Archive for Monday, November 15, 2010

Tires on Westboro Baptist Church van slashed in Oklahoma

November 15, 2010


— Members of a Kansas church that protests at military funerals may have found themselves in the wrong town over the weekend.

Shortly after finishing their protest at the funeral of Army Sgt. Jason James McCluskey of McAlester, a half-dozen protesters from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., headed to their minivan Saturday, only to discover that its front and rear passenger-side tires had been slashed.

To make matters worse, as their minivan slowly hobbled away on two flat tires, with a McAlester police car following behind, the protesters were unable to find anyone in town who would repair their vehicle, according to police.

The minivan finally pulled over several blocks away in a shopping center parking lot, where AAA was called. A flatbed service truck arrived and loaded up the minivan. Assistant Police Chief Darrell Miller said the minivan was taken to a Walmart for repairs.

Even before the protesters discovered their damaged tires, they faced off with a massive crowd of jeering and taunting counterprotesters two blocks from the First Baptist Church, where the soldier’s funeral was held.

Miller estimated that crowd to number nearly 1,000 people, and they not only drowned out the Westboro protesters with jeers, but with raucous chants of “USA, USA.”

A few motorcyclists interspersed among the crowd also revved up their engines to muffle the Kansans’ protests.

Westboro members picket military funerals across the country, spreading their message that “God hates America” because it tolerates homosexuality.

On Saturday, more than two dozen law-enforcement officers — state troopers, sheriff’s deputies and city police — formed a security cordon around the Westboro protesters.

“We’re here to protect everyone,” Miller said.


woodscolt 7 years, 4 months ago

With courts seemingly unable to do much to deter this bunch of deplorable despicable nut cases, look for the people to have to take it into their own hands . Hopefully, it doesn't escalate into more vandalism or violence. A group of people in Eudora did a masterful job turning Phelps back (without vandalism or violence.) when these subhumans tried to protest their most recent high school graduation.

AnonymousBosch 7 years, 4 months ago

Please tell people how - so that others can imitate this non-violent form of resistance to the Phelps. They deserve counter-protests and public shaming, though, like you, I hope nothing more violent occurs (in general and because they would have a FIELD DAY after the fact).

he_who_knows_all 7 years, 4 months ago

Your "cuzins" are members of Westboro Baptist Church?
That's not surprising considering you call them "cuzins".

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 4 months ago

I have every expectation that Shirley Phelps Roper will be suing half of McAlester. They will be nuisance harassment suits that will eventually be punted by judges for being "without merit" but in the meantime people will have the hassle of having to get attorneys to answer and their business insurance will go up, etc.This is the way these people operate. They don't just show up and protest at funerals. They also show up at Renaissance Festival, Broadway shows at the Lied, performances at the Sprint Center; they're all over the place. And they use the legal system to harass people. Half the family is lawyers and they sue and they sue and they sue. And they make sure that everything * they do is just barely within the letter of the law. And they will glory in the fact that someone did this to them. Why? Because it got them in the news ONE MORE TIME*.

geekyhost 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes, this. I'm surprised they haven't started slashing their own tires for the attention.

geekyhost 7 years, 4 months ago

I wouldn't be surprised either way, but I imagine they'd have conveniently come prepared for just such an emergency if they had done it themselves.

SWJayhawk13 7 years, 4 months ago

Wouldn't surprise me. My brother used to live a few houses down from their church, and he has some interesting stories about them. He was talking about the dumpster fire they had a few years ago, and how the Phelps' tried to claim it was a hate crime, yet everyone in that neighborhood (along with many, many other people) suspect that the Phelps' set it themselves to get attention.

Cait -- they also were at Dora the Explorer Live! a few years back. I was disgusted to find them there when we took my 5 & 3 year old siblings. Even little kid's shows aren't safe from these bigoted pieces of crap.

newmedia 7 years, 4 months ago

Guess that's why they weren't at the Mannheim Steamroller concert in Topeka Saturday.

kernal 7 years, 4 months ago

Speaking of that, the first I knew of it was a tv commericial for tickets yesterday.

Clevercowgirl 7 years, 4 months ago

I do wish that we in Lawrence had the ____s to do what they did in McAlester. Or at least the equivelent. I know that it would solve nothing, but it made my day that McAlester shut them down. That's one town they will not visit again.

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 4 months ago

If it happens at every funeral, maybe they'll quit!

doc1 7 years, 4 months ago

I would have slashed their tires if I had known what they drove. Someone should start an anti Phelps website and post pictures of these people and what they drive.

Gene Wallace 7 years, 4 months ago

They were opposed the last two times in Lawrence. We kept them away from the Gavin Smith events and the military funeral two weeks later. It did not make the news, because we were a bit more subtle. Still, the Westboro Cult got our message. Lawrence is off limits to funeral protests.

geekyhost 7 years, 4 months ago

Mark your calendars, folks. TomShewmon on November 15th, 2010 said something I agree with.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 4 months ago

Well considering this new, finger snapping law they passed against Sharia and International law....

satie 7 years, 4 months ago

Many of the famous Patriot Guard Riders hail from Oklahoma. They are the ones who "revved up their engines". They come from every state and sometimes travel for hundreds of miles to protect the grieving families of our military. The thunder of their engines is music to the ears of parents who would otherwise have to listen to the nasty taunts of these Westboro savages. Good on Oklahoma for not slinking off like defeated dogs. And Old Shirley better watch out. She and her cronies are already out 11 million bucks from just one case. The father of a United States Marine sued the Phelps and won. The jury's message was, " Do not bring your circus of hate to Maryland again". Folks have had it with you, you pesky little loud mouthed, money hungry degenerates. We ain't a'skeered o' you no more.

kernal 7 years, 4 months ago

Don't crow yet. I think the Phelps are filing an appeal on that ruling.

jackpot 7 years, 4 months ago

SCOTUSA has that one. So far the father owes Phelps money. Phelps won an appeal.

satie 7 years, 4 months ago

If that is true then I stand partially corrected and thanks for setting me straight, Agno. I wish the Snyders well in that case.

Liberty275...the trouble is, we've been putting people like YOU in charge of our free speech, people who use our own freedoms against us. By the way, what makes you think I'm a woman? I could be a dead French piano virtuoso. i think I'll sic my dog on you. ;)

MyName 7 years, 4 months ago

If they end up paying even a lower 6 figure sum, and it sticks, it would be the end of the funeral protests. If they can get taken to court every time they protest at a funeral and are forced to pay more than a nominal sum, they wouldn't have the money to keep it up.

MyName 7 years, 4 months ago

If they end up paying even a lower 6 figure sum, and it sticks, it would be the end of the funeral protests. If they can get taken to court every time they protest at a funeral and are forced to pay more than a nominal sum, they wouldn't have the money to keep it up.

thebigspoon 7 years, 4 months ago

They wanted two flat tires and a ride out of town in a tow truck ?????

Kirk Larson 7 years, 4 months ago

Actually they probably wanted one of their kids hit with an egg or Shirley to get punched in the face to justify their self-image as martyrs for god. But they'll settle for the slashed tires even if they have to slash them themselves.

satie 7 years, 4 months ago

Tom, Tom, sigh..... Tom. What the Phelps "family" does is rather akin to homegrown terrorism, albeit small. I suppose you would handle it the same way, were it on a grander scale? Some bullies don't deserve to be dealt with by ignoring them. So, run and hide under your bed. We'll come and pull you out when the coast is clear.

Liberty275 7 years, 4 months ago

What the Phelps "family" does is rather akin to homegrown terrorism"

Yes, speech is terrorism. Let's put satie in charge of deciding what people are allowed to say so we can start jailing people that say things he/she doesn't like. Maybe if they really offend him/her, we can sew their lips shut or better yet, we can cut out their tongues and have them mounted on satie's wall as trophies.


MyName 7 years, 4 months ago

Their right to free speech has limits, as does everyone else's right. Or to quote a learned legal scholar: "Your right to swing your arms freely ends where my nose begins."

I think they've already crossed the line with the funeral protests and I hope the Supreme Court agrees.

MyName 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't think the people slashed their tires in order to gain publicity, but rather to inconvenience them. If this wasn't a slow news day, it wouldn't be a story.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 4 months ago

Maybe if all the people that could work had jobs to go to they wouldn't have to be "moochers". But when millions and millions of jobs have disappeared in the last 10 years that will never come back that's a bit difficult.,0

‎"Complaining, like blaming, narrows your focus and keeps you fixated on problems. They are the fastest ways of removing our control and our energy as we shift responsibility. They steal our optimism, hopes, dreams, creativity." ~ from Psychology Today

satie 7 years, 4 months ago

No negative publicity, no public humiliation for them. That's worse than any tire slashing. Sorry, Shewmon, to be so hard headed this morning.

Clevercowgirl 7 years, 4 months ago

LOL. I hope that they were really, really scared.

Clevercowgirl 7 years, 4 months ago

After this last protest, Phred had to "re-tire".

mdrndgtl 7 years, 4 months ago

This needs to stop before someone looses control of their '92 Honda Civic and accidentally grinds a member of the Phelps' gang into the asphalt. We can't let this happen.

kernal 7 years, 4 months ago

Wonder how that little heroine is doing these days. Oh, wait! It was accidental! Really officer!

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 4 months ago

Sweet justice! I'd love it if they suffered the same fate as the O' Doyle family in Billy Madison.

staff04 7 years, 4 months ago

Sorry ma'am, we just don't have the tools necessary at this here tire shop to make that repair. Good luck to ya...

Scott Drummond 7 years, 4 months ago

Note: the locals were able and willing to express their disgust with the Phelp's antics, but Walmart felt no desire to stand up against their hatred. And there, encapsulated in one brief business transaction, is why the takeover of Walmarts is such a bad thing for America. One value is important to such businesses and it is the value of money. Yet another reason I'll never shop at Walmart.

JayCat_67 7 years, 4 months ago

Depends. I wouldn't know any of the family other than Fred if I saw them. The Wal-Mart lackey probably had no idea whose tires he was replacing.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 4 months ago

I gotta agree, I'm pretty sure the Walmart manager didn't rush down there to offer them fee mounting and balancing in honor of the Phelps family world view. This was some part time tire monkey, doing just another of a hundred tire jobs he'll do this week.

whats_going_on 7 years, 4 months ago

also, it sounds like they might have had to since AAA was involved?

bad_dog 7 years, 4 months ago

Well whether you recognize them or not, seeing the Phelps crew adorned in their " t-shirts" might have been a bit of a clue to the casual observer. That or the signage onboard their minivan. It's not like they need a telephone booth to change in. They bask in the attention they receive-whether it be receptive or revulsion.

JayCat_67 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't know, after the first few businesses exercised their "right to refuse service", they may have figured out that they may want to put on jackets and flip the signs or walk back to Topeka.

Plus, I'd like to have seen the look on the tow truck driver's face when he drove up and saw who he was picking up. Shaking his head and muttering "Aw $h!+"

bad_dog 7 years, 4 months ago

I hear you JayCat... "Is it too late to call in sick today?"

Brian Laird 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry, but as much as I find the actions and views of the Phelps clan reprehensible, vandalism against people you disagree with is never acceptable. I am really saddened by many of the responses here who seem to view that this sort of vigilanteism is OK.

inklines 7 years, 4 months ago

Actually, Scott3460, Walmart helped get them out of town.

Matt Torres 7 years, 4 months ago

Shouting over someone, counterprotesting....these are examples of free speech. Slashing tires? No, but sorry, in this case this doesn't fall under Thoreau's idea of civil disobedience.

Thoreau's ideas about civil disobedience had more to do with disobeying a law to draw attention to the unfairness of that law itself. What civil rights supporters in the 60s did in the South is civil disobedience. They were intentionally breaking laws they felt were force the state's hand to arrest them so they could show the world the unfairness of a law. Sitting in the front of the bus...using a white water fountain, staging a sit-in. People did this because the they felt these laws themselves were unjust.

Are you saying that the people who slashed the Phelps' tires did so because they were trying to draw attention to the injustice of laws that protect peoples' private property?

You can feel how you want about the fact that someone resorted to petty vandalism to make their point, but don't call it what it isn' do a disservice to people in history who have done ACTUAL civil disobedience.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 4 months ago

It's just a matter of time before something very bloody happens to that group. I bet they've got the best security alarm system of any Baptist church in the U.S. They need to invest in some Kevlar armor while they're at it.

Gene Wallace 7 years, 4 months ago

They do! Their one block compound is fenced in with security cameras overlooking all the buildings.

kernal 7 years, 4 months ago

That's why they don't all live in the compound anymore.

independent_rebel 7 years, 4 months ago

Many years ago, I have a friend who was having lunch at Gage Park with her husband and mother-in-law. We are talking early 1990s, before most knew about Phelps and his brainwashed family.

Anyway, the mother-in-law had battled breast cancer and her hair was just coming back in. Phelps and a handful of his cult were carrying their signs through the park, spewing out their bile, and when they came across my friend, and noticed the mother-in-law's short hair, proceded to call her a "dyke" and spout out the crap they spout. When my friend's husband got into the face of a couple of the men, Phelps included, they tried to provoke him into striking them. My friend noticed that in the distance there was someone with a video camera, then another--all part of the Phelps crew, and begged her husband not to. He didn't.

My own opinion is that Phelps is actually a homosexual himself (even if he hasn't had any homosexual experiences in years), and, because of his warped religious beliefs, hates himself for it. His way to deal with this is to act like the loud, judgemental, freak that he is. It is his way to try and supress who he really is.

There are few people in this world I look forward to hearing about a sad demise more than Fred Phelps. Perhaps he and his family (minus the minors) can volunteer to fly to Mars on that one-way vacation destination package? Poor Martians!

Butterflies 7 years, 4 months ago

Is this what you do when you hate someone?

jonas_opines 7 years, 4 months ago

It's interesting how the action of what is probably a solitary vandal is being conflates with the large group that is Oklahomans.

I am pleased to hear about business owners putting their moral center before their bottom line.

Matt Torres 7 years, 4 months ago

Didn't someone try to run Fred over when he was out protesting two days after 9/11? I really don't think it's the proper way to handle this. All they want is our attention. They get off on it, and this slashing of tires nonsense is only affirming to them that indeed, they have it (our attention).

Also, we have to remember that these are RELIGIOUS nuts and religious people loooooooove martyrdom. The Phelps bunch already have a martyrdom complex and are convinced that the more people seem to hate them, the better they're doing. I hate to imagine what'd happen to the movement if Fred himself kicked the bucket. It wouldn't end, that's for sure.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 4 months ago

"IF Fred himself kicked the bucket"???

Has Fred been granted eternal life on earth already?

kernal 7 years, 4 months ago

Of course it won't end. His daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper is running the show, Phred is just a figure head now. Shirley, aka The Cobra.

AnonymousBosch 7 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps when Fred kicks the bucket, families who have suffered because of the Phelps family should protest HIS funeral and see how Shirley and co like it when the shoe is on the other foot.

whats_going_on 7 years, 4 months ago

Ok, whoever slashed the tires probably didn't make the smartest move. Phelps probably loved it...more attention!

However, I think its AWESOME that no one in town would fix the car. LOL.

whats_going_on 7 years, 4 months ago

yep, pretty much. No one in their right mind would wish any of them good will.

whats_going_on 7 years, 4 months ago

I guess you would know that first hand, considering all of your ridiculously immature posts about how sorry Democrats are going to be, etc


Christine Anderson 7 years, 4 months ago

I love the fact that none of the repair shops could fix the tires. It would be equally funny if the police there just could not identify the suspect(s). roflol.

notaubermime 7 years, 4 months ago

I am completely unconvinced by the argument that attention is what the Phelps clan wants. That works for 4 year olds, but tends to fall flat when it comes to sociopaths. Phelps has his own reasons for doing what he does and there isn't any action that any of us can take which will change him or make him willingly stop. Humoring any pretense that he will stop picketing funerals if we pretend he isn't there is ridiculous, IMO.

That said, I don't think breaking the laws of society is justified in this case. As bad as Phelps is, he doesn't break the written law, so doing so to him only ups the ante. The people who refused to fix his tires though, had the right idea. Don't do business with him. Don't do business with anyone who does. He ain't going anywhere if he doesn't have any money. Boycott him until all that he has funds to do is picket gay hamster funerals at the local pet cemetery.

whats_going_on 7 years, 4 months ago

where DOES all of their money to do this come from, anyway? I know they are loaded, but money has to run out some time, doesn't it?

kernal 7 years, 4 months ago

They used set their children out to sell chocolate bars across the street from the State Office Building in Topeka as well; don't know it that's still going on.

jonas_opines 7 years, 4 months ago

I think we've already seen what happens when you don't pay attention to Phelps. They didn't get as much coverage when they just targeted the funerals of gays, so they upped the ante and started going to the funerals of soldiers.

notaubermime 7 years, 4 months ago

Pretty much. If it becomes a contest between the patience of the American public and the Phelps' creativity at eliciting controversy... I'm betting on the Phelps.

pace 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't condone vandalism but don't harass people at a funeral,just good sense and good manners. "To make matters worse, as their minivan slowly hobbled away on two flat tires, with a McAlester police car following behind, the protesters were unable to find anyone in town who would repair their vehicle, according to police." I don't know if the language is accurate "to make matters worse" it didn't seem to make matters worse, more it seemed to improve matters. One wouldn't want to help this cult with their mean craziness. Good for the town for turning out, giving their time, showing support for grieving families. I wish the first reporter that found a great story about this crazy family hadn't given them such a stage. The reporter could of gone to local insane asylums and interviewed persons with interesting takes, most with better understanding of Christianity.

Gene Wallace 7 years, 4 months ago

This is the URL for the Facebook page of "The Wall Of Peace Against the Westboro Baptist Church" :!/pages/Wall...

"Join us in a solid show of Honor and quiet resolute belief that our soliders protect US - thus, we, in turn - Protect Them.

It is our wish that Westboro's campaign of Hate is met with a calm Wall of Peace, Love, Appreication and Respect for our military's duty.

It is our wish that they would find their actions are unsuccessful as their actions are met with a Pure Force of Protective Good.

It is our wish for Westboro to realize their campaign of Fear and Aggression, Anger and Hate does NOT stand in this country."

VTHawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Slashing tires: BAD Local repair places not willing to help the Topeka Taliban : GOOD

WHY 7 years, 4 months ago

If someone shot the guy it would be hard to find an impartial jury willing to convict.

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