Apparently not. The Westboro Baptist Church is at it again:

A Kansas church group that planned to demonstrate at the funerals of five Amish girls killed in an attack on their one-room schoolhouse has dropped the picket plans, a reversal that came hours after Pennsylvania’s governor offered the Amish police protection.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church issued a statement saying a representative will appear on a nationally syndicated radio talk show hosted by Mike Gallagher instead of picketing the funerals.

Gallagher’s website indicated the group was offered an hour of airtime in exchange for dropping the planned demonstration.

In preparation for the demonstration, Governor Ed Rendell said that he appealed to the Topeka, Kansas-based group to allow the Amish to conduct their funerals in privacy.

Members of the church group routinely picket military funerals, saying that American servicemen and women are dying overseas because God is displeased that the United States tolerates homosexuals.

It’s truly disgusting that these lunatics even considered picketing the funerals of children–children!–gunned down by disturbed gunman. Every time that I think Fred Phelps and his disgusting band of hate-filled zealots can’t sink any lower, they do. Worse, to appease them and keep them from intruding on the tragedy these simple people suffered, a nationally syndicated talk show host is giving them airtime. I don’t know who Mike Gallagher is, but I can only hope he gives them hell. (If there are any listeners out there, the WBC representative is scheduled to be on between 10-11 AM EDST.)

And what is the rationale used by the church for intruding on the Amish? Here:

WBC to picket funerals of Pennsylvania school girls killed by a mad man in punishment for Gov. Ed Rendell’s blasphemous sins against the WBC–in religious protest and warning.

And what did Rendell do to deserve this? This:

Gov. Ed Rendell – speaking and acting in his official capacity to bind the State of Pennsylvania – slandered and mocked and ridiculed and condemned Westboro Baptist Church on national Fox TV. Rendell also revealed a conspiracy to employ the State’s police powers to destroy WBC in order to silence WJ3C’s Gospel message. Co-conspirators identified by Rendell included state officials, citizens, lawyers, legislators and media.

I wonder if this part of a new strategy they plan to use: Threaten to picket at highly visible, tragic events unless they get air time on a major radio or TV network. It’s blackmail, pure and simple.


  1. #1 Pope Bandar bin Turtle
    October 5, 2006

    The answer to your (assumed rhetorical!) question is …


  2. #2 Roadtripper
    October 5, 2006

    Somebody, somewhere, is probably planning something truly *special* for the inevitable day of Fred Phelps’ funeral. Stay tuned, kids!

  3. #3 No, they won't stop
    October 5, 2006

    I do not support vigilante justice, but if I had a spare quarter I’d bet that some PO’ed dude will crack and go Bernard Geotz on those bigots someday soon. I also find it sad that some family of bigots, one mutation away from the Peacocks, can garner so much publicity.

  4. #4 Barry
    October 5, 2006

    “Somebody, somewhere, is probably planning something truly *special* for the inevitable day of Fred Phelps’ funeral. Stay tuned, kids!”

    Posted by: Roadtripper

    May that day come soon. I have a saying, that the worst thing that can be said about something is that the world was the worse for him having been born, and the better for him having died; Fred Phelps fits that description.

  5. #5 anonimouse
    October 5, 2006

    Having listened to Gallagher in the past, I am not shocked he’d give the Westboro loons airtime.

  6. #6 dale Austin
    October 5, 2006

    Somebody, somewhere, is probably planning something truly *special* for the inevitable day of Fred Phelps’ funeral. Stay tuned, kids!

    Hmmmm . . . A six pack, a full bladder . . .

  7. #7 Joshua
    October 5, 2006

    Come on, guys. Vigilante justice?

    In our brave new post-Military Commissions Act world, all we need to do is convince some law enforcement types that the Westboro freaks are terrorists. Then not only will we never hear from them again, but we can sleep easy knowing that they’ll be undergoing nightly sessions of simulated drowning.

    Shouldn’t be too hard to justify, either. I mean, protesting military funerals? Smells like aiding and abetting the enemy to me.

  8. #8 mumkeepingsane
    October 5, 2006

    Not that this while thing doesn’t bother me but what really drives me crazy is the “reasoning”.

    What does going to war have to do with homosexuality? And what does the tragic deaths of little Amish girls have to do with Rendell? The thinking is just so…..ugh, stupid? Someone think of a better word.

  9. #9 Thony C.
    October 5, 2006

    “The thinking is just so…..ugh, stupid? Someone think of a better word”.

    Try “mind boggling” or “totally f***in’mind warping” or just plain “insane”!!

  10. #10 Ahistoricality
    October 5, 2006

    I think any “compromise” with WBC is a serious error, unless you’re fundamentally sympathetic to their cause….

    No, the governor should have called for all decent-minded citizens to come out and attend the funerals in a dignified and supportive fashion, requiring the WBC attendees to be so far removed from the actual funerals as to be irrelevant.

  11. #11 Christian
    October 5, 2006

    Revised Title (Inspiration from a Dilbert cartoon)

    Are there no depths to which these people won’t stink?

  12. #12 David Godfrey
    October 5, 2006

    I think we can compromise. They shut up for ever, and I’ll piss on them if they’re on fire.

  13. #13 Daniel Harper
    October 5, 2006

    Actually, the modern face of WBC with the whole “God Hates Fags”, protesting at military funerals and the like, is one of the _least_ evil things that Phelps has done.

    is a book written based on the recollections of one of his now-grown kids who has left that crazy bastard and his church behind. Highlights include regular beatings of his children (in some cases, starting from the time they were babies), often with a mattock handle, abuse of civil rights legislation and African-Americans to funnel money into his law practice, forcing his children to work as slaves selling candy and other sundries, heavy drug use, spousal rape and abuse, et cetera et cetera et cetera. I promise I’m only scratching the surface here.

    As an atheist I’m usually uncomfortable making straightforward moral judgements, but if only a tiny percentage of the allegations in the book are true, Fred Phelps is among the most evil and morally bankrupt men I have ever heard of. His actions and behavior towards those about him are utterly despicable and completely beyond any standard of human decency. It will truly be a good day when he is no longer around to terrorize those around him.

  14. #14 David Harmon
    October 5, 2006

    Remember that to some degree, those guys are canaries in our coal mine.

    “In a free society, it’s safe to be unpopular.”

  15. #15 Genevieve Williams
    October 5, 2006

    Actually, I think this is rather clever on Gallagher’s part. Clearly he’s figured out that what these people really want is attention.

    (I’ve read Addicted to Hate, and Phelps fits the abusive profile so perfectly that he’d make a quintessential example in a psychology textbook. Instead of settling for abusing his family, however, he’s set his sights on the world.

    The last time he attempted to picket a gay bar in Seattle, he was roundly mocked by drag queens. I don’t think he’s been back since.)

  16. #16 raindogzilla
    October 5, 2006

    I don’t know about Gallagher being clever. It’s like negotiating with terrorists, with the girls’ funeral as hostage. Sure, WBC isn’t going to go to PA now but Gov. Rendell would’ve probably held them so far off from the service- if not run them off entirely, that their trip would have been futile and, now, they get an hour of national radio time with the audience most ideologically predisposed to buy their spleen and bile. Here’s the negotiation itself, in which Shirley Phelps-Roeper assures us the poor girls are in HELL because the Amish aren’t True Christianstm.

  17. #17 JamesR
    October 5, 2006

    At least the Amish don’t use television much and I doubt they even know Phelps. This whole scenario reminds me of some sordid piss poor attempt at creating an evil twilight zone episode. From the murders of those young women and now this madness with Phelps. Sheesh.

  18. #18 BigHank53
    October 10, 2006

    Phelps et al are highly litigous, and more than a few are lawyers. They are apparently quite fond of suing people who assault them–thus, they’re as offensive as possible.

    They’re just another scam.

  19. #19 Kiwiwriter
    October 10, 2006

    I find few things in America as sickening as Reverend Fred Phelps. He is one of the more nauseating symbols of America’s failures…this is how we look to the world.

    I can’t help but wonder what Osama and his pals think of Phelps when they see him on TV.

  20. #20 Chris
    October 12, 2006

    Come on; what would they get out of picketing the AMISH?!

    That’s a surefire way to get the remaining few Americans who don’t consider the WBC a bunch of shitbags to change their mind.

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