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9-Year-Old To Westboro Baptist Protesters: 'God Hates No One'

Posted: May 16, 2012

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Patty Akrouche says she's "never been prouder" of her 9-year-old son, Josef Miles, than she was this past weekend. He quietly rebutted the infamous group's anti-homosexual protest.

Josef Miles, making his own statement.

Josef Miles, making his own statement. Patty Akrouche

Another view of Josef during his counter-protest.

Another view of Josef during his counter-protest.

Patty Akrouche says she's "never been prouder" of her 9-year-old son, Josef Miles, than she was this past weekend.

As Akrouche wrote on her Facebook page, she and Josef were on the campus of Washburn University in Topeka when they encountered some of the protesters from the tiny Westboro Baptist Church, which has gained notice in recent years for protesting against homosexuality, abortion and other issues outside the funerals of military veterans and celebrities.

Westboro's followers are infamous for their signs that — using an F-word we won't repeat — say "God Hates [Homosexuals]."

"Josef was determined to make his own statement so we went to the car and with pencil and his sketch pad, he made up his own little sign that reads 'GOD HATES NO ONE,' " his mom wrote. "Those people are scary but he stood strong, was respectful and stood by his convictions. He will be a good man, I have no doubt. I got my Mothers Day present early."

For his quiet counterprotest, Josef has gotten noticed too — for example, by The Huffington Post and The Topeka Capital-Journal.

So, Buzzfeed may need to update its "30 Best Anti-Westboro Baptist Church Protest Signs" page (note: some images there do have words we wouldn't use).

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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