A New York-based temple devoted to encouraging "benevolence and empathy among all people" through the teachings of Satan traveled over the weekend to the Mississippi gravesite of Catherine Idalette Johnston, late mother of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Jr., in order to perform a same-sex ceremony aimed at turning Johnston's spirit gay.
When the news broke yesterday that Fred Phelps and his infamous "God Hates Fags" Westboro Baptist Church would be protesting the funeral of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno for his role in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse cases, some of Paterno's harshest critics approved. They think the disruptive presence of Fred Phelps' evil minions, shouting nonsensical passages from Leviticus as some sort of posthumous justice for Paterno's complicity with Sandusky sexually molesting young boys. But there's a difference between the evil that's perceived and real, diabolical evil, and he's not the one being put in the ground.
Members of the delightfully quirky Westboro Baptist Church showed up at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day just to remind everyone, through the use of excessive signage, that God loves dead soldiers. But luckily for people who were hoped to visit the cemetery without encountering hateful bigotry, brave members of the Ku Klux Klan showed up to counter-protest.
Here's Fred Phelps, head of "God Hates (Everyone)" Westboro Baptist Church, vowing to protest the funerals of those killed in Saturday's Tucson shootings. Including nine-year-old Christina Green. What a powerful demonstration of America's unparalleled Constitutional freedoms. God bless you, psychos.
There's almost universal agreement that the tactics and message used by parishioners of the small, fringe Westboro Baptist Church are despicable. Does that make their provocative protests near the funerals of dead U.S. soldiers — under the theory that God is punishing the country because it tolerates gay and lesbian Americans — unconstitutional?