Westboro Baptist Church is known for picketing at funerals. They have now made the choice to attend the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards. She passed away on Tuesday of breast cancer and was the wife of John Edwards. The public was invited to the funeral, which will take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Edenton Street United Methodist Church. The Westboro Baptists are going to spend 90 minutes outside of the church before the funeral picketing. They were quoted on USA Today saying “that God hates Edwards and that she is dead because she thought she could control God.”
People speak highly of Elizabeth Edwards. David Saunders, a political adviser, was quoted saying, “I think that spirit of Elizabeth is so branded in Emma Claire, Jack and Cate, that the kids will be fine.”
This church is a group of people, but a large majority of them are the Phelps family. They have been known to picket at the funerals of military soldiers who are killed in the line of duty. There is now a Supreme Court case going on called Synder vs Phelps due to the uproar they caused at the funeral of Marine Mathew Synder. His family brought up the case due to becoming public figures and being harassed by the church.
“I had one chance to bury my son and it was taken from me,” Snyder said.
“This is a case about exploiting a private family’s grief,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. Many people feel that this goes beyond the rights of freedom of speech. Synder’s family is now in the public eye for everyone to see after simply trying to bury their son.
This group has received harsh treatment for their tactics. When Westboro Baptist Church came to McAlester, Oklahoma, back in November, there tires were slashed by someone while they were protesting at the funeral. You can tell people obviously do not agree with their decision to picket these funerals. Every place in town even refused to assist them in fixing their tires and they had to be towed to a nearby town. This funeral was for Army Sgt. Jason James McCluskey. They will now be picketing in McAlester again. Their website says, “WBC will picket the City Hall of McAlester, OK, city of doomed reprobates, to remind Oklahomans of the Lord’s command.”
A group has now started a page on facebook called “Protect Elizabeth Edwards funeral from Westboro church.” This group plans to be at the funeral to help assist with keeping problems to a minimum. They plan to stand between the protesters and the people attending the funeral. Hopefully this will help keep problems to a minimum.