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This is just infuriating to me.... If they want to protest, I say send them to Iraq to do so.

This proud old seaport, whose sons and daughters have fought in every American war, was grieving for Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Piper. The 43-year-old Green Beret died after his Humvee hit a roadside bomb June 3 in Afghanistan.

When word got out that demonstrators from Kansas planned to disrupt Piper's funeral Monday, residents vowed not to let them interfere with the tribute to their hometown hero.

The 14 demonstrators from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., picketed Monday on a corner near the Old North Church, a Congregational parish founded in 1635, soon after Marblehead was settled. The followers of the Rev. Fred Phelps, who blame American tolerance of homosexuality for the Sept. 11 attacks and the resulting U.S. military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, have targeted Massachusetts for protests because it is the only state where same-sex marriage is legal.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, a lawyer for the Kansas church, said Monday that the funeral demonstration was nothing personal against Piper, who was not gay.

"We are protesting the sins of this nation," Phelps-Roper said. "That doesn't exclude him."

The group also has demonstrated at high school and middle school graduations across Massachusetts, contending that school curricula promote homosexuality.

On the corner of a narrow street lined with Colonial-era buildings, the Kansas contingent tried shouting its anti-homosexual message at mourners who overflowed from the church. But every time demonstrators spoke out, the 14-man Boston Police Department bagpipe band broke into thunderous sound.

LATimes

Originally posted to jillian on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 12:59 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Personal Invite To Fred Phelps (4.00)
    Come pull that shit in Baltimore. We'll cripple you and your retarded inbred family.

    With a big ol' lie And a flag and a pie And a mom and a bible Most folks are just liable To buy any line Any place, any time ~ FZ

    by f furney on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 01:02:26 PM PDT

  •  ya know, i'm a (4.00)
    1st amendment absolutist. but, i would have totally understood if the residents of marblehead had tarred and feathered phelps and the rest of his wackjob family and run them out of town.

    "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

    check out Daily Gotham, yo!

    by lipris on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 01:10:19 PM PDT

  •  Phelps' protests are so (4.00)
    horrendous that I'd think they would consitute "fighting words" offenses that are on the books in many states.

    As I've posted before, Fred Phelps and his wacky family pulled their first funeral protest over 15 years ago.  No one even knew it was coming. Walked out of the church and there he was with those signs and his cretin children and grandchildren.

    He FEEDS on anger. Do not feed him. (If you injure him, I'm not liable, but I'm also not going to restrain anyone...)

    Do something fun!  Laugh, sign, enjoy in his face. He cannot bear happiness.  USE his protests to gather money for good causes:  sign up contributors for how many minutes he's there - a dollar a minute. For how many hours you counter-protest - having FUN, remember! Joyous happy songs!  USE him for the cause of good.

    Because a million people have tried ignoring him - he never goes away (at this for over 15 years!). A million people have tried to ban him legally (he has the 1st Amendment arguments down). A million people have tried to run him off (he has the police protection must be equal argument down).  

    Some of the best counter activities were the angels with enormous white wings that blocked the view of Phelps scum for those coming and going at Matthew Shepards funeral.

    Military funerals?  I guess he's not scared someone will be wearing side arms.

  •  I adore (none)
    the Boston PDs response to this - love it!!
    •  Ditto (none)
      Appropriate for a funeral, and guaranteed to drown out any nasty Phelpsoid dreck that would only piss off the mourners.

      And really, what were those morons thinking? They might get away with their crap at the funeral of an AIDS victim. But a heterosexual Green Beret? Bound to be at least a few people in attendance there who could stomp them into the pavement without even breaking a sweat.

  •  Phelps (none)
    is the best thing to happen to gay rights in a decade.

    Every time I see these jackasses standing their, juxtaposing signs saying "God Hates Fags" with "God Hates America" and "Thank God for 9/11" I want to cheer.  The Jerry Falwells may try to distance themselves, but the Phelps Phanatics show what fundie hate is all about.  These people hate America.

    My heavy metal has turned millions into rock-a-holics. They've become zombies.

    by BrooklynRaider on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 01:28:08 PM PDT

  •  disgusted (none)
    I saw this on CNN. As an NCO my greatest nightmare is losing a soldier. I was disgusted by what I saw from the the Phelps Filth.I know if I saw such a group at one my soldiers funerals I would have a hard time not using some .556 for effective purpose.What primitive thought processes go through the sludge that passes for their brains?

    it tastes like burning...

    by eastvan on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 01:37:15 PM PDT

  •  Wow, (none)
    I thought Falwell and Robertson were bad.

    Just think, a few thousand years ago, natural selection would have picked them off faster than you can say inbred.  I say leave the freaks to their side show.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. -Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Closet VB Coder on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 01:44:57 PM PDT

  •  disgusted (none)
    I would really would love to take this slime on.I hope a lot of troops saw this so they know what kind of support the Christian Wing Nut fringe AKA repuplican party gives them.

    it tastes like burning...

    by eastvan on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 01:58:56 PM PDT

  •  Wow. (none)
    Bet this will be a shot in the arm for gay rights!  Look!  No one is immune from this kind of terrible treatment!  Anyone can endure antigay bigotry, gay or straight.  This crap has got to go!

    What's so patriotic about waving an American flag that was made in China?

    by ultrageek on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 02:12:47 PM PDT

  •  Fred Phelps may inadvertently ... (none)
    increase the American public's acceptance of gays and lesbians.

    He is such a nutjob, a mildly homophobic American might want to distance him/herself from Phelps by becoming ever so slightly more tolerant of the gays they previously uncomfortable around.

    Isn't that what happened in Laramie?

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 03:11:50 PM PDT

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