A lone black man paced up and down the sidewalk on the northeast corner of 10th and MacVicar excercising his first amendment right. Propped up against a street sign was a sign - a white piece of bulletin board attached to a large wooden frame. In blue letters, the sign read,"God is Good."
"Yeah, I said it, God is Good," said the man as he paced back and forth on the sidewalk.
Another sign, built identical to the first was propped against the street light. In red letters the sign read," The Devil is No Good."
"It isn't God giving us grief today. God is good," said the man.
Across the street at Kwik Shop,customers walk into the store, but pause to look at the man across the street as he exercises his freedom to speak in public. Over the course of the past six months the man has regularly stood at the corner to speak in a loud discourse.
“He is so loud,” said an onlooker at the Kwik Shop. “It makes me a bit nervous.”
In a country that protects freedom of speech and religion and in city that is home to the Westboro Baptist Church, the residents of Topeka have become accustomed to displays of religious speech. It has become common for long lines of protestors from the Westboro Baptist Church to line the streets holding signs that read,”God Hates Fags.”
Even though the message the man on 10th and MacVicar is not one of hate, he attracts many an awkward glance and maybe even fear.
“I think that people are scared because he is tall, black and loud,” said Tiffany Melendez. “He just looks like the type of person that can knock you out.”