Topeka resident Jack Wu says his run for the State Board of Education was prompted by his opposition to public schools teaching evolution, not by the Westboro Baptist Church.
Reached by phone Thursday, Wu confirmed that he attends Westboro Baptist — which is known nationwide for its anti-gay protests — and adheres to its teachings, but has not been baptized as a full member.
Wu has registered to run as a Republican and says he's not perturbed that the head of the Kansas Republican Party said Wu is not connected to the organization.
It was during his time at a private, Christian school that Wu was taught Creationism as the explanation for the origin of humans, and eventually embraced that view over evolution.
"It wasn't just all from the Bible," Wu said. "They have evidence."
He acknowledged that teaching Creationism in public schools is "tricky" due to First Amendment restrictions against the state endorsing one religion over another.
In addition to pulling evolution from the curriculum, Wu said another of his platform issues is to put a Bible in every classroom. He cited Supreme Court rulings that state the Bible may be studied in public schools for its value as a work of literature and a historical document, without running afoul of the Constitution.
"I'd like to see every kid in Kansas have access to Bibles," Wu said.