Like flies smelling a carcass, they come with their signs "God Hates Fags", "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" (or dead children).
They have their right to freedom of religion and of expression and of assembly, but I think it's time for some kind of populist strategy against WBC. This is gonna invite the rage of the people against their lil death and hate cult. What to do?!
WBC has done more to turn people away from christianity than all the atheist combined. I wish for most people's sake that they wouldn't.
Well, Westboro often says they are going to picket something and then does not show up, causing their opposition to spend time, resources, and money to counter them. Actually, that is a rather effective protest strategy on the part of WBC, as they can expend their resources on certain protests they feel important, whilst garnering press whether they show up or not.
In addition, just about every tragedy nowadays seems to invite the call that WBC is going to picket: it has become an Internet meme.
On the other hand, the Patriot Guard Riders were formed specifically to oppose the Westboro Baptist Church's protests. While they only come if asked (they circle WBC protestors on very loud motorcycles to drown out their protests and block them from view, plus provide an honour guard), and normally only will come to the funerals of active-duty and veterans, I suspect if even one parent or relative of the fallen in Newtown is a veteran, they will come if asked.
I do have to hand it to WBC, though, they have the courage of their convictions. They do stand up for what they believe, even though most of us find what they believe is odious (though scripturally-correct, as God as depicted in both the NT and OT is a real jerk, just like them).
Many atheists do not have said courage. (The religious get a reward for martyrdom, and it fills their desire to be persecuted.)
If enough people could turn up between the WBC protestors and the funerals or memorial services, that would help. That is what the Patriot Guard does (albeit with motorcycles, plus one of their protestors gets in front of a motorcycle and gets hit it is not the PGC's fault).
But I would never curtail WBC's free speech. Only in the light of day where such odious commentary can be seen can WBC's odious religion be shown to all.
Considering all the other absurd events they have protested at, this is about as predictable as the sun rising in the east. The thing is, too, if the Patriot Guard Riders are as consistent as I hear they are in acting to counter the WBC nuts, one can hope that Phelps and Co. might finally cop a clue and QUIT.
Though I expect that to happen about the same time that ... well:
Rev Fred Phelps and company aren't interested in quitting. The mere idea that people might even think they are doing something odious is what gets them press. Press all out of proportion to Westboro Baptist Church's size is what they want.
Phelps gets more coverage than Pope Benedict XVI in the USA, and the Catholic Church numbers in the tens of millions.
The way to defeat Phelps is to give his less-than-fifty congregation exactly the press it deserves, that is, none.
But Westboro plays right into Fox News's own political agenda, in this case the anti-gay one. ABC News ran an article about the anti-gay climate in the USA, using a Westboro picket to illustrate the issue, and Fox News used the issue to bash ABC, the allegedly liberally-biased but corporate-owned media conglomerates (which happens to include Fox), and gay rights campaigners all in the same segment, arguing that ABC did not let Westboro have their side of the story (found here). Fox accuses ABC of being biased (something Fox would never be guilty of, of course).
Apparently Westboro at least has a temporary friend in Faux News.
I knew this would happen. These people are so disgusting.
David Pakman negotiates on his show with the WBC people