Archive for Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Westboro Baptist Church members agree to not protest slain Arizona child’s funeral

January 12, 2011, 11:04 a.m. Updated January 12, 2011, 2:51 p.m.


— A leader of a Kansas church known for picketing the funerals of fallen servicemen and blaming their deaths on the country’s tolerance of homosexuality said Wednesday the group has decided not to protest at funerals for victims of the Tucson, Ariz., shooting rampage.

Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church told The Associated Press that the church pulled back its plan to picket the Thursday funeral of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green in Tucson after radio stations in Canada and Arizona agreed to give Phelps-Roper airtime. Later Wednesday, the church also agreed to not protest the funeral for U.S. District Judge John Roll or other victims in exchange for airtime on a nationally syndicated radio show.

Green, Roll and four others were killed in the Saturday shooting rampage targeting U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. More than a dozen other people were wounded.

Phelps-Roper said instead of going to Arizona this week, members will go to New York for an interview on the conservative Mike Gallagher Show on Monday.

Gallagher told the AP it will be the third time he has agreed to have Phelps-Roper on his show — the others were in exchange for Westboro members not protesting at a funeral for Amish children in Pennsylvania or for victims of the Virginia Tech shooting rampage.

“No question it’s a painful process,” Gallagher said. “Believe me, I’m doing this show with a heavy heart. I don’t like the idea of giving them the satisfaction of this, but I believe my radio airwaves are less important than them hurting families.”

He said the timing of his offer to the Topeka church flies in the face of the debate raging over whether conservative talk radio contributed to the shooting spree in some way.

“For all of the accusations that talk radio is so destructive and the claims that vitriol of conservatives has led to Jared Lee Loughner’s actions, here’s an example of talk radio doing something I think is pretty good — to stop families from being harmed by the Phelpses,” Gallagher said. “Nothing else has seemed to work.”

He said Phelps-Roper will get an hour on his show, but not without being challenged by prominent conservative Christian author and commentator Dinesh D’Souza.

Dean Blundell, a talk show host for Toronto radio station 102.1 The Edge, said he interviewed Phelps-Roper live on air on Tuesday and that another interview was planned for Thursday. Steve Sanchez, who has a talk show on the Christian radio station KXXT-AM in Phoenix, is hosting her for half an hour Saturday.

Both hosts said the interviews were part of a deal in which the Topeka-Kan.-based church agreed to skip Green’s funeral.

“This is ultimatum time,” Phelps-Roper told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “The only reason anyone steps up to make a deal is they have a motive. We got two things for kicking this to the side, stepping aside from that funeral.”

Blundell said he has a longstanding agreement with Phelps-Roper that he’ll give her radio time if she stays out of Canada. He said she has been on his show dozens of times.

“If everybody on this planet knew who she was, 10 out of 10 would say she’s crazy,” Blundell told the AP. “Even crazy people would know she’s not right in the head.”


Shardwurm 7 years, 3 months ago

Well that's awfully big of them isn't it?

TheStonesSuck 7 years, 3 months ago

Isn't a stopped clock right twice a day? On a related note, is there such thing as a wall clock that uses the 24 hour clock? B/c that could be pretty awesome.

TheStonesSuck 7 years, 3 months ago

You, sir, are both a gentleman, and a scholar.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm a nurse and many of the hospitals I worked in had clocks that told analog and military time by placing the 24 hour numbers in a circle above the analog numbers.. And by the way, I wish I could beat several nurses over the head and make them internalize that there is no such time as "2400".

CloveK 7 years, 3 months ago

Technically isn't 2400 midnight? There isn't a 2401.

CloveK 7 years, 3 months ago

Well actually I take that back, you are correct. I have scene the 24 hour clocks with the number 24 on them, they were a combined 12 / 24 though.

Should have thought a second more before posting :)

Kevin Anderson 7 years, 3 months ago

Digital would only be right once a day, they have an AM / PM switch. I think this family is at best digital.

kusp8 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm pretty impressed at how quickly this thread took off on such a ridiculous story....but seriously a 24 hr binary clock would be sick.

ksriver2010 7 years, 3 months ago

I am all for freedom of speech and freedom of religion. But when the freedom of religion is for a congregation of (in-bred) family members, seems a little off to me. But, of course, you can get a 501(c)3 for just about anything. And Phelps' speech would fall close to "shouting fire in a crowded theater" which the Supreme Court has determined that you do not a freedom to do.

Gregory Newman 7 years, 3 months ago

Everybody keeps calling these folks at Westboro Christians but according to these 2 passages deems them as imposters or hypocrites

Luke 6:44 (New King James Version) 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.

Galatians 5:22-23 (New King James Version) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

emmaring 7 years, 2 months ago

AMEN! sheesh, these people are absolutely AWFUL.

ralphralph 7 years, 3 months ago

Phred is yella. Sold out their rightful forum for a little free airtime. Where's the sport in that? Their kids probably won't even get to play in traffic.

Glenn Reed 7 years, 3 months ago

These folks are still sadistic bastards that teach their youngest members to revel in the pain of others. The decision not to picket this poor girl's funeral was not made out of mercy, they simply thought radio would move their hateful message to more folks at once.

Relevant radio websites:

Steve Miller 7 years, 3 months ago

These people are a bunch of retarded nuts.

huskerpower 7 years, 3 months ago

"Phelps-Roper says the group will picket the Friday funeral of U.S. District Judge John Roll and at the intersection where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot.

The Arizona Legislature unanimously passed a measure Tuesday banning protests at or near funeral sites."

I'm confused. How are they going to protest the judge's funeral if they passed the law banning protests at funeral sites? Or is he not being buried in Arizona?

ksjayhawk74 7 years, 3 months ago

They will stay just outside of the disallowed area

huskerpower 7 years, 3 months ago

The article says "or near funeral sites". Has anyone seen how far away they must be? Just curious...

Henry_the_liberal 7 years, 3 months ago

According to, it is 300 feet (the size of a football field)

Liberty275 7 years, 3 months ago

"Perhaps someone will even have an ice pick handy for their tires(just kidding of course)."

Why did you add that bit of dribble to an otherwise well written post?

pace 7 years, 3 months ago

. They should never of offered them a deal to not protest. It is giving in to terrorists.

bad_dog 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't agree. Don't give them that much credibility. I don't consider them terrorists, merely particularly distasteful and abusive jackwagons.

I believe the Phelps might have realized they were finally REALLY over the top if they continued with their planned protest. In addition, they are traveling to a very politically conservative state with concealed carry permits. Finally, they may have considered it unwise to proceed with protesting a 9 year-old child's funeral with their freedom of speech ruling pending before the SCOTUS. If they lose that case, they really lose both figuratively and financially. As for protesting Judge Roll's funeral, the bench is rather thick-skinned and accustomed to verbal & written abuse from the Phelps clan.

As for the issue of radio time versus an on-site protest, if you let them stand where ever with their signs and t-shirts anyone passing by (including children) will be exposed to it for an unlimited period of time while being subjected to their verbal vitriol as well. If they are interviewed on the radio, while the Phelps will do their best to control the dialogue they are still subject to commercial breaks, time and FCC language/content constraints, etc. Hopefully the stations will allow callers to question the Phelps in addition to interviewing them. Not that I believe the Phelps will lose any sleep over it, but I kind of like the thought of "de-pantsing" these folks by subjecting them to the light of public scrutiny and disdain via questioning.

Arana 7 years, 3 months ago

In this case I'd rather have them spewing their hate over the radio. You can switch off the radio or change the station. I just can't imagine the pain this family is going through to lose a child. I'd rather not have them suffer more by the hands of those disgusting people.

coolmarv 7 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps God allows these 'few' to hate so that 'many' may love. The WBC's actions allow for many good people to gather and show love and unity that would not normaly gather. I don't agree with the WBC's thinking but I do see a good side to this.

meggers 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree. Members of the gay community gained some unlikely allies when the Phelps' started picketing soldiers' funerals. I wish people had expressed more outrage when they were focused solely on gays, but in the end, it's still a step forward. The Phelps actually harm their cause by displaying their homophobia in such a vile manner. Even homophobes don't want anything to do with them.

Christine Anderson 7 years, 3 months ago

Glenn Reed said it very well. Man, these people are sickos.

missmagoo 7 years, 3 months ago

Just out of curiosity, why is this AP article out of KCMO?

KansasPerson 7 years, 3 months ago

Mercy schmercy. A cost-benefit analysis more likely. Residents were planning to shield the family as explained here:,0,7494257.story

Since they also had to stay 300 feet away, I think they decided that since there would therefore be no media coverage of them and their signs, might as well go with the radio interviews.

Tom McCune 7 years, 3 months ago

WBC is not a church. It is a cabal of tortmongers.

Moderateguy 7 years, 3 months ago

It seems possible to me that those vile, evil folks sensed that protesting that particular funeral might just send more than a few people over the edge. It amazes me that somebody hasn't taken them out already. (Not that I'm advocating it...) It actually gives me a strange sense of comfort in our society knowing that this hasn't already happened. That being said, protesting at a funeral for a 9 year old little girl born on 9/11 would be the last straw for somebody Perhaps they sensed that.

jonas_opines 7 years, 3 months ago

Not likely. The reasons you listed are likely the very reasons they were going there in the first place. I think they made a cold decision, considering the new law, to parlay potentially limited exposure for the radio time.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't understand why it never occurs to these people that their little group is the only one doing this. If this was truly the Lord's will, wouldn't He give them more members than basically just the Phelps family? Wouldn't there at least be a small handful of other churches doing it?

There is a concept in the Bible that 'mercy' and 'truth' should be balanced out; not exaggerate and blow the 'truth' way out of proportion and forget 'mercy' altogether.

brutus 7 years, 3 months ago

These people twist the Bible just like muslim extremists twist the Koran.

Homosexuality is a sin in the Bible but I thought God loved sinners too???!!

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 3 months ago

I tried to look up a verse or two to verify that indeed, God loves sinners also. But there were simply to many passages, and I couldn't decide which ones would make it the most clear.

When you're responding to something about our dear friend Reverend Fred Phelps, it's best to refer to the same book he uses. Use fire to fight fire, you know.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Phelps most likely have a Bible. The question is, how many pages is it? I'm sure he torn out anything that doesn't address homosexuality. So my guess is his Bible is 5 pages or less. (Anything having to do with "charity" was the first to be burned.)

akt2 7 years, 3 months ago

This was an easy out for these gangsters that call themselves a church. They "negotiated" radio time. That's all they are is talk. I think they talked themselves into a corner by threatening to protest at the funeral of a child. When they realized that Arizona wasn't going to look the other way, they put their tail between their legs and ran.

lounger 7 years, 3 months ago

The Phelps clan are completly Sick. Using this poor little girls death as a barganing chip makes me ill. They really have hit an all time low (and thats saying a lot about these nut jobs).

BigPrune 7 years, 3 months ago

They should be picketing the shooter since he doesn't like lawyer speak (politicians and their grammar lingo) and they're (the Phelps') are all lawyers.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 3 months ago

I already posted this on another thread, but I think it's worth repeating:

Job 9 [23]: When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity of the innocent.

Ray March 7 years, 3 months ago

people keep threatening them with bodily harm and death threats...

what's the hold up!?!?

(kidding...i'm not really insighting violence here..)


Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 3 months ago

Deuteronomy 32 [35]: Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly.


Romans 12 [19]: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."

mr_right_wing 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm guessing they DREAM about that...if you (or anyone) was to lay one finger on them, you'd be nailed with assault charges before your next breath; then they'd try and milk you for all your $$ worth. Not to mention bask in the public attention.

irvan moore 7 years, 3 months ago

i find it strange we negotiate with this terrorist group.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 3 months ago

"What's with this stuff with two names anyway."

I really dislike defending the Phelps clan in any way, but a lot of women hyphenate their maiden name with their married name, it's not uncommon at all.

Regardless of how any of us feel about it, Mrs. Phelps-Roper is proud to be a Phelps.

jayhawkstalk 7 years, 3 months ago

They are formed of pure hatred. I have never understood how they can be allowed to attend these events and cause such problems. It isn't always just about the right to demonstrate. There are also basic rights of morality and decency. And, seriously, surely the evil that is bred in those children could be somehow mitigated. To see those little children holding signs of hatred, and spewing filth is beyond disgusting.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 3 months ago

After a while, you just get used to it. About twice a month the clan is at one of the major intersections leading to the Jewish Temple in Topeka to let everyone that is attending Friday night Jewish worship services know that God hates them.

A few times I have wondered what the children must be thinking as the people that they think God hates so much drive past them to go to what they must think of as a blasphemous place. And maybe, the children wonder what goes on in the Temple on Friday nights that's so terrible.

The children you are referring to are perhaps 12 years old, and within the last month I overheard a child about the same age in the Jewish Temple very casually mentioning "the picketers" as though they didn't matter at all.

After the first few times you see them, it's no big deal. They never step onto the street, they just stand on the curb with their signs, some of which are very obscene. By the way, they're the same ones every time.

But, I do have to admit, a friend of mine and I have discussed going the long way around so that we don't have to look at them anymore.

wtchdr46 7 years, 3 months ago

Let us just invoke common law for this situation

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