Members of a small Missouri town banded together Saturday to block a controversial pastor and members of his Westboro Baptist Church from protesting the funeral of a fallen U.S. soldier, Fox4kc.com reports.
Hundreds of residents in Weston, Mo. -- as well as people as far away as California and Australia -- rallied in support of Sgt. First Class C.J. Sadell, who died from injuries suffered during a surprise attack in Afghanistan.
Phelps' church has been the subject of intense criticism for holding more than 44,000 pickets at funerals and other events – including the services of fallen service members.
Citing their First Amendment right to protest, Phelps' followers say they use funerals as an "available public platform" to "deliver the message that there is a consequence for sin." Phelps is openly opposed to homosexuality and all government policies they he says supports homosexuals.
"We got everybody here early so we could take up all the parking spots," Rebecca Rooney of Weston, Mo., told Fox4kc.com. "We did that so Mr. Phelps wouldn't have a contingency that was really close."
Pretty simple eh? They also had a large flag to cover the sight line to any unwanted interlopers at the funeral. and they had a large line of "bystanders" waving flags with fairly good sized poles on them between the protesters and the funeral. Oh, and a good sized sound system too. Mostly just being there, I expect.
I think this is a VERY good sign that people in the United States are starting to wake the hell up to the fact that their values and traditions are being destroyed by inches, and their government is the main enabler of the destruction. Having the whole town show up to deny some assholes a chance to grandstand sends a message to a lot more people than just the assholes in question. I'd say some town officials felt a little frisson of fear in their nether regions, looking at that turn out and thinking about the next election. I would not want to be the guy who wrote that permit for Phelps next town election.