[Masthead] Overcast ~ 63°F  
High: 68°F ~ Low: 48°F
Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017

Protesting Funerals

Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011, at 1:44 PM

The members of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas have become somewhat well known for protesting a variety of events, including funerals. They have announced they plan to protest the funeral of Christina Green, the nine year old girl that was killed in the Arizona shooting. Westboro's founder, Fred Phelps, claims "God sent the shooter" and the reason they plan to protest Christina's funeral is because she and her family were members of the Roman Catholic Church and that "God hates Catholics." The government of Arizona has acted quickly to pass a bill making it illegal to protest funerals within 300 feet. While this might not stop the protest from taking place it will at least keep the protesters at a distance.

It is appalling that people who claim to be children of God, as the people of Westboro Baptist Church do, have no concern for people who are grieving. They seem to have missed an important passage of the Bible which is in Matthew 7:1-2 "Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you."

I visited Wesboro's website and a few things they have listed for example are a counter letting you know how many people God has cast into hell since you loaded the page, the number of Jews that will be saved in the last days and how many soldiers God has killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. If your interested in learning more about Westboro Baptist Church, you can visit their website www.godhatesfags.com. The website name itself should give you a good indication of the mentality of the members.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

While I agree with their right to free speech, that speech must be tempered with common sense.

I would love to see about 200 Hell's Angels suddenly appear at the funeral, and all the police magically be needed elsewhere.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 1:57 PM

I have been saying for several months that outrage over Westboro isn't ever going to make Westboro go away. Outrage is what they're looking for. It's when we stop talking about them that they'll go away. I realize that's hard to do; it's hard for me, too. But it's the only thing that's ever going to work.

-- Posted by Jicarney on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 2:24 PM

Having the distance limit in place is really the only thing that will help there. While morally reprehensible, they do have the right to protest. As much as I despise their message, even they have a right to free speech.

The Patriot Guard Riders does a great job of creating a barrier for the families of fallen service members at whose funerals the WBC has said they were going to protest. One that we went to in Dixon had about 150-200 bikers there with MASSIVE flags waving and every time the protesters would start to say something, a rumble waved across the town so that nobody could understand what the protesters were saying. It was GREAT to see that. There were riders there from the Masons, VFW, the American Legion, TONS of biker clubs were represented there and they did a great job of keeping the protesters at bay, and they did it with the invitation of the soldier's family.

-- Posted by Thom on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 2:33 PM

I agree, Westboro's members want attention and they are getting it. There are news reports now stating that the church has decided not to protest Christina Green's funeral but it is not out of the kindness of their heart. They only agreed not to protest in exchange for the airtime they are going to receive from a interview on a morning talk show in Toronto, Canada. However they stated they still plan to protest the funeral of U.S. District Judge John Roll.

-- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 3:52 PM

It should be considered as invasion of privacy--the right to free speech should not even be considered.

-- Posted by stardust on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 4:47 PM

I've been refraining from commenting on most of the blogs on here lately, but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents on this one - for one of the first times that I can remember, I agree with Thom, even though what Reverend Phelps does by protesting funerals is completely vile to me, the first amendment applies to him and his followers, too. I recently saw an interview with Larry Flynt where he talked about defending to his greatest power anyone's right to free speech, especially those with opposing views to his - I can't say that's a bad way of thinking (regardless of how I feel about Larry Flint in general).

-- Posted by cfrich on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 6:59 PM

Free speech should be protected at all costs. An affront to WBC is also an affront to you. With that being said...

They don't fall under free speech. The right to worship freely and without intervention is more appropriate. Death is a part of the worship ceremony and should be protected. Free speech aside. They can rally all they want but should be kept from a certain radius so as to not interfere with the process of burial which is normally a religious and spiritual concern.

-- Posted by Sir_sidney on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 11:27 AM

The Patriot Guard Riders do a great service to these families, and are to be commended for providing a peaceful barrier to this nonsense. They are quite a sight to see. But, in this case, the Patriot Guard Riders are unable to be in Arizona, and local riders are stepping up to the task. As Quiet Mike mentioned above, the Hells Angels have been asked to their support. WBC seems to thrive on picking a fight on families at their weakest point, but I have an idea waving their signs in the face of this crew would be very ill advised. And I guarantee you, God couldn't hate fags as much as the Hells Angels do. But any Angel worth his leather knows God loves his children. Maybe the WBC will realize their opposition isn't above adding another assault charge to their rap sheet and choose to tone it down this time around.

Quite ironic that in America, we can still find a valid use for a bunch of outlaws. God loves the Angels too.

-- Posted by superx1250 on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 12:04 PM

Thought this was an interesting article about Christina Green's funeral which is today.


-- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 12:53 PM

The Westboro Baptist Church agreed to not protest the Green funeral, only after a nationally syndicated radio show agreed to let them spouse their rhetoric over the airways. I didn't listen and I hope no one did.

-- Posted by docudrama on Fri, Jan 14, 2011, at 2:37 PM

Every time we listen to the Westboro protesters, we give them a podium from which they spew their vile speech. Though it may be extremely difficult to do so, ignoring them might eventually make them go away. I pray that they do.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Jan 16, 2011, at 12:37 AM

I believe we have an Inalienable Right to freedom of speech. We also have the Inalienable Right to remain silent.

We should know when to speak out and when to be silent.

Persons Protesting a funeral are just plain sick and should be placed in the same category as the shooter.

Even Jesus said "...Let the dead bury their own dead...". (Matthew 8:22; Luke 9:60)


The giant, 20-by-30 foot flag rescued from the rubble of the World Trade Center they used to create an archway for the ceremony was in Violations of the U.S. Flag Laws.


Title 36, Chapter 10,

176. Respect for flag

(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

That flag was suppose to be destroyed because it touched the ground and/or rubble and all kinds of things under it.( see (b) above)

Some high up officials must have donated the flag for this ceremony against our Flag Laws and should have known better. It might be an unlawful souvenir, but it must never be repaired with patches.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 3:59 PM

What? No comments on the way the authorities displayed the "DEAD" United States Flag in disrespect?

United States Code, Title 36, CHAPTER 10, 176 (j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

Our law makers have decided that our Flag is a living thing in the Code above. (and is itself considered a living thing.)

The photo on the internet shows the World Trade Center Flag blown aprt from the blasts and ripped by the falling rubble, yet mankind has brought it back from the dead by sewing patches on it like an old patch work quilt.

Not only have they NOT brought it back to an honorable life with patches even though the patches were themselves American Flags, but have dishonored it by violating the laws that protected it.

Do the respectable thing and Burn it in Honor of the people who died under it.

Christina Green's Funeral was a very heart felt funeral and should have been.

Christina Green was born on 9/11 and represented a new birth from the tragedy and now they have lain her to rest with the a "dead flag" as a symbol of the terrorist attack on 9/11. What a most dispicable way to say good bye to an innocent child who loved her country, but not the 9/11 attack.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Fri, Jan 21, 2011, at 1:37 PM

I am not protesting Christina Green's funeral, but the authorities who tried to make it a Patriotic ceremony, instead of a funeral, using expired flags.


I say expired flags because even some of the patches were not complete flags but only pieces, in violation of our flag laws.

How do you patch a Living Flag with scrape pieces from other dead flags that should be burned in respect?

Our countrymen have turned that once proud flag into an Obamanation!

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Mon, Jan 24, 2011, at 2:45 PM

Unique-Lies - The flag displayed at Christina's funeral was recovered from the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center. It was displayed because Christina was born on 9/11. I don't think anyone was trying to "make it a patriotic ceremony" as you suggest.

-- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Wed, Jan 26, 2011, at 7:41 AM

Being born on 9/11 is one thing, but why would anyone want to lay her to rest by associating her with terrorists when she was killed by a man who was crazy and disturbed and a shame in itself.

Why was that horrible looking flag held up by firetrucks if it wasn't to represent patriotism of 9/11.

Christina deserved better than that! Why remind everyone of the 9/11 Terror attack at her funeral.

If they took that flag (holes and all and even tears) from the rubble of the Twin Towers and hung it (as is) in a museum, I could look at it as patriotic, but not with a bunch of patches on it.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Wed, Jan 26, 2011, at 8:44 PM

Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration:

Rodney Simmons is a life long resident of Bedford County. He grew up in the Halls Mill area and graduated from Community High School. Rodney's career has primarily been in the construction industry and he holds a degree in Construction Management. Some of his hobbies include fishing, reading and writing.
Hot topics
Calling All White Men
(14 ~ 12:31 PM, Dec 28)

Pray For Our Nation
(10 ~ 7:27 PM, Jul 30)

Legal Marijuana = Tax Dollars
(29 ~ 11:45 AM, Jun 23)

Wheel Tax
(77 ~ 3:04 PM, Mar 24)

Get Out and Vote!
(31 ~ 2:15 PM, Feb 24)