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The "g-d hates fags" group from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas is at it again. Tonight, some of them gathered in my hometown to protest against homosexuals at the funeral of a soldier who died last week in Afghanistan.

According to a family member who drove by the church, there were two adults and five children there holding up their usual hate signs such as "g-d hates fags", "thank g-d for IEDs," etc. It really pisses me off that these sorry excuses for human beings exploit children to propagate their hate message.

The twist continues below the fold...

However, in this instance, the family didn't have to endure this hateful nonsense. The Patriot Guard Riders showed up to hide the protesters from the view of those attending the funeral. Over 100 of these bikers showed up to stand, backs to these hatemongers, between the protesters and the church. But apparently it didn't stop there. According to my relative, several hundred residents of the city showed up and surrounded the church grounds to further shield the mourners from these vile people. Both the biker group and the townspeople were carrying American flags. When the protesters started their yelling, the Patriot Guard started up their bikes and drowned the protesters out.

The breaking news is that this soldier died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound (link, registration required). His brother was killed last year in Iraq and apparently the demons of war were too much for this young man to handle.

His parents said that Andrew, who never recovered from losing Fred, was determined to return to battle to finish the job his brother had started.

Andrew's older brother, Cpl. Jose "Freddy" Velez, 23, was killed in 2004 while fighting in Iraq.

Freddy died a hero by facilitating the retreat of his fellow soldiers from an enemy strong point. The soldiers found safety behind the blanket of gunfire he provided. When Freddy ran out of ammunition, he was shot and killed.

It looks like Andrew had PTSD from his war experiences, and yet he was allowed to go back to the front.

But Roy and Carmen Velez questioned whether Andrew should return to combat after they said police discovered him in an East Lubbock alley in December 2005.

Andrew was screaming at soldiers who were not there, grasping an invisible weapon in his hands, Roy said.

"Get down! Get down!" he yelled at his father. "I'm not going to die!"

He was never arrested, but Roy said a copy of the police report followed his brother back to Fort Irwin and that he had other episodes on base and underwent a psychological evaluation.

He leaves behind a wife and 3 small children.

A salute to the Patriot Guard Riders and the citizens of Lubbock for honoring this family and their sacrifices.

Originally posted to docstymie on Thu Aug 03, 2006 at 06:56 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  these hatemongering homophobes (8+ / 0-)

    will rot in a special place in hell.

  •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadB0y, Cronesense, PhantomFly

    These episodes dropped out of the media lately. I thought (hoped) they might of stopped.

    If Liberals hated America, we'd vote Republican.

    by ord avg guy on Thu Aug 03, 2006 at 06:57:12 PM PDT

  •  CNN had video (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalNM, docstymie, myrealname, Cronesense

    online of this father, Mr. Velez, being interviewed about the deaths of Andrew and Fred. I have never seen anything more heartbreaking. This poor man was so honest and open about his grief and his sacrifice. It was absolutely gut wrenching. As I watched him, all I could think about was all of our immigrants who commit to this country, sacrifice for this country, and are treated with such hatred and suspicion in return.

    To hear that he, his wife, his daughter in law, and his three grandchildren were treated so hatefully is too, too much.

    Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief... You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

    by Albatross on Thu Aug 03, 2006 at 07:05:36 PM PDT

  •  This is so disturbing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    will these people not stop at anything?  I don't understand how people can claim to be religious and act in such hateful ignorant ways, it makes me ill.

  •  There's a special place in hell (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, Molly Martinez

    for this particular brand of "christian."

  •  Well I just tried to load (3+ / 0-)

    4 of the registered websites associated with this group and every one was disabled. I don't know who did it, but good. These people don't deserve a voice in America.

    I literally cried when I read this post. Thank you. It is so tragic what is going on in this country right now. It's so profound that at times my feeble mind can't accept it all.

    Look at this photo from a google archive I found from these fucking peoples web site.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Can the courts take that child into protective custody? I'll fight for it. I'm serious!

    "Sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities." -Erica Jong

    by iliketodrum on Fri Aug 04, 2006 at 09:23:37 PM PDT

  •  I HATE these scum! (3+ / 0-)

    And let me tell you, that's an emotion I reserve for special people and/or occasions. Hell, I don't even hate president bush. Dislike? Yes. Disgusted by? Very! But hate? Nope.

    For all those interested, when phelps dies, I will post the location of his grave so that all other like-minded citizens can also piss on his grave. In fact I just may put a roll of TP there! ;-)

    I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. -Voltaire

    by baracon on Fri Aug 04, 2006 at 09:30:51 PM PDT

  •  I HATE these scum! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    And let me tell you, that's an emotion I reserve for special people and/or occasions. Hell, I don't even hate president bush. Dislike? Yes. Disgusted by? Very! But hate? Nope.

    For all those interested, when phelps dies, I will post the location of his grave so that all other like-minded citizens can also piss on his grave. In fact I just may put a roll of TP there! ;-)

    I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. -Voltaire

    by baracon on Fri Aug 04, 2006 at 09:32:01 PM PDT

  •  Amerika (3+ / 0-)

    Is this the home of the free and the brave? These people are disgusting. Thousands of vets are not receiving any care at all. Instead of giving China a couple of bucks for the fake Support Our Troops yellow ribbons which are stuck on so many vehicles, send a couple bucks to the IAVA or any Vets Organization that seek to help, not pander and lie to veterans.

    •  Why don't they visit a "live" vet? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mlbx2, DavidG3276, Molly Martinez
      Yeah, that would be a great idea.  Notice they'll go to these soldiers graves.  Dead soldiers, who can't speak back to them.  

      Why don't they go offer their services to help real, live vets?  I'd like to see the reaction from the soldiers as these not-Christ-like trolls try and spread their hateful message.

      And to bring their children to hold up those disgusting signs, pathetic!

  •  Excellent (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sj, markt, Pandoras Box, Molly Martinez

    three cheers for the bikers and townspeople - that's exactly the way to do it!

    "'Tis the time's plague when madmen lead the blind" -Shakespeare

    by gitana on Fri Aug 04, 2006 at 10:51:19 PM PDT

  •  Their atrocities have been well documented (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Coherent Viewpoint

    Here's my post on BlackSkyTheory (with photos)about the WBC at a funeral in Western Pennsylvania last February.  I call it A Pathetic Pack of Pusbags.

    "Same shit, Different Nixon." - Driftglass

    by roxtar on Sat Aug 05, 2006 at 03:19:48 AM PDT

  •  Where are all the supposed (0+ / 0-)

    Christians?  You know, the ones who are so concerned about flag burning, cells from a uterus, our commie education system?  Where is the outrage, the call for legislation?  Why do the Christianists hate America?

    "Do you want to tumble? Let's tumble." Stephen Colbert

    by tobendaro on Sat Aug 05, 2006 at 03:43:51 AM PDT

    •  Here is one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Christian.  What do you want from us?  I know of many groups that have denounced these people.  I denounce them.  It is my opinion that they are out of place and out of line and making fools of themselves.

      But you make the mistake of lumping all Christians together based on your perception of us (just like we lump other together; we are both wrong to do so).  I am not in favor of a Constitutional amendment against flag burning, I think abortion should be a state's right issue, and I believe that Christians, as a whole, are probably the most likely to have their children in private schools (or home school) to avoid the public education system.

      However, I do not, nor do most of the Christians I know, believe that the government is the answer to everything.  I do not support legislation to ban people from being at a cemetary.  You can not solve every issue with legislation.  Here, you have a small group of extremists that are making fools of themselves in our eyes.  They are doing what they feel is right.  What makes them any different that Cindy Sheehan?

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        I am a Christian.  I was refering to the Christianists.  If you want to associate yourself with them that is your business.  These are the "Christians" who spend a lot of time and money on inane issues like flag burning.  My question is where is their time and money when our vets are being harrassed.  Where is their moral superiority in defending our vets.  My post was meant to point out the hypocrisy the far right religionists exhibit. I appologize for not being more clear.

        "Do you want to tumble? Let's tumble." Stephen Colbert

        by tobendaro on Sat Aug 05, 2006 at 07:28:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  oh that pesky first amendment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Del C

    never more magnificent than when it is exploited by the vile and the deranged.

    OTOH, the simple human decency shown by the Patriot Guards and the townspeople gives me hope, personally, for the future of this tragically misled country of ours, looted and polluted by the greedy and corrupt.

    For me, George W Bush is no different from that lunatic preacher and his clan.  I honestly believe he could weep crocodile tears over the goodness and sacrifice of a family like this and never once, not for a second, feel that this tragic unnecessary death -- or untreated PTSD --had anything to do with him.

    Same with Rumsfeld and Cheney. Exactly like those demonstrators.  Only the signs they carry say, "The rich are better than you.  I am rich. I am better than you."  

    Or, one side: "We are all the same in God's eyes."  And on the other:  "Heaven can wait."


  •  ignored by local newspaper too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Coherent Viewpoint

    The regional newspaper apparently turned their backs on Phelps too- nary a mention in the story, and photo cropped to show only the flags and attendees...good for them.

    A local radio station was warning people that this bunch was in town, and to ignore them for the loonies they are...

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