Westboro Baptist Church is well-known for its message against gays and protesting at funerals. The members protest, going on TV or radio talk shows to share how “God hates fags” or “God hates America,” but Westboro is really a media whore who likes to annoy people.
I can’t say I disagree with their views on homosexuality; however, Westboro goes about broadcasting it in the wrong way. The way the church preaches hatred does more harm to the Christian religion than it does good.
Rather than going on scheduled protests, Westboro prefers to go on talk shows to talk about its beliefs. If it lands a talk show it tends to cancel a protest.
According to an article published by King 5 News, Westboro church members had scheduled a protest at the funeral of Susan Powell’s children, Charlie and Braden, because their deaths were supposedly “payback from God over the (Washington) State Legislature’s support of gay marriage.”
I’m not sure why God would want to kill a random person’s children for something the state government is doing, but I guess Westboro church members see reasoning behind it.
Occupy Seattle and Washingtonians were asked to help protect the Powell family from Westboro’s message of hate.
However, according to an article published by the Boston Herald, the church canceled its protest after Fred Phelps Jr. appeared on the “Bobby D Show,” a conservative talk show.
“I researched the group and found out they did interviews instead of coming to picket,” Bobby D wrote on his blog. “While not everyone will agree with our decision, we think it was the best thing to do. Our thinking was this, we would rather take the hit and have you be mad and frustrated with us than having this group show up and ruin a day that was meant for mourning two kids that were taken far too early.”
That’s what Westboro church members did last year when they scheduled a protest against the funerals of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green and Judge John M. Roll, who were two of six people shot and killed when Jared Lee Loughner allegedly attempted to kill Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Instead, according to an article published by the Los Angeles Times, Westboro canceled its protests in exchange for airtime, and the townspeople were relieved.
The “Steve Sanchez Show” and the “Mike Gallagher Show” offered Westboro what it considered to be “substantial airtime.”
So did six other stations.
Granted, churches are generally in favor of spreading their message to as many people as possible.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
However, Westboro is the kind of “real-life troll” that, if it didn’t receive media coverage from every end of the country, it would probably just fade away into nonexistence.
In 2006, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder was killed during a mission in Iraq when a Humvee rolled over on him.
His father, Albert Snyder, sued the church for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. He initially won the case, but lost when Westboro appealed the ruling.
This is what the church enjoys. It enjoys lawsuits because it knows it can win since it stays well within the First Amendment.
These lawsuits give Westboro free attention because the media covers them. Don’t sue Westboro and it doesn’t receive media attention.
Now, members of the Westboro Baptist Church have plans to picket Whitney Houston’s funeral Saturday.
According to the church’s website, Houston had “a beautiful singing voice and a worldwide platform, which she should have used to encourage obedience to His Word,” but instead used her talent to glorify herself and waste her life on drugs.
“God killed Whitney Houston and cast her into Hell,” according to a Westboro news release.
Hopefully another radio station offers Westboro a chance to talk about Houston.
Because as much as we’d all like to see the church go away and take their hate speech with them, it’s almost easier for the grieving families to deal with them running their mouths on a talk show than having to deal with them picketing and disrupting the peace at a loved one’s funeral.