The Westboro Baptist Church’s leader has announced plans to picket a memorial and funerals for victims of Friday’s mass shooting in Aurora, Colo.
Taking to his twitter account, “church” leader Fred Phelps Jr. made a series of announcements that the caustic church is geared up to go to Colorado. Phelps Jr. is the son of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps.
The shooting in Aurora, Colo., at the midnight premier of “The Dark Knight Rises” left 12 people dead and close to 70 injured. The church has made a habit of protesting high-profile funerals and memorial events, using times of grief to get across its twisted anti-gay message.
Mass killings and large-scale tragedies have been a particular hot point for them, though some inventive counter-protesters have found ways to neutralize the Westboro Baptist Church. The Patriot Guard Riders, a group of dozens of motorcyclists, are dispatched to military members’ funerals to block mourners from seeing the protesters, and radio talk show hosts have talked the church out of protesting in exchange for free air time.
The event was not yet listed on Westboro Baptist Church’s “picket schedule,” which shows church members at First Baptist Church in Columbia, MO, on Saturday and at a trio of churches in Shawnee, KS, on Sunday.
Phelps Jr.’s posts, which were re-tweeted by other church members, made it seem as this might actually happen, though. He noted that members were already gassing up the cars for the 500 mile trip to the protest.
— Fred Phelps Jr (@WBCFredJr) July 21, 2012
If the picket goes on–and there are doubts it will, as the Westboro Baptist Church has been known to announce visits that never materialize–the picket could conflict with another planned by the church. The church announced just days ago that it plans to picket the funeral of Sage Stallone, Sylvester’s son.