You Knew This Was Coming; Westboro Baptist Church Will Picket Site of School Shooting

It’s not surprising. We knew it was going to happen. Still, though, it’s absolutely infuriating because it takes focus off the victims and onto those who use the Bible to justify their bigotry:


Just when you thought you couldn’t get any more despicable than the likes of Mike Huckabee and Bryan Fischer… the “God Hates Fags” people find a way to make those jerks look downright compassionate.

Please don’t forget: Any memorial service should be solely focused on the lives that were lost and the lives that had yet to really be lived. Not on the people whose mission in life is to spread hatred. This isn’t about them no matter how much attention they try to draw to themselves.

***Update***: There’s a Facebook event page (time/date unspecified) calling for a non-violent response to Westboro whenever they picket the school.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Plasticpony256

    Well this finally might be the straw that breaks the camels back for tolerating those whack jobs.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Good thing I’m to poor to drive down there. Only six hours away because I most likely would get arrested for assult.

      • Andy Anderson

        I’m glad you’re too poor to use force to violate somebody else’s human rights, even if they are despicable people. That’s not meant as an insult.

      • Coyotenose

         Seriously, we don’t want you down there. For your sake, not theirs. “They aren’t worth it” is so trite, but they are not worth harm coming to you.

        Maybe this slime chiming in will shut up the Huckabees and Fischers a little, lest they become associated with them in spirit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rocky-Morrison/100001552602936 Rocky Morrison

      What I have seen is that there are atheists AND theists who have rushed to make points off this.

      To them I say, you are all scumbags.

      May you never have political control over me.

      A Pox On Both Your Houses.

      • Patterrssonn

        Thanks Rocky for not making any kind of sense.

      • John

         Claiming to be better than everybody without justifying your claim doesn’t make you better than them, it makes you a pompous asshole.

        And the theists already have political control over you, so I guess you’re screwed.

      • Coyotenose

         Can you see the difference between “This tragedy means that God is angry with America!” and “How dare you exploit this tragedy to promote your religion?”

  • http://twitter.com/mem_somerville mem_somerville

    I. er. cannot. suppress. rage….

    But I am willing to stand all day in the cold holding a large barrier banner to protect the families if needed. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

    Fuck these scumsuckers! 

    That’s all I can say about these assholes.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    They better not show up. They are going to get harmed if they do. I don’t condone violence but if they show up they deserve a serious ass kicking.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

      If they do get attacked, I really don’t think I could feel any amount of sympathy. 

      • Randomfactor

         It’s what they want.  They make their living winning lawsuits.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

          Some people have nothing to loose.

          • Coyotenose

             You’re not familiar with their strategy. If they can’t get money from someone who harms them, they’ll sue the venue or the local government for not providing adequate protection, and hurt everybody that way.

            • Coyotenose

               Correction: You *may* not be familiar with their strategy. Looking at the totality of your posts, it seems that you might understand them completely and just be saying that someone at the memorials and funerals will act stupidly no matter how much it will help the Phelpses.

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

      That’s exactly what they want.  These parasites are hoping to enrage people enough that somebody violates their civil rights.  Then they sue and they win.  Fred Phelps is a very skilled civil rights lawyer, and he’s won a lot of these cases.  This is how Westboro Baptist makes their money.  So screen them off, counterprotest, but don’t lay a finger on them or you’ll be playing right into their scam.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        I’m well aware that is their MO but they are going to piss off the wrong person who will just not care.

      • Brndoc9

        They can’t sue if they’re all dead. The problem isn’t laying a finger on them, it’s not laying enough fingers upon them. 

        • Brndoc9

          I wish I hadn’t posted that. Please ignore me.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

            So edit your post and if you don’t you are not sorry for saying it.

            • Brndoc9

              How? I tried to delete it, but it shows up every time I refresh the page.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                If you have a registered disqus account or something you can edit and delete your own posts.  I flagged it, so probably Hemant will notice and remove it.  (I only flagged since you expressed regret, I would not have otherwise)

                • Brndoc9

                  Thank you. I don’t have a registered account, so it’s not letting me delete or edit it. I am sorry. I have been holding in a lot of anger since yesterday, and this story is what burst it. I regretted my post as soon as I hit submit. I hope the community can forgive me. I am ashamed.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

                  The post was deleted. Thanks for the apology.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  Takes a big man to admit his mistake and a lot of us are very angry so don’t feel to bad.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  You’re in good and large company (people who have been pushed over the edge). 

      • JustWondering

        Fred Phelps does not have a license to practice law in any state.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Perhaps not anymore, but I’m sure others in the family do.

        • http://twitter.com/catdumpling Cat MacKinnon

          at least one of his whackjob daughters is a practicing attorney, and i believe she runs her own lawfirm. she’s very much the lawsuit-happy “ambulance-chaser” type, but seems to mostly take cases that directly relate to her family.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Satyagraha.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        Not always an easy thing to do.

    • D1619

      WOO TOUGH GUY

      • Coyotenose

        Another Christian too stupid to read for comprehension.

  • Tom

    As a future pastor, I would gladly walk arm-in-arm with any atheists to stand in unity against this hatred. I hope that any of us who do go will go to protect and not to hate.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Thank you, Tom, I’m glad to stand with anyone for compassion over hate. 

    • Robert

      I was born, and am still, an atheist but I judge a person on how they execute  their life, not what organizing principle they use. I wish I were still living in Bethel, CT so I could join you if and when they come. We could all sing “We shall over come” or something similar, I do not care what, to drown oout their obscenity

    • Toast4122

      Tom we realize the WBC is a group of “con folk” and we would never judge other Christians for the immoral deeds of these ass hats. Please preach love and tolerance and happiness. 

    • the moother

      If you’ve been reading your bible you should be supporting hatred.

      • JustWondering

        That is not exactly “loving your neighbor as yourself”.

        • Dan

           The correct translation is to “love your fellow Jew as yourself”, not the toned down version.  The bible and all religions are divisive and cause in-group/out-group behavior (ie. hatred).  Live with the truth and it will set you free.

          • AnnieKateWitch

            Not all religions preach hate, but I will say that religions are a product of mankind, not God, Jehovah, Allah, or whoever your higher power is. That being said, there are some who follow a spiritual path that is not man made who genuinely care about their fellow man and want to do the right thing. I get the feeling you got burned by people who considered themselves ‘religious’ and really were not.

          • Justin

            The Greek word, transliterated as “plesion” has the connotation of anyone nearby. Jesus is depicted as specifically using terminology and parables to suggest that the command is to apply to everyone, without exception.

          • Blacksheep

            The story of the Good Samaritan is about someone helping another who belongs to a group that his people hate.

      • AnnieKateWitch

        Having read through the Bible three times, you’re full of crap. Old Testament means Old Covenant, so when the New Testament was written, as a New Covenant, Jesus changed everything that came before then. Meaning he paid the ultimate price and preached about love and saving those that were lost. You need to go back and read your New Testament. I am not even a Christian, but I believe that the message Jesus was trying to get across was not about hate at all.

        • Guest

          Perhaps you should go back and re-read Matthew 5:17 to 5:19.5:17
          Think not that I am
          come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but
          to fulfil.

          5:18
          For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise
          pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

          5:19
          Whosoever therefore
          shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he
          shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall
          do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

           

          • Blacksheep

            By “fulfilling the law” Christ meant that he had come to die as a sacrifice, thereby fulfilling the law. He took the punishment, the law was fulfilled.

            • Tom

              And that doesn’t disgust you?

            • Guest

               That’s open to interpretation, and many of your co-religionists would disagree.  Even if we accept it as true, it means your “new covenant” is based on a gruesome human sacrifice.

          • Nancyfrankandjoe

            It’s hard to take Jesus seriously when he says let whosoever’s never sinned cast the first stone yet still praises the God above who happily ordained those terrible laws in the first place.

          • Tom King

            I read the bible three times? HAHAHAHAHA Read it again, but don’t skip the inconvenient parts this time.

      • John

         When someone offers to help you, your first instinct is to tell them they’re wrong?  You know, most rational people are capable of working with others who don’t agree with them on everything.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Oh no. Fred Phelps and his minions are wastes of flesh. They should recycle it. What reprehensible degenerates.

    • Nahmala

      Soylent Green just might be a good idea when it comes to the WBC…

      • Stev84

         No thanks. Who really wants to eat them?

  • http://www.facebook.com/debrennie Deb Rennie

    I think we should let their church languish and fade away through lack of attention.  They thrive on negative attention, and we should not enable them. 

  • http://twitter.com/gingerjet gingerjet

    Yes – the service should be entirely on the lives that were lost – so why are you ignoring your own advice and giving Westboro yet another platform?  How ’bout trying a radical concept?  Ignore them.  So what if they show up?  Who cares?  

    • Michael Waters

      I had a very similar thought, we all know the WBC is reprehensible and they’re doing this for the attention (or possible litigation) maybe we just shouldn’t give it to them.

    • Godlesspanther

      I’ve been saying that for years. There is one and only one thing that you can do to hurt the WBC — ignore them. If we could get as many people to cooperate and just pretend that the hate-goons don’t exist — at some point they would have to just give up. 

      Although we should still listen to Nate Phelps. He’s a good speaker and has a lot of keen insight as to how extreme religious cults work — first hand knowledge. 

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      I care because they are protesting the deaths of innocent children. I normally don’t give a flying fuck what these people do but they have now crossed a serious line.

      • Ron

        WHO CARES what they think. Quit using this horrible experience as a way to promote yourself. And pray for them.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mrs.schaarschmidt Barb Schaarschmidt

           Except that no-one here is talking about promoting ourselves. We’re talking about protecting grieving families from needing to deal with the hate being flung at them by these lunatics. No-one is talking about running around with “atheists rule” signs. They’re talking about standing between the haters and the grieving families so that there is minimal contact.

          I’m wondering…you seem to have a lot of negative things to say about us, but you never really put your own opinion forward. Are you in favor of Westboro Baptist? Do you not support them but think they have the right to protest? Or do you just think that our discussing this is dumb and you really don’t care at all about the families who are going through this terrible trauma?

          • Coyotenose

            The answer is E: None of the Above.

            He just wants to fuel his raging persecution complex up for the day.

        • RobMcCune

          You’re aware they are planning to harass the people attending the funeral right? Oh well you’re a deranged tone troll it’s not like it will make a difference.

    • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

      Oops, I meant to reply, not like. I care because they picket funerals and further traumatize families who are already thoroughly traumatized. Forming human shields against them is a great idea.

      • Robert

        I would love to ignore them, but they choose to display their disgusting behavior at events where the victims of it are at their most vulnerable.  I totally agree that they belong in a cesspool full of leaches but the best we can do is shield the grief stricken from them as mucch as possible.
        Robertt

    • Baby_Raptor

      Because letting people know that they’re showing up allows people in the area to prepare. You know, to protect the individuals hurting from these pondscum.

      Giving them attention might not be the best goal, but if acknowledging them means we can dull their effect, then Fuck not acknowledging them. The people they’re traumatizing need support. I’d be there myself if I wasn’t across the country. 

      • Ron

        Thank GOD you ARE across the country. Do you people know any otherb word then FUCK. Crawl back into your hole and get help. PLEASE

        • Vnb1170

          It’s simply a matter of opinion. Your opinion leads you to believe that ignoring the protestors will work best. Others have an opinion that leads them to want to protect these devastated families from any type of unwarranted hate these “Christians” will spew. I for one am in agreement with giving the protestors the attention they crave if that means protecting the families. They’ve been through enough. It’s that simple, no need for you to talk down to almost every commentor that you disagree with. If that’s your style, than you should truly FUCK off…..

        • Coyotenose

           What a nasty little crybaby you are. Is your blood sugar getting a little low, Ron? You might want to scream upstairs at your mother for another sandwich.

          Then fix your fucking caps lock neurosis, you fucking dimwit.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      One can always make the personal choice to turn the other cheek.  But one can also make the choice to prevent other people from being stuck.  I think it’s best to give them as little attention as possible, but I also think it’s a good idea to keep them a good distance away from the grieving families.  If I were in the area I’d gladly put myself and my ears in their way so that the families can grieve without being taunted.

    • http://twitter.com/dennis_jernberg Dennis Jernberg

       Since they’re coming specifically to show solidarity to the murderer and declare him a True Christian Crusader (i.e. elevate him to terrorist status), the rational thing to do is keep them out. Nonviolently, of course. This is, after all, a cult that craves martyrdom, and Phelps is probably the most expert martyr in the world.

      On the other hand, we need to use this cult as a weapon against the whole Christian Right and its leaders such as Fischer, Perkins, and Huckabee, by showing how little different they really are from Phelps, who’s just them to a more extreme degree.

    • Coyotenose

       Ignoring them lets them do more harm to the grieving families. No thanks.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    If anyone in the area wants to be part of an effective NON-VIOLENT response
    https://www.facebook.com/events/303841059732404/

    • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

      Thanks for the link, Rich.  I’m hoping to wrangle a half day at work this week and join the chain if needed.  I live about 30 miles away; this has hit way, way too close to home.  There are already 8,000 people offering to help out.  The response to this has been overwhelming.

  • Damon grant

    i think they should post a church site for the service but have it at a different location to protect those families from this nonsense

    • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

      That’s giving waaay too much power to WBC; a peaceful chain offering a shield and solidarity is a lot more compassionate and practical.  These families deserve to mourn in their chosen houses of worship.  Arranging a switcheroo of over two dozen funerals is disrespectful and unrealistic.

  • ortcutt

    Aren’t people who pay attention to these Westboro assclowns just giving them what they want?  They’ve been picketing since 1991.  It’s well past time to simply ignore them.  We ignore the Larouchites and other crazies.  Ignoring them would annoy them more than anything would.

    • Godlesspanther

      ’91? I do not recall hearing a single thing about them until about ten years later. Were they low-key (for them, I mean)?

    • Ron

      Finally someone with common sense. Couldn’t agree with you more.

    • Onamission5

      Please tell me how a grieving family is supposed to be able to ignore people who verbally assault them and shit all over the memory of their loved one during their own child’s memorial service. If you think you could do it, you must be a Vulcan. Most people are not Vulcans and as such need protection from these real life trolls who would exploit the grief of others in order to cause real harm to families during their most vulnerable time.

    • Anon

      I agree that the WBC should be ignored.

      I do not agree that because ‘we’ are ignoring them they should be allowed to spew vitriol at families who just lost a son or daughter.

  • rg57

    It seems to me there is one other life that should have had the chance to live, and was cut short. 

    People don’t do this if they have anything to live for.   Why did nobody do anything about this, before it got to this point?  If this important question is brushed under the rug, like happens every single time, it’s going to keep happening.

    When I visited the Oklahoma City bombing museum, they were actually proud that they were almost completely ignoring the bomber, uninterested in his motives, as a statement of moral superiority.   And yet, mass murders of children keep happening anyway.  Ignorance and moral superiority are not skeptical approaches, and quite obviously they don’t work.

    • JustWondering

      A lot of these killers have been on SSRI’s and when the go off them, they are psycho.

      Lets hold the doctors responsible for once.  If a doctor commits malpractice, why isn’t he held criminally responsible?  After all, if you kill someone by accident you can still be charged with manslaughter.

      • Tracker

         One the patient has control over what they take.  Anyone can be on the correct amount medication then decide to go off it WITHOUT the doctors knowledge or consent. There for,  doctor is not responsible.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QIOCTUX55ZX6IP6OYWJGP4IAYI Ruth

        Where is your evidence for:
        -they are on SSRI’s
        -they are psychotic
        -the doctors are malpracticing.  

        The biggest risk factor for violence is being a young male.  Not mental illness.  

  • Sven2547

    I grew up in the next town over.  My cousin went to school in Newtown.
    And I’m going home for Christmas.
    If those scum show their faces in my neck of the woods, you’ll see me at the counter-protest.

    • Sven2547

      On a related note: any clever ideas for signs?

      • Blacksheep

        How about giant mirrors?

        • Coyotenose

           Ha! Fine idea, but very impractical.

  • http://twitter.com/hackeysack415 Manfred Moore

    My apologies, but they need to come to a violent end , once and for all !!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.g.wiley Josh Wiley

    “But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

  • Renshia

    So, if we just shot them all would there be anyone to sue? I wonder…….

    • Cortex_Returns

      They often have children with them when they protest.

      • Renshia

        Your saying we need to aim high then?

    • Coyotenose

       Stop.

  • Cortex_Returns

    I dunno. Having a protest-off runs the risk of making everything about the “brave” people who came and blocked the weird family that everyone hates. 

    So the biggest losers in the world want to make fools of themselves again. Whatever. No one respects them, so what does their stupid opinion matter anyway? 

    Just treat them like the village idiots they are – roll your eyes, keep your distance, and make your friends promise to euthanize you if you ever end up like that.

  • Kmolle

    Hey, next sicko shooter out there… I found your next victims. I do not condone violence, but these people don’t deserve to live. 

  • Musicalmummywoman

    This is just horrifying…Lord and Lady I wish I could be there to help create a human barrier.

  • Thomas Farrell

    I’m gay. WBC has been picketing us a lot longer than they’ve been picketing everyone else.  A long time ago, when they only picketed gay people, I said we should do something about them – you know, like protest back. But straight people’s reaction back then was something to the general effect of “oh my god, how dare you, blah blah blah first amendment blah blah blah freedom of speech blah blah blah you evil unamerican person you!”

    So normally, when people get upset about WBC today, my reaction is “Suck it.”

    That said, in this case I know people are really hurting, so I’ll tell you what we, the gay community, did that worked: we either got people dressed up in huge angel costumes with 10 foot wings to form a line in front of the WBC people and block the view of them, or we got a huge crowd of people to stand in front of them carrying signs with positive messages. Either way, the point was to ensure that the families of the dead people would see a crowd of us, not a crowd of WBC fucktards.

    • Switchhttr

      That was my first thought: borrow or reproduce those fabulous angel costumes and surround the WBC protesters for the sake of the families. Much as I hate to feed their demands for attention, the families have the immediate need for protection here, and this would do it without silencing the WBC.

    • Ron

      Why bring more attention to them and YOU. If your gay, ok but don’t exploit it.

      • JustWondering

        Gays love to throw it in your face.

        • http://mittenatheist.blogspot.com/ Kari Lynn

          Like straights don’t throw it in our faces? 

          Both of your comments were uncalled for and both of you need to stop. 

        • Dan

           Being proud of who they are and not hiding it is not throwing it your face you dim-wit.

        • RobMcCune

          The thing about it is that just gays just existing makes people feel it’s been thrown in their face.

    • Ron

      You gays use the word suck it or fuck ALOT. I really could care less who you like to “SUCK or FUCK” ut keep it to yourself.

      • Thackerie

        If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.

        Or at least stop reading this blog if people expressing themselves freely here bothers you so much. You’re not going to silence us.

        And, BTW, words have no magical power. So, stop acting like a whiny baby about a few well-known and well-used Anglo-Saxon phrases.

      • Cortex_Returns

        What’s wrong man, Getting a little chub?

      • Mommiest

         Thomas Farrell used those words twice out of 189 words (1.05% Rate of Usage). You used them four times out of 27 words, for an RoU of 14.81%. If you find those words offensive, don’t use them.

        Your post also contains a much higher proportion of misspellings.

      • AnnieKateWitch

        You missed the entire point he was trying to make. You’re an idiot.

        • Coyotenose

           He (probably) didn’t miss it. He’s just too self-important to grasp what a nasty little Hell-bound turd he is.

    • JustWondering

      When and wehre did you do this?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Natalie-A-Sera/743004321 Natalie A. Sera

       Sure, they have freedom of speech. But so do we. And there are more of us than there are of them. As an agnostic, I wouldn’t want to wear an angel costume, but there are lots of ways to take up space, including swaths of cloth held by neighbors (rainbow, if you like), and LARGE signs and banners, and whatever else you like. My only worry would be that if there was violence, it would come from them. And I’m REALLY sorry I live in the West and can’t come! :-(

  • bjqsl

    The hackivist group Anonymous has been so kind as to leak the personal contact information of Westboro Church members.

    http://www.armywtfmoments.com/leaked-wbc-personal-contact-information#.UM1mJXfheLH

    • Ron

      How about the “hackivist group Anonymous” quit hiding behind ANONYMOUS and come out. That’s the cowards way. If you are going to say it at least have the courage to PUT YOUR NAME behind it.

      • JustWondering

        Like you do?

      • bjqsl

        Besides the anonymous nature of this group (Anonymous) being part of its identity much like the “we are all pussy riot” balaclava thing, there are clearly good reasons for certain groups to hide their identities, which are to do with efficacy than cowardice. This is why undercover police officers would never be thought of as the coward squad.

      • Coyotenose

        Your being too ignorant and dimwitted to grasp the concept of and reasoning behind Internet anonymity does not reflect poorly on anyone else.

    • bjqsl

      .

  • the moother

    Time to Clown-Troll these mother-fuckers.

    • Ron

      Get help PLEASE. You’re as bad as them

  • ron

    If we ignore them and give them NO attention they will go away.

  • SilverMarten

    The only reason they pull stunts like this is to get attention and try to provoke people into attacking them so they can get millions out of court.  Westboro is a business like any other, only it thrives on hatred.   The only thing that can be done about them is to ignore them and to not lash out. 

  • Ron

    You know I just realized I was giving this site attention by responding to you, may God help you, asstheists. I’m no better then you. GOODBYE

    • Grinch

      Weren’t you the same person flipping shit because someone used the word fuck? Rofl.

      Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out ;) .

    • Thackerie

       Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish.

      Oh, and a great big hearty “FUCK YOU” for the road.

    • Coyotenose

       So long, Trash.

  • Charlietwigg1231

    I do not understand why the authorities make “free speech zones”for obscene politicians in direct violation of the constitution and yet allow these church folks to show up and make people already in mourning worse off.All this crap is starting to make me doubt the sincerity of so called public servants.

  • Dan

    A high WBC count is a sure sign of infection, likely syphilis.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    My prediction.

    Regardless of WBC, the media will have a dilemma of wanting good and constant visual images to cover the on-going developments concerning the shootings.  There will be immense pressure on the media not to film the grieving families to protect their privacy.  The media will be in a bind what to cover.  Now WBC shows up.  The media will be all over it regardless of whether or not there is a counter protest.  Everybody across America (and the world) will be watching the events unfold about the WBC protest (and probable counter protest).  There will be much outrage.  There will be outrage towards WBC. There will be outrage towards the media for covering it.  There will be outrage towards some of the political agendas expressed among the counter protesters.  There will be outrage towards the whole concept of freedom of speech. 

    When the dust settles, most people will thereafter associate whatever signs the WBC people hold with contempt.  It may go down in history as the tipping point for a lot of social issues and attitudes in America for what people think about certain lines in scripture and their relevance in social justice.  I think many religious people realize this are are scared to death of WBC not because they disagree with WBC, but because WBC makes religion look bad.  Therefore, I predict that most of the counter protesters will be religious people there to protect mainstream religion from what they view as a tone-deaf splinter group of the faithful. 

    Pastors across America have been preaching to “Put God first” for years.  Now WBC is putting their scripture inspired duty to evangelize their scripture inspired duty to God first, above, and ahead of the needs and concerns of the grieving families.  Maybe always putting God first isn’t such a good idea after all.

    Hopefully the police will have a place for the WBC to protest that will well out of eye shot and ear shot of the grieving families.  Hopefully, WBC will do their protest on a day that no other services are being held.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mrs.schaarschmidt Barb Schaarschmidt

    I think the best kind of counter-demonstration would be this: Get as many people together as you can, make gigantic signs. It doesn’t matter what they say because you would get as close to the Baptist folks as you are allowed, surround them, and face them with your signs. They could (or maybe even should) be blank. Find some appropriate song for the group to sing, so they could sing it loud and drown out whatever these folks are shouting. This way no-one can hear them or see them and the families can get on with their business without any distraction at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cam.brunner Cam Brunner

    The Westboro Baptist Church is not affiliated with any known
    Baptist convention or associations but is part of Phelps-Chartered Co., the
    Phelps family’s law firm. This is a family of lawyers using this “god hates
    you” thing to make money. It is time for this scam and the hate to end. They
    are NOT what they say they are! THEY ARE NOT A church, THIS IS A HATE GROUP!!

  • AnnieKateWitch

    I wish I had the money to fly out there to help with protesting WBC. Shame on them for even trying to refer to themselves as Christians. I’m Wiccan myself, but I believe that a true spiritual path in done in love, not hate. Jesus never preached hate. He came to help those that needed it, and saved his most angry words for those religious leaders that thought they were better than everyone else, when they were not. He described these self righteous ‘religious’ leaders as white washed pillars filled with dead men’s bones. Fred Phelps and his group are going to hell, not the innocents that he thinks are. There are children, for crying out loud. What is WRONG with this man and his group? This is NOT what Jesus taught.

  • Rwlawoffice

    If they do go to these memorials, they should be soundly condemned.

    Do you know if they are or is this simply a tweet believing they will?

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      One of their methods is to promise to show up so that people will have a big reaction, and then not show.  Someone on that FB group who claimed to have experience with them suggested gathering in a public place away from the venue, so that a large number of people can show up quickly to be a human shield if they show.

      Bottom line, they are the ultimate in trolls.  Giving the trolls the least reaction possible while protecting the grieving families from the trolls is the goal.

  • AnnieKateWitch

    Here’s an idea. Why not go protest to block WBC from creating more pain for the families that lost children? Go with your signs, angel wings and more..but, turn your backs on WBC. Who says you even have to look at them?

  • Ausy212

     if a man strike you on the left side of your face, turn the right side also for him to strike. If a man sue you for your coat, give him also your under garments, if a man ask you to walk a mile with him, then walk two.
    My servants and kingdom are not of this world or else my servants would fight.
    Seek peace with all men, do you business at home and quietly, obey all rule and law not being a riotist person that others may see your good works and glorfy God in heaven.
    [ quoted by; Jesus and the apostle Paul }

    Doesn’t sound much like those individuals in Wesboro are in line with what the truth really is for those who believe.

    • Pawel Samson

      Nah, they have a better idea of what the bible contains than you do.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4DSDQKXZWWPPSFNIJSBVPJLBLI MikeM

    Normally I’d thank them for providing such a fine example of Christian fellowship, but of course that’s what the WBC believes they are doing. They will even provide several hundred verses to back up their position.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Natalie-A-Sera/743004321 Natalie A. Sera

    I SO wish I could be there to protest the WBC picketers. Each of those lives was so precious, and I mourn the possibilities lost. And it is so sad that some of us are civilized and some are not. And if you could, would you feature the story of Vicki Soto, who hid her children in closets and cabinets, and told the shooter they were at gym class. So he shot her and went looking for them elsewhere, and they all survived. Vicki was a true hero.

  • Pawel Samson

    I can’t believe Shirley Phelps has twitter followers.

    • Coyotenose

       Somebody has to keep up with their plans for everyone else’s sake. I salute them.

  • Blacksheep

    Ed Koch once stopped a KKK march in NYC by finding a law on the books about masks not being allowed in parades (or something similar). Only a few guys showed up. It’s too bad here’s not a similar loophole to stop WBC. (For example decree the school private property for the day of the memorial service).

  • Bouncer827

    i am an agnostic and can only say thay it would not be the best idea  that wbc ever had to picket anything in newtown

  • Blacksheep

    how about signs made from this stuff, so they can see themselves? I would hate to see myself being an a__hole.

    http://www.hyatts.com/art/silver-adhesive-mylar-20×27-sheet-G18100

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GUWTRWAK6VPDMKRJGTNCBIYKFU James

    those westboro baptist idiots need to be thrown in jail they are not god far from it who are they to judge they’re nothing more than a hate group like the kkk                                 and white power  they won’t be going to heaven they will all be in hell with all those terrorist i go to church every week and i do not support those assholes good for that guy who hacked they’re website 

  • Nancyfrankandjoe

    Six and seven years old. I just can’t…

  • Jncunni2

    several of WBC’s members are blocked from entering the UK because theyve incited hatred, why can’t we kick them out of the US for the same reason? They’re a menace

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
  • Nope

    I’m glad there’s almost no one in the comments calling for censorship.

  • Bill

    I have no problem going to jail

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Just make sure they can’t sue the town for not providing adequate attention, or you for assault (assuming you have any kind of asserts or insurance they could get their hands on).