Westboro Baptist Church Agrees Not to Picket Funeral of 9-Year-Old; Will Instead Take to the Radio


An update on the Westboro Baptist Church — the hate-mongering group that likes to protest funerals of people who’ve died of AIDS and been killed in war and suchlike — who’d recently threatened to protest the funeral of Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old killed during the assassination attempt on Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Yesterday a bill was passed in Arizona to prevent the group from coming within 300 feet of the funeral, although they said they might protest anyway, since they’d planned “to picket at one of two intersections more than 1,000 feet from the church.” But today the Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Westboro-ites won’t picket the funerals of any of the victims of Saturday’s shootings, because, well, they got a better offer:

Shirley Phelps-Roper, a church spokeswoman, said the pickets had been called off after radio talk show host Mike Gallagher offered to have her on his radio program Monday.

Phelps-Roper said the decision boiled down to the church being able to communicate its message with as wide an audience as possible. She said Gallagher’s radio audience is estimated to be about 10 million people.

Along with Gallagher’s show, radio stations KXXT-AM, a station in the Phoenix suburb of Tolleson, Arizona, and CFNY-FM, 102.1 “The Edge” in Toronto, will give the group airtime. Phelps-Roper will be on “The Steve Sanchez Show” on Saturday morning on KXXT-AM.

Apparently this is not the first time the group has “negotiated” by threatening to picket funerals. But, on the bright side, at least you can turn off (or never turn on) the radio.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 12, 2011

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