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Casey, IL Along interstate 70 sits Casey, Illinois, a caring community that keeps to itself and is known for larger than life items, like the world's biggest rocking chair and wind chimes.
This weekend the community is expecting a visit from a group known for larger than life hate tactics, Westboro Baptist Church. Jon McDonald says "The most important thing for us is to not engage with them at and so we want to make sure we get that out loud and clear, that that's the absolute best way we can deal with that situation."
Jon McDonald is the pastor at Casey's First Baptist Church, his church is one of three the group is targeting for protests. Jon McDonald says "We do dread that we do share the same middle name as them Baptist, and we have absolutely no affiliation and I hesitate to even use that word for them because of the baggage that it brings for us." Casey Police Chief Mark Jenkins posted on social media warning the community of the potential arrival, and so far the community seems to be following a simple plan. Seth Crampton says "They're definitely not gonna fit in, and the majority of us are just gonna ignore them and not give them the attention they're looking for."
For Pastor McDonald the group's actions are disappointing, but he sees this weekend as a potential blessing. Jon McDonald says "It's frustrating but at the same time I see this as a great opportunity for us to be able to display the truth of the gospel, and I think the light of the gospel is going to shine even brighter against the darkness of the false gospel that they share and so I really think that this could be the best thing that has ever happened for the gospel in our city in our county."