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Funeral protests disgusting. Group helps to block them.

Georgiapeaches
March 8th, 2006, 11:53 AM
Dodge City showdown at funeral
By Ed Lavandera
CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/03/06/btsc.lavandrera.funerals/index.html

DODGE CITY, Kansas (CNN) -- This past Saturday morning I found myself in a five-car caravan cutting across the Kansas plains with about 30 religious protesters. In the back of a truck, there were signs that read "Thank God for IED's" and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers."

I was with the Phelps family. They've launched a disturbing campaign to tarnish the funerals of fallen soldiers.

This is a painful drama playing out at dozens of military funerals across the country. The group is led by Fred Phelps.

He and his family have picketed and heckled military families at more than 100 funerals since June. They say the soldiers are fighting for an army that represents a country that accepts homosexuality.

I have spent a great deal of time in the last few weeks tracking the movements of Fred Phelps and his family. Saturday, I followed him and his family from their home in Topeka, Kansas, to a funeral in Dodge City, Kansas.

Fred Phelps is the pastor of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka. The congregation is made up mostly of his family. Phelps has 13 children, 54 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

He describes himself as an "old-time" gospel preacher who says, "You can't preach the Bible without preaching the hatred of God."

Phelps and his family have made a name for themselves by showing up at high-profile events preaching their hate-filled brand of Christianity. They blame homosexuals for the destruction of America.

This past weekend's target was Army Sgt. Jessie Davila.

Davila was killed February 20 in Iraq by a suicide bomber. He served as a Marine after graduating from high school. He returned to civilian life, and had a daughter. But he was always a soldier at heart, so two years ago he joined the Army National Guard and was three months into an Iraqi deployment when he was killed.

This is also very much a story about another phenomenon the Phelps protest has created. That's the birth of a group called the "Patriot Guard Riders." They're a volunteer group that came together after hearing that so many military families were being blindsided by the protesters.

More than 400 motorcycles thundered toward this showdown in Dodge City this weekend to make sure Sgt. Jessie Davila's funeral was not overshadowed by the Phelps protest. They converged from small towns all over southwest Kansas to support Sgt. Davila's family. One group leader says, "I knew we would have a crowd, but I didn't know it would be this big."

The procession of rolling thunder escorted Davila's family from memorial services to the grave site on a quiet hill.

In the end, Sgt. Davila's family says they were only able to hear a little bit of the Phelps protest. Davila's mother, Linda Claus, says she's grateful for the Patriot Guard Riders. But she also wants other military families to be aware that this could happen to them.

"When people begin to know what they're (Fred Phelps' family) really doing -- killing the American Dream -- they won't be around very long, because nobody's going to let them. They'll drown them out. They'll be gone," Claus said.

Since CNN started airing reports on these funeral confrontations a few weeks ago, the Patriot Guard Riders say its membership has almost tripled. And more than a dozen states are now considering legislation that would restrict protesting at funerals.

The Phelps family vows to continue these protests. They might be outnumbered, but the way the Patriot Guard Riders see it, it only takes one of them to dishonor the memory of a fallen soldier.
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They also protested at the funerals of the 12 miners that died in WV.
http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-1546852.php

How awful that they protest at the funerals?!! Yay for the PGR's! :thumbs up

Here is the link to the PGR site:
http://www.patriotguard.org/Home/tabid/53/Default.aspx

Rick C
March 8th, 2006, 01:37 PM
Anyone who would protest at a funeral is one sick puppy.

It seems worse though, when its done in the name of an all-merciful God.

I'm not a fan of organized religion for reasons like this.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Luvmypit
March 8th, 2006, 02:47 PM
I just don't understand how any 'man of god' can disrespect a funeral and a mothers pain. How can they feel justified in doing this in the name of God.
How does homosexuality have anything to do with the occupation in Iraq or the death of a soldier.
So many things wrong with that protest, I don't even understand what message they are trying to get across.

I don't even know if that can be considered organized religion in this case. SOunds more like a family of nut balls to me.

chico2
March 8th, 2006, 03:23 PM
They certainly are"nut-balls"I saw them on CNN a while back and could not believe my eyes or ears.
I would not consider them religious,more like fanatics and we all know how dangerous fanatics can be.
Cheers to the PGR,for protecting a grieving family from this kind of outrage.
Put the Phelp family where the sun don't shine:evil:

Rick C
March 8th, 2006, 03:49 PM
I would not consider them religious,more like fanatics and we all know how dangerous fanatics can be.

Their stated motive is based on an interpretation of an organized religion . . . . therefore religion is the motivator even if those who might believe in a more moderate interpretation disagree.

It's like a moderate Muslim disavowing the tactics of a radical Muslim, claiming those tactics have nothing to do with Islam . . . . . well, in the mind of the radical, those tactics are certainly well in line with his/her interpretation of Islam and, therefore, that's his reality.

Phelps and his family certainly believe in God . . . . just as the 9/11 hijackers certainly believed in God and an after-life.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

chico2
March 8th, 2006, 04:11 PM
Rick,I do not belong to any organized religion and never have,I have my beliefs and hopes,but it does not include the church.
However,if people are spewing hatred,due some twisted idea they have about God and their bible,they have over-stepped the boundaries.Although I am not a believer,in my view God or Allah,or whoever people worship stands for love and good-ness,not hatred.
I may not know as much as you,or be as educated and often my knowledge of English gets in the way to explain how I feel,but radicals are not followers of God or Allah,they are followers of evil people,be they pastors or Imams.

Rick C
March 8th, 2006, 04:23 PM
but radicals are not followers of God or Allah,they are followers of evil people,be they pastors or Imams.

Not according to their reality.

I don't go to church either - colour me agnostic, but not an atheist. Mostly indifferent and, as I age, probably hopeful.

I was just saying the Phelps are regular Church goers and believe in God. Just as Mohammed Atta believed in God. We can't deny that.

In fact, their belief in God and their religions is probably far more entrenched than that of a typical churchgoer.

Just because they do what we - and any normal person - would consider "bad things," doesn't mean we can ignore the fact they are true believers and we can't ignore religion is their motivator.

I may not know as much as you,or be as educated and often my knowledge of English gets in the way to explain how I feel,

We're all experts on the internet . . . . I wasn't calling you out.

I just like to make the point, in situations like this, that ANY religion, on the surface, should be a fairly benign thing but the reality is most religions have different sects, some benign, some aggressive and most religions have often been used as a rationale for intolerance and hate.

But they believe all the same.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

twodogsandacat
March 8th, 2006, 04:30 PM
They are getting the publicity they are seeking. News crews should not point a camera at them. Terrible disrepect.

Prin
March 8th, 2006, 07:21 PM
Rick,I do not belong to any organized religion and never have,I have my beliefs and hopes,but it does not include the church.
However,if people are spewing hatred,due some twisted idea they have about God and their bible,they have over-stepped the boundaries.Although I am not a believer,in my view God or Allah,or whoever people worship stands for love and good-ness,not hatred.
I may not know as much as you,or be as educated and often my knowledge of English gets in the way to explain how I feel,but radicals are not followers of God or Allah,they are followers of evil people,be they pastors or Imams.
I feel the same way, although I agree with Rick that from their own perspective, they think they are doing good. IMO, humans always have a way of taking things that are supposed to be good and twisting them for their own benefit or purpose. It's our nature.:rolleyes:

LL1
March 8th, 2006, 07:49 PM
I am amazed his hate filled websites are still on the net,and did not know his "church" is also tax exempt.Sickening.They protest at many funerals,they also did at Mister Rogers funeral.

Georgiapeaches
March 9th, 2006, 02:13 AM
This "preacher" and his family are seriously nuts:eek:
Look at their website: http://www.godhatesfags.com/main/index.html

and a seriously insulting and hurtful "article":
http://www.godhatesfags.com/featured/20050831_thank-god-for-katrina.html

Writing4Fun
March 9th, 2006, 08:42 AM
Wow. Those are some seriously disturbed people.

Religion may be their motivator, but that doesn't mean all religion is bad. A lot of men who murder their wives do so out of what they think is "love". Does that mean that "love" is bad? A little closer to home ... a lot of dogs have bitten people. Does that mean that all dogs are bad?

In the end, though, we all have the freedom to choose or denounce whichever religion we want. We have the freedom to agree or disagree with one-another and our lifestyle choices. We do not, however, have the right to spew hatred for whatever purpose we deem "worthy". That is against the law, plain and simple. I think these people, their "church" and their websites should be shut down and charged for hate crimes.

Rick C
March 9th, 2006, 08:43 AM
They are getting the publicity they are seeking. News crews should not point a camera at them. Terrible disrepect.

I prefer it when I can see the snakes around me versus having them hiding in the bushes.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

badger
March 9th, 2006, 09:12 AM
They went to MR ROGER'S FUNERAL?? The guy in the cardigan? (now in the Smithsonian - the cardigan, not Rogers, although he'd probably look quite lifelike, stuffed)
What's the story on that?

Writing4Fun
March 9th, 2006, 09:54 AM
They went to MR ROGER'S FUNERAL?? The guy in the cardigan? (now in the Smithsonian - the cardigan, not Rogers, although he'd probably look quite lifelike, stuffed)
What's the story on that?
I believe he was ex-military - highly decorated. So was Captain Kangaroo.

jesse's mommy
March 9th, 2006, 09:57 AM
Actually Mr. Rogers was a sniper in the war. Very highly decorated.

CyberKitten
March 9th, 2006, 10:12 AM
I would point out Mr. Rogers was in WW2!! There is a massive difference between that war and this thing in Iraq, imho. That said, I cannot believe we are even ginving these idiots publicity online. I refuse to dicuss them - it is all too disgusting!!! I don't care if they think they are right or religious, I am with Chico - They need psychiatric help and soon!!!!

jesse's mommy
March 9th, 2006, 10:30 AM
Hey, I loved Mr. Rogers. I cried when he passed. I'm not saying anything that would support these whackos.

Prin
March 9th, 2006, 10:36 AM
I don't think they'd send an old man to Iraq....

Mr Rodgers was great. If you ever needed to chill out, you could just watch his show- he was so peaceful.

chico2
March 9th, 2006, 03:29 PM
I remember now,checking the website,why they caught my eye and it was in the news-paper under the headline"God hates Sweden":evil:

CyberKitten
March 9th, 2006, 04:28 PM
Good grief, that's ridiculous Chico tho they prob have Canada in the same list, lol If so,Canada is in good company! :)

chico2
March 10th, 2006, 07:00 AM
CK,lightbulbs keeps popping in my head:D I did not read it in the newspaper,but in the"Swedish Press"a magazine I get every month.