by MATT GORDON Editor-in-chief
The infamous Wetboro Baptist Church plans to protest the funerals of the children and teachers murdered in the tragic shooting that occured at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The group plans on picketing at the vigils that will be attended by President Barack Obama, and at vigils throughout the week. Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokesperson for the group, announced on Twitter on Saturday the group’s plan “to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.” The group believes that the country is being punished for its acceptance of homosexuals, which are their main target. Another tweet sent by the group read, “God sent the shooter.”
The church often pickets and protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers or other public service people. In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that it was a First Amendment Right for the group to be allowed to protest funerals. Although, this may be the last straw for the group.
After announcing their plans to picket the deaths of the school children, a massive uproar ensued and a movement to label the group as a hate group by the federal government began.
Junior Jacob Egierd said, “[The Westboro Baptist Church’s] only goal is to hate on people who don’t agree with them.”
A petition on the White House’s website against the group has already received over 200,000 signatures and will keep gaining signatures until its goal date of January 13, 2013. You can view the petition here:
The Westboro Baptist Church is not the only group that blamed the shooting on a ridiculous theory. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said that the shooting occured because religion was removed from the school curriculum.
“We’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, responsibility, accountability?”
Huckabee has received much criticism for his remarks and is accused of lack of compassion toward the subject.
The Westboro Baptist Church is a hate organization and should not be able to protest the vigils or funerals held for the victims of the shooting or any funeral in general. It is already against the law to discriminate against someone for their skin color, religion, or sexual orientation, so why is it not already illegal to demonstrate publicly against them in such a vile and crude manner? Their lack of compassion disturbs me to the point of anger and hatred for the group, and I am sure many people have the same views as me.
As much as I would like to attack the Westboro Baptist Church and berate their way of life, I will not stoop to their level of hatred. This is not a time to hate each other or to fight. This is a time to remember what happened on Friday, December 14, and to make sure it does not happen again.
Twenty innocent children who just wanted to learn and grow up to be leaders in our great society have had their lives cut short. It is not the time for hatred, it is the time for rememberance.