Westboro Baptist: Planned Parenthood Shooting Victim’s Funeral Will Be Picketed

According to social media accounts for Westboro Baptist, Planned Parenthood shooting victim Officer Garrett Swasey will be the subject of a protest if a funeral is held for him with public knowledge. The notorious church responded to the shooting over the course of Friday evening and Saturday morning, along with innumerable other social media users, politicians, and religious leaders; but, unlike most, the group based in Kansas spoke to condemn Planned Parenthood, commend the shooter, and further to condemn the slain officer, his church affiliation, and his community.

Just before noon on Friday, a man later identified as Robert Lewis Dear, entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. He had at least one weapon, as well as a number of unidentified objects, which were feared to be explosives or other devices of destruction.

Dear opened fire and a number of officers and civilians were hit. One officer, Garrett Swasey, was killed. Later reports declared, according to TWC News, two civilians were also killed, and a total of nine people were injured but in good condition.

In the hours that followed the shooting, both Swasey and Dear’s backgrounds and political stances were examined. The Daily Beast uncovered police reports demonstrating that it wasn’t Dear’s first encounter with the law; his history includes allegations of domestic violence, animal cruelty, and “peeping tom” charges.

As for Swasey, information released about him included his six-year history with the police force and his skill as a figure skater. However, as much of the public denounced the shooter as a “white Christian terrorist,” religious leaders rushed to point out that at least one victim in the Planned Parenthood shooting was a conservative Christian himself.

Evangelist Ray Comfort, for example, in the Facebook post shown below, declared that the shooter could not be pro-life, and made a point of mentioning the victim’s religious beliefs.


In fact, Garrett Swasey was not only a member of Hope Chapel, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported, but he was an elder, who, along with others, performed the functions of preacher, teacher, and worship leader.

While some conservative speakers latched on to this fact to counter narratives of conservative terrorism, the Westboro Baptist Church took an entirely different path, condemning the officer for his protection of the public in the Planned Parenthood shooting, his church for failing to condemn homosexuality and abortion, and the entire community for allowing the Planned Parenthood clinic to exist.

A social media account for the controversial church tweeted (laden with Westboro Baptist Church’s apparent favorite slur) that the slain officer’s church should have spoken out against the clinic, accused the church of ‘radio silence’ on the matters of abortion and homosexuality, and declared that, rather than collecting money for the slain officer’s family (WBC refers to this as ‘making bank off his death’), Hope Chapel should be ashamed.

The notorious group warned that if a publicly-announced funeral or memorial service is held for Swaney, they will show up to picket it.

They also tweeted graphics with phrases such as, “God sent the shooter.”

Incidentally, the You Caring fundraiser page for Garrett Swasey’s family is here, and by mid-afternoon on Saturday the fund was at about a third of its $100,000 goal. The funds will help cover education costs for Swasey’s 6-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son. Funeral costs will be covered by his department.

It’s common for the Westboro Baptist Church to declare a protest and fail to show up, and there have been a number of times when members of the public have shown up at these protests and blocked access in order to allow mourners peace. At this time, no specific funeral arrangements have been announced. Any Westboro Baptist protests of the Planned Parenthood shooting victim’s funeral or memorial service remain open to speculation.

[Image via You Caring]

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