Westboro Baptist Church Thumbs Nose at $11 Million Judgment
Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church will resume picketing the funerals of dead soldiers today despite the nearly $11 million judgment against them on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, a jury today awarded Albert Snyder $11 million in a case he brought against Rev. Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church after the church picketed the funeral of his son, who was slain in a vehicle accident in Anbar province in Iraq. It was the first case brought against the church for their protests at military funerals. Westboro Baptist claims that U.S. military deaths are God's punishment for a nation that tolerates homosexuals.
Said a press release from the church, which thanked God for the verdict: "We will continue to warn you of your impending doom as long as our God gives us breath. Not only did you fail to stop our preaching, but our message has gone to the entire world."
The Agence France-Presse reports: "The group's presence at the funerals of dozens of soldiers across the country has sparked a grassroots movement of bikers determined to drown out the jeers and taunts. While Westboro's congregation remains stable at around 70 to 100 people -- most of whom are the extended family of founder Fred Phelps -- the ranks of the Patriot Guard Riders has swelled to more than 117,000 in the past two years. If the Westboro protestors show up as planned at the funerals of Sergeant Scott Turner in Norton, Kansas and Staff Sergeant Larry Rougle in West Jordan, Utah on Friday, their signs will be masked by an honor guard of flag-waving bikers."