Corvallis, OR – Westboro Baptist Church has skipped out yet another planned picket, but they want to be sure everyone knows how serious they are about the upcoming World Series.
The controversial hate group has failed to show up to announced demonstrations numerous times in the past year.
The latest empty threat would have put a WBC picket line in front of the funeral of Army Ranger Cody Patterson who died in Afghanistan and was laid to rest on Sunday. Of the thousands who showed up to the burial, members of Westboro were apparently absent.
Patterson was 24 and on his second tour when he was killed trying to stop a suicide bomber in Kandahar. The thousands in attendance at his funeral were mostly gathered by veterans groups after learning of WBC’s planned protest. The Oregonian reported that members of the church actually did show up, albeit briefly. They left when the veterans made it clear that they weren’t welcome.
Upping and leaving doesn’t really sound like them, but it’s a nice touch to the story, so hopefully it’s true.
This isn’t the first time Westboro Baptist Church has announced a protest at a soldier’s funeral. They’re actually well-known for picketing the funerals of soldiers killed overseas, and believes that such tragedies are punishment from God for the U.S.’s tolerance of homosexuality. They are known for “thanking” God for dead soldiers and praying for more tragedies to befall America.
On its website, WBC claims they have staged over 50,000 pickets since 1991. They describe their protests as “daily peaceful sidewalk demonstrations opposing the homosexual lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth.”
Opposing Views notes that Westboro Baptist actually has a pretty busy picketing schedule (if they bother to show up, that is). This week, they plan to protest a Charleston, South Carolina speech by Judy Shepard, the mother of slain gay icon Matthew Shepard.
They have also announced that they will protest the third and fourth games of the World Series in St. Louis, as well as an Eagles concert in Kansas City.
Baseball? That’s just un-American, Westboro.