As if Elizabeth Edwards did not have enough difficulties to face while alive, she is now being dogged even in death, this time by a small, right-wing Kansas church that says it will picket her funeral at a Methodist church in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon.
from the Westboro Baptist Church, an unaffiliated congregation in Topeka that is infamous for its homophobic and anti-Semitic rants, and its protests at the funerals of soldiers and AIDS victims, says its members will stage a demonstration across the street from Edenton Street United Methodist Church for 90 minutes before the 1p.m. service, because "God hates Elizabeth Edwards."
Edwards. 61, died on Tuesday at her North Carolina home, surrounded by family, six years after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Westboro Baptist, which is monitored by anti-hate groups such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, has been led since its founding in 1955 by Pastor Fred Phelps, and the congregation is largely made up of his large extended family.
The flier from Westboro Baptist makes a number of noxious claims about Edwards and her family, concluding that she has been condemned to Hell. Among the church's complaints are Edwards' musings in recent years about God's will and role in the various tragedies that had befallen her, from the death of her 16-year-old son to her breast cancer, and the infidelity of her husband, former senator and presidential hopeful, John Edwards.
As PoliticsDaily reported
, Edwards' thoughts on theology and God had already prompted some criticism of her Christian orthodoxy, but Westboro Baptist managed to trump all those reservations, as it usually does.
Officials at Edenton Street United Methodist Church said
they are aware of the planned protest and senior staff members are meeting to decide how to deal with it.