Skip to comments.Fred Phelps to Protest Soldier's Funeral
Posted on 06/15/2005 6:30:56 AM PDT by Hatman
BOISE, Idaho -- A Kansas preacher and gay rights foe whose congregation is protesting military funerals around the country said he's coming to Idaho tomorrow to picket the memorial for an Idaho National Guard soldier killed in Iraq.
A flier on the Web site of Pastor Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church claims God killed Cpl. Carrie French with an improvised explosive device in retaliation against the United States for a bombing at Phelps' church six years ago.
"We're coming," Phelps said yesterday.
Westboro Baptist either has protested or is planning protests of other public funerals of soldiers from Michigan, Alabama, Minnesota, Virginia and Colorado. A protest is planned for July 11 at Dover Air Force Base, the military base where war dead are transported before being sent on to their home states.
Phelps gained national notoriety in 1998 when he picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student beaten to death in Wyoming.
Since then, Phelps said his church has been the target of hateful words and actions, including a bomb attack six years ago.
Phelps' church has picketed the funerals of AIDS victims for more than a decade.
French, 19, was a Caldwell High School graduate and varsity cheerleader. She was killed June 5 in the northern city of Kirkuk. French served as an ammunition specialist with the 116th Brigade Combat Team's 145th Support Battalion.
Phelps said the fact that French led an all-American life gives him all the more reason to picket her final public tribute.
"An all-American girl from a society of all-American heretics," he said.
"Our attitude toward what's happening with the war is the Lord is punishing this evil nation for abandoning all moral imperatives that are worth a dime," Phelps said.
Caldwell Police Chief Bob Sobba said he cannot bar Phelps from going to the public funeral, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Albertson College of Idaho in that city.
"While we respect Mr. Phelps' right to protest, we would hope that he would respect the family and friends of this young person by not disrupting the memorial," Sobba said.
Idaho Air National Guard Lt. Tony Vincelli, acting as spokesman for French's family, said there were no plans to change the funeral arrangements.
The Rev. Brian Fischer, pastor of Boise's Community Church of the Valley, and himself a past target of protest by the Westboro Baptist Church, decried Phelps' plan.
"What Phelps is doing is a reprehensible thing, to take a funeral and turn it into a photo op for his hate cause," Fischer said.
"We hope everyone will ignore Phelps' group."
In 2003, Phelps demanded that he be allowed to erect an anti-gay monument in a Boise public park. To avoid a lawsuit from his group, city officials voted in 2004 that a Ten Commandments monument be moved out of the park.
It would be a great pleasure to choke this man.
Amazingly, some people here said that Phelps would be welcome to a dinner at the White House as long as he paid the money to get in just like the porn star.
Sheesh......this guy's a carny nut and has no business near the White House.
um...yeah....whatever you say dude.
I think that Mr. Phelps needs to take a little nap.
Man o man. Would I ever love to punch this guy.
I see an asskicking in this man's future. Hopefully a good one.
I don't get it.
Is he claiming this soldier is responsible for the bombing at his "church"?
You are far too kind & gentle.
Hopefully, some "private citizens" will arrange to be there and stop this nutcase.
No. Phelps is complaining that he doesn't get enough attention.
I would love to read a response to this man from one of you former or current soldiers that have lost friends in battle or from a family member of a soldier that gave his life for his country. I think those comments would say it all.
To protest anyone's memorial service is beyond sick.
I want this guys contact info to send him a short note.
May God have mercy on Phelps' soul because I care not for it.
This guy is probably a democrat plant to make those against the radical homosexual agenda look like nutcases in the press.
Perhaps some of the deceased's old comrades could drop by to 'splain to Phelps about the error of his ways....
Phelps is the east end of a westbound horse.
See the link in reply #15.
I live in Topeka where this wacko is based so I get to see him and his minions on a weekly basis. They'll picket anything. I've personally seen them at churches, classical music festivals, and a talk by Bill Cosby. But protesting soldier's funerals is a whole new low.
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