Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Whacko Watch

The Rev. Fred Phelps, the church's leader, testifying in February at a State Senate hearing in Kansas about a bill that would limit protesters. "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," read one of their placards. "Thank God for I.E.D.'s," read another, a reference to the bombs used to kill service members in the war. To drive home their point — that God is killing soldiers to punish America for condoning homosexuality — members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., a tiny fundamentalist splinter group, kicked around an American flag and shouted, if someone approached, that the dead soldiers were rotting in hell.

Just when Demon Princess thought matters religious could NOT possibly get any worse (well, aside from her persistent kinda-there, kinda-not cold & the dreary weather that's not making it any better, all of which is her punishment for ridiculing right-wing radical Christian fruitcakes like Pat Robertson, & by golly, she now knows that if she runs this bit it will never ever go away):

WELL. Check this out, from the New York Times,

"NASHVILLE, April 11 — As dozens of mourners streamed solemnly into church to bury Cpl. David A. Bass, a fresh-faced 20-year-old marine who was killed in Iraq on April 2, a small clutch of protesters stood across the street on Tuesday, celebrating his violent death.
"Embracing a literal translation of the Bible, the church members believe that God strikes down the wicked, chief among them gay men and lesbians and people who fail to strongly condemn homosexuality. God is killing soldiers, they say, because of America's unwillingness to condemn gay people and their lifestyles.

"Standing on the roadside outside Corporal Bass's funeral here under a strikingly blue sky, the six protesters, who had flown from Topeka, shook their placards as cars drove past or pulled into the funeral. The 80-year-old wife of Mr. Phelps, slightly stooped but spry and wearing her running shoes, carried a sign that read "Tennessee Taliban." She is often given the task of driving the pickup trucks that ferry church members, a stack of pillows propping her view over the dashboard.

"Next to her stood a cluster of Mr. Phelps's great-grandnephews and great-grandnieces, smiling teenagers with sunglasses, digital cameras and cellphones dangling from their pockets and wrists. They carried their own signs, among them, "You're Going to Hell."

And you have a nice day, too.


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