Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Funeral of 9-Year-Old Arizona Shooting Victim

4 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
Here they go again. Members of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church plan to protest outside the funeral of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, one of six people killed Saturday in the Tucson, Ariz., shootings.

But some in area are planning a counter-action to protect the grieving family from the unwelcome picketers and their slurs.

Christin Gilmer of Tucson told CNN her hometown is a "loving, peaceful community" and the prospect of a protest by the small Kansas church was a "nightmare." In response, Gilmer said she is planning an "angel action" -- a group of volunteers wearing 8-by-10-foot angel wings to visually shield mourners from the demonstrators, who typically number no more than a dozen but hold aloft offensive signs.

"We want to surround them in a nonviolent way, to say that our community is united," she said. "We're a peaceful haven."

Forty-two people have signed up to volunteer, she said.

Christina Green memorial in TucsonWestboro Baptist, a small church in Topeka, pickets at funerals of military veterans and people who have died of AIDS because its members say their deaths are God's punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality. Salon reported that a flier posted by the church on its website regarding the Tucson protest declared "God hates Catholics" -- the little girl's family is Catholic -- and "God Hates Fags." The church website also features a video with founder/pastor Fred Phelps thanking God for the deadly shootings.

In Tucson, they're understandably upset about that. Some 4,500 have joined a "Show Support" Facebook page started by 20-year-old Chelsea Cohen, a University of Arizona senior. Cohen says she isn't organizing a counter-protest but rather a demonstration of silent support. "We plan on being completely silent, and we're asking people not to bring signs or make comments about the Westboro Baptist Church," she said.

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>