A Bible-reading teen was among several young people arrested during a peaceful protest across the street from a drag event that included kids last weekend in Wisconsin.
Observers say a group of neo-Nazis, who were issuing threats at the same Gay Pride event at a public park in Watertown, were ignored by police.
Video on Twitter shows police arresting Christian youth minister Marcus Schroeder while he was reading from the Bible.
Nick Proell, another youth with the Christian group, was detained but later released, reported The Sentinel.
“It was worth it. It’s actually an honor to be counted worthy to stand with the cloud of witnesses who have gone before us and been arrested for the sake of spreading Christ and his kingdom,” Schroeder told The Sentinel later in an interview. “If the police wanted to try and set an example for others or anything like that, the only thing I’ve seen is actually the exact opposite, where more and more people are seeing the severity of what’s going on and being called to more action.”
Jason Storms, a fellow member of the evangelical ministry, filmed the arrests and said that while the Gay Pride event was advertised as “family friendly,” some of the participants were dressed provocatively, dancing suggestively around young children and inviting them to stuff dollar bills into their clothing, reported Fox News.
“The police, per orders from city leaders, arrested several young people. Three were arrested earlier in the day while inside the park praying and talking to attendees, and then released with warnings,” Storms said, according to Fox.
Moms for Liberty member Scarlett Johnson took to Twitter to back up Storms’ account and to lament the arrests. She pointed out the alleged neo-Nazis who showed up at the event were treated far better by police.
“Christian teen arrested as he was reading aloud Bible passages at an all ages Drag Queen Dance Party & Drag Storytime Hour in Watertown, WI,” tweeted Johnson. “Meanwhile, men in female costumes danced provocatively for children and creeps in masks pretending to be N-zis brandished weapons and marched around.”
The group Gays Against Groomers warned the public in advance about the nature of the Gay Pride event — which, in addition to featuring a drag queen story hour, also featured a kids’ dance party.
“All of the footage, all the videos online that we’ve seen recently from these Pride events this last year are very over-sexualized, very adult-themed,” Rocky Rodriguez, Wisconsin chapter leader for GAG told The Lion. “There should be no children at these events; it’s not a safe one for them. They’re being exposed to a bunch of sexualized acts and things that are going on around them they have no comprehension of what is actually going on.”
Police attempted to justify the arrests of the Christians, claiming they were using “amplified devices” without permits, which is in violation of the law, wrote Newsweek.
Christians with the ministry claim police didn’t give them a warning before arresting the youths. They also noted that others were using “amplified devices,” such as radios, during the event.
Wisconsin Right Now contacted Watertown’s police chief, Robert Kaminski, for details about the arrests, but the police department hadn’t responded as of publication.
Alexandra Schweitzer of No Left Turn Wisconsin told The Lion last week she planned to offer her own “classic” story hour, replete with a reading of Little Women “by real women.” But she says she was prevented from doing so because the book was deemed “hate speech.”