and I had access to many Christian writers that warned against the dangers of things like Christmas and New Age Bible perversions.
I attended college to earn a computer science degree, not a religion degree. I thought some lectures (for General Education coursework) were pretty worthless because the professors taught notions contrary to the word of God.
Towards the end of my college years, I discovered Westboro Baptist Church one day through a post on an Internet forum. It was a link to a FOX News video and then I started watching a whole bunch of other videos about the church. Their doctrines actually made sense and they have Bible verses and passages to support their doctrines. God hates fags. (Leviticus 18:22). God hates sinners (Psalm 5:5). These are scripture verses that were hardly ever discussed at the fake churches I used to attend. Yes, sometimes they would say that homosexuality is a sin based on Leviticus 18:22 but they would never Ever talk about Psalm 5:5 because it totally trashes their “God loves everyone” lie. So after watching a lot of videos and becoming more and more convinced that these people at WBC were striving to serve the Lord their God with all their heart, I was determined to come visit them and see what they were like in person. I found and confirmed that these people at WBC are serious about serving the Lord their God in a manner that is acceptable, pleasing to him, and true to his word. Psalm 119:133: “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” WBC members set a good example for the rest of the world to follow, so I’ve stayed in Kansas to learn from their good example.
Do you support Westboro Baptist Church’s picketing of solders’ funerals?
Wu: Yes, WBC does a great service to those communities affected by a soldier’s death. WBC helps connect the dots from Point A, your rebellion and sins against God, to Point B, the dead soldier. WBC graciously warns the living to repent of their sin and to obey God and his commandments.
Does Westboro Baptist Church support your candidacy?
Wu: Many of the members have given me their support, and I’m very glad to have it.
What do you think will happen if you’re successful in removing that single topic from the curriculum? (How will Kansas schools change for the better, in your opinion?)
Wu: Students would be less attuned with the lies of Satan and they might actually think rationally and reasonably about cosmology, the order of the things God has created, and the accountability they have to God and their fellow men.
How has evolution education harmed you?
Wu: It filled my head with lies from Satan and men that hate God.
School board members obviously do more than just vote on matters of curriculum. What else do you think the Kansas Board of Education should do to make schools better?
Wu: Design programs that promote student health and wellness, warn against fornication, adultery, drug use, alcohol use, and obesity. The Kansas Board of Education should encourage all students, teachers, and administrators to obey the law and to behave as a good citizen of the land. So it’s not all about academic excellence but behaviorial excellence as well. The Board should emphasize good conduct.
Do you think atheists and LGBT students have the right to form groups at high schools?
Wu: No, sexual perverts like LGBT students should not form groups at high schools. Bestiality clubs should not be formed either. We’re trying to promote good behavior, not bad.
As for atheists, well normally you are free to associate with whom you please, and if you fools (Psalm 14:1) want to flock together, that’s your prerogative. But I don’t see the need for a high school to give an atheist’s club official recognition.
Tell me something positive about the Westboro Baptist Church that the public doesn’t know or understand.
Wu: The Westboro Baptist Church is a group of very sweet but serious people that have your best interests in mind when they picket to warn you that your sins are taking you to hell. Ecclesiastes 7:5: It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
Wu ended our interview with a message for me:
And these words are for you Mr. Atheist!
Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.
I could go through the interview and pick out the problems with his statements, one by one — Equal Access Act, anyone? — but let me just end with this: If there’s anything we ought to take away from this, it’s that Wu shows how anyone can run for office.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where many science-supporters watch elections from the sidelines while conservative Christians actually campaign for the seats. If we took education as seriously as Wu does, then I strongly believe we wouldn’t be fighting battles over long-accepted and well-documented science.