Saturday, August 06, 2005


Phelps' Group Protests At Soldier's Funeral Fri Aug 5, 7:58 PM ET

Members of the Rev. Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., are picketing military funerals, KMBC's Micheal Mahoney reported Friday.


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The group has made national headlines for traveling throughout the country to picket gay churches, gay weddings, and the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was murdered in Wyoming in 1998.

Friday, about 15 members of the group -- some of them children -- picketed the funeral of a St. Joseph soldier who was killed in Iraq. Mahoney reported that the group stood across the road from the Grace Evangelical Church during the funeral of 21-year-old Spc. Edward Myers.

"The first sin was being a part of this military. If this young man had a clue and any fear of God, he would have run, and not walked, from this military," said protester Shirley Phelps-Roper. "Who would serve a nation that is godless and has flipped off, defiantly defied, defiantly flipped off, the Lord their God?"

One protester had an American flag tied to his belt that draped to the ground. He was holding a sign that read, "Thank God For IEDs," which are explosive devices used by insurgents to blow up military convoys.

Protesters said America has ignored the word of God, and those who defend the nation must pay a price.

"That's the first piece of solid evidence that you have that the young man is currently in hell," Phelps-Roper said.

"The soldier is in hell now, you believe?" Mahoney asked.

"Absolutely," Phelps-Roper said.

'Protesters Were Rude'

About a dozen veterans stood across the road from the protesters, and Mahoney reported that there were some harsh words and insults traded between the two groups. However, sheriff deputies were stationed about 100 yards away and there was no violence.

"The protesters were so rude -- were disrespectful," said veteran Jim Fields.

"Do I like it? No, I don't. But what can you say, it's a free country," said veteran Dave Campbell.

Veterans told KMBC that a member of the soldier's family shouted at the protesters to leave, and they left about 20 minutes after the funeral started. Mahoney reported that there was applause from veterans and other crowd members when the protesters left.

After the funeral was over, one of the mourners commented on the irony of the protesters showing up at a soldier's funeral.

"They shouldn't protest the funeral for a man who was out there dying to protect the rights that they're demanding they receive," said Marvin Russell.

Russell said he thinks the soldier's family saw the protesters.

"I think it saddened them. They didn't say anything outright, but you could tell by the way they looked down that this was a sad thing to do. They're already in mourning, they don't need people like this to make it worse," Russell said.

Myers was buried with full military honors in Leavenworth National Cemetery. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

One of the protesters said the group is planning to picket other military funerals.


Blogger callieischatty said...

Top 10 Ways Jews Can Retaliate Against Presbyterian Divestment in Israel
by Jake Novak
10) Begin counter-boycott of Hellmann's Mayonnaise and Wonder Bread

9) Stop supporting all the Presbyterian comedians... oh wait, there aren't any!

8) Wear white shoes after Labor Day

7) Stop serving watercress sandwiches at Shabbat Kiddush

6) Replace Muzak in Jewish doctor's offices with Klezmer CD's

5) Secretly replace all references to John Calvin in Presbyterian doctrine with "Calvin Klein"

4) Initiate hostile takeover of L.L. Bean

3) Crash the next party at the country club

2) Water down the booze in junior's sippy cup

1) Let them do their own damn taxes!

The "Top 10" above was published in my Jewish Week column last month (May, 2005). And I did get some hate mail for it. Of course, I shrugged it off because if anyone doesn't see the humor in a church group that said nothing during the Holocaust deciding it can make moral pronouncements against Jews anywhere... than I don't see where you're going to see it. I'm no fan of moral relativisim, but if you're going to bash another group moral activities, check your own balance sheet first.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Thanks for a very meaningful post. If I had the opportunity I'd definately join the U.S. army. Unfortunately, I'm 23, married and live in Israel. By the way, I noticed you live in Illinois. I'm in Skokie as I write this. I've come to visit my family here. My email is: If you'd like, feel free to get ahold of me. I'd enjoy telling you about my life in Israel.

Be'tikva, Greg Eitan Divinsky

12:20 AM  
Blogger The Seriously Ill said...

These people have no shame or sense of decency. They showed that the were enpty vessels when it came to decentcy and compassion when they protested at Matthew Sheppard's funeral and those of gays who died of AIDS. There are times when you have to leave people alone and keep your mouth shut.

10:39 AM  
Blogger yochanan said...

greg I have been to Israel I lived in Jerusalem for 3 months, My son's brother in law lives there as do some of my wife's family.

enjoy your stay in skokie.

I live about 5 miles from skokie in west rodgers park.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Emmunah said...


i hurt my rotator cuff, and have to wear a shoulder immobilizer. i feel miserable and it's time you say the healing bracha...would you include me? i guess i'm just feeling down...this injury is so difficult to heal and I'm just too active to let it be. I want to write, but I can't...and it's like having tape over my mouth.


11:24 PM  
Blogger LEAV said...

Great post, Yochanan.

You give good info, that I was able to confirm through a google search. Why no links? This is a story worth disseminating, and if I write about it, I'll give you a "hat-tip."

12:26 AM  
Blogger Basket said...

Bon jour. Le temps amer que je vois.

Chercher le temps et quelques comment terrien ici.

Blog agréable.

Je devrai revenir plus tard.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Hunt and Fish said...

Good post

5:28 PM  
Blogger Hunt and Fish said...

Good post

8:06 AM  

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