UPDATE: The Westboro Baptist Church may not picket the funeral of Charlie and Braden Powell after all. In a call to the syndicated radio program The Bobby D Show on Friday morning, church member Fred Phelps Jr. indicated that the church may not show up to the Saturday memorial if the show aired an interview with church members.
Fred Phelps: fixated on homosexuality.
Phelps later tweeted, "Washington trip now cancelled."One of the most extreme anti-gay churches in the nation plans to dispatch members to Saturday's memorial service for Charlie and Braden Powell, claiming they perished in a fiery inferno because God is incensed over the state legislature's support of gay marriage. Yesterday, on her Twitter feed, the daughter of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps offered this insane pronouncement:
"Wesboro will picket the funerals of the Powell boys, Sat.,2/11,12:15p, to remind @GovGregoire they died because of her rebellion," and "This is why God's cursed you w Josh Powell blowing up the kids."
The Topeka, Kansas-based church has a long history of connecting the dots in, shall we say, a rather strange manner. Most of its members, estimated to be only about 40, are part of Fred Phelps' large family. They travel all over the country to picket funerals of gay victims of murder. They've picketed funerals of American serviceman, live pop concerts, and the funeral of LDS Church president Gordon Hinckley for being a "lying false prophet."
The group came into the national spotlight in 1998, when it was featured on CNN for picketing the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a young man from Wyoming who was beaten to death by two men because of his homosexuality.
And now the Phelps clan looks to make a spectacle of themselves at the 11 a.m. memorial service at the Life Center Church in Tacoma.
An online campaign is underway to keep Westboro from disrupting the service. Almost immediately after Margie Phelps' tweets, a Facebook page called "Keep Westboro Church away from Powell Memorial" was launched calling on people to show up at 10 a.m. As of this morning, at least 87 people had planned to attend.
"We will be out in full force to help create a buffer so this memorial can take place peacefully," the page read.
Members of Occupy Seattle are also expected to be there to stand up against Westboro.