A Maryland father laid his soldier son to rest in 2006 surrounded by protesters from Westboro Baptist church in Topeka, Kansas, who believe soldiers die in combat as punishment for the U.S.’s permissive attitude toward homosexuality. They carried signs that said, “Thank God for dead soldiers.” The Supreme Court is now reviewing whether protesting the funerals of soldiers is protected by the First Amendment. A Baltimore jury awarded the soldier’s father $10 million in damages, but the case was later thrown out by the U.S. Court of Appeals. The judges said the signs were not referring directly to the father and his son. Snyder v. Phelps will be argued next October.
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Westboro Baptist Church showed up to protest in front of Twitter’s San Francisco office on Thursday, but found themselves severely outnumbered by a crowd carrying multiple signs of randomness, nonsensical yelling, and even a unicorn. A portable stereo blared Lady GaGa, while press and people passing by ignored the Westboro-gang signs and took pictures and videos of the more entertaining signs.
Westboro had scheduled an appearance in front of the Golden Gate Theatre later that evening to protest Fiddler on the Roof. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your perspective, Fred Phelps and his followers canceled their appearance before Fiddler on the Roof. Apparently, they were all hated out from their big day and just had no more hate to spare.
The Phelps / Roper family was in New York to spread hate. Among other places in The Big Apple, they protested outside Walter Cronkite’s funeral yesterday. They even had a fancy sign made up that said “Cronkite in Hell.” Just like the Republican Party platform of exclusion and intolerance the Phelps-Ropers, founding family behind the Westboro Baptist Church, are against abortion, gays, they are white supremacists and they spread the word of a vengeful God.
In today’s op-ed piece titled, “Family of Hate,” John Avlon writes:
“The youngest daughter there, 16-year old Grace-Elizabeth, sports a navy blue “Priests Rape Boys” T-shirt and shuffled around on an Israeli flag. Despite that, she seems uncomfortable while her mother screams beside her. I ask Grace if she wanted to be there. “Oh yes, this is fun,” she gushes. “It’s the best thing we could be doing with our time.”
I asked her sister Megan—who just graduated from Washburn University this spring—what she thought of President Obama. Her eyes lit up. “Oh, he’s the Antichrist,” she says.
I ask for a little more explanation. “Well, he’s against Christ,” she says. Then mom swoops in, talking Deuteronomy and Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians before veering inevitably to abortion. “Reproductive freedom is a fluffy term for killing babies,” Shirley says. “Obama would support the murder of his grandchildren.”
Speaking of grandchildren, Megan and Grace are the grandkids of Fred Phelps—a Kansas attorney who started their church. They spoke of him prideful tones as a pioneering civil-rights lawyer who just happened to spawn a family of lawyers who are now dedicated to trying to deny civil rights to gays and lesbians. Apparently, a family that hates together stays together. When you’re brought up to hate the world and the world hates you back, it’s a self-reinforcing circuit that only the family can understand.”
How many self-professed Republicans see their party platform in the hate spread by the Phelps family? The Phelps family protests embody almost everything loathsome about the modern Republican Party. Is this another area today’s Republicans easily ignore?
This is a scenario from the near future when Fred Phelps dies and meets his maker. As in turns out, on that fateful day, St. Peter has some well deserved time off and it is up to GOD HIMSELF to mind the Heaven Shop when Fred arrives.
GOD: WELL, GREETINGS REVEREND PHELPS, I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS FINE DAY. [As you will note, God talks loudly and in all capital letters.]
Phelps: God, I am glad to be here after a long life of doing your work on earth…
GOD: ACTUALLY, I’VE BEEN WANTING TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT “YOUR WORK”. YOU SEE, FRED, YOU AND I HAVE A FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE OF OPINION ABOUT “YOUR WORK.” I SEE “YOUR WORK” AS HARASSING MEMBERS OF MY FLOCK DUE TO YOUR EXCESSIVE HATE AND MISPLACED SENSE OF PURPOSE.
A REVIEW FOR YOU FRED: I AM GOD. I AM PERFECT. I MADE ALL OF MAN & WOMANKIND IN MY IMAGE. THIS WILL COME AS A SURPRISE FOR YOU, FRED, BUT I’VE HAD HOMOEROTIC FEELINGS AND BECAUSE OF THAT I DEDICATED PART OF MY CREATION TO EXPRESSING THESE FEELINGS IN THE RAINBOW PORTION OF MY WORK. I KNOW YOU ARE AN ATTORNEY IN ADDITION TO BEING A MINISTER, BUT, FRED, YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO JUDGE MY PERFECT CREATIONS.