The Westboro Baptist Monsters (UPDATED)

18 Feb

UPDATE: If you arrived at this post via link from another site, please go here. The designated protest area is far enough away from the Zion Lutheran Church that there is a way for attendees to come without ever seeing or hearing the Phelps monsters.

UPDATE: I spoke with town officials this morning and have concluded based on that conversation that, at least as far as the Clarence memorial is concerned, we want to avoid a circus from developing anywhere near the Zion Lutheran Church in Clarence Center.

I don’t know the answer as to permitting, but reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on demonstrations pass constitutional muster and are being looked at. If the Westboro Baptist imbeciles are required to limit their demonstration to the soccer fields at Clarence Center & Kraus, and required to use G-rated language on their pickets, that’d be swell. As long as they’re nowhere near Zion Lutheran, that, too, would be swell.

As despicable as Westboro Baptist is, it does not serve the interests of the community or respect the mourners and victims to have a confrontation within eye or earshot. But if they’re shunted to some remote area of the town, nowhere near the church, then I’d be down for standing before them, protesting their hatred, and standing for the victims, for the town, and for my neighbors. reported, via

Buffalo, NY — Members of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., who are known for picketing the funerals of U.S. troops, are planing to protest two memorial services planned for the victims of Flight 3407, the commuter plane that crashed near Buffalo.

The group plans to picket a morning community prayer service at the Zion Lutheran Church in Clarence Center, and an afternoon memorial service for Alison Des Forges at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Buffalo. Both services are scheduled to take place Sunday.

Westboro Baptist Church is known for its anti-gay message and its picketing of funerals for members of the armed services killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The controversial church says God is punishing America because of what church members consider the nation’s permissive attitude toward gays and lesbians.

This Sunday, these sick, horrific people whose stock in trade is to terrorize the grieving, expect to disrupt memorial services for the victims of flight 3407? If 10 of these animals show up, we should have 100 people there to make sure that their signs cannot be seen and their yells cannot be heard. I don’t want these people in WNY. I especially don’t want these people in Buffalo or Clarence Center.

Then again, that just gives them the attention they want.

On Sunday at 10am, they’ll be at the Zion Lutheran Church in Clarence Center, 2 blocks from the crash site.

On Sunday at 1:45, they’ll be at St. Joseph’s Church at 3275 Main Street in Buffalo near UB South campus.

The “God hates Fags” people – do we ignore them? Do we counterprotest and shout them down? Do we just set up a respectful cordon so that they cannot be seen or heard by memorial attendees?

54 Responses to “The Westboro Baptist Monsters (UPDATED)”

  1. Peter Farrell February 18, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    Wasn’t there an article a while back about a group of motorcyclists who travel around going to these funerals and revving up their engines so these people can’t be heard? Wonder they’re at now?

  2. al l. February 18, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    tho dogs and hoses would seem appropriate for such distasteful and loathsome views, these people want attention ~ they need it ~ they must have it, or they just dont exist.

    How about stoping all traffic around the designated protest area for a block or two (im sure there needs to be some sort of road work – lots of compressors and jackhammers), and block the view a few 40′ trailers. Leave them to protest in their little vacuum with no cameras to see them and no counter protesters for them to feed off. If they had a press conference and nobody came . . .


    One other thought: When Theodore Roosevelt was a police commissioner NYC, some anti-Semite hate monger was planning some public speech. In a clever response, Roosevelt assigned Jewish officers to the speakers protection.

    I wouldnt suppose there are any gay/lesbian POs who might volunteer for this detail?

  3. al l. February 18, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    Of course, a gay pride parade could do the trick too

  4. Terry February 18, 2009 at 7:22 am #

    Be interesting to see, when I die, who exactly was right on all of this stuff….

  5. Beth February 18, 2009 at 8:01 am #

    Ugh… and surprisingly nothing in the Buffalo Media about this

  6. Kris February 18, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    I will join some sort of protest/blockade.

  7. Wide Right February 18, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    So this blog doesn’t count as Buffalo media? Welcome to 1995.

  8. Russell February 18, 2009 at 8:25 am #

    Beth, be glad there’s nothing in the Buffalo media about this. These people are exploiting people’s deaths. The less attention they get for doing that, the better. You don’t want them in any media. If they didn’t get coverage, they wouldn’t be doing this to the grieving.

    Personally, BP, my feeling is you just ignore these people. Engaging people like that only helps to legitimize them and provide them a larger pulpit. There’s only 10 of them. Sending 100 to counter them would upset the dignity of these services and give these fools more attention than they deserve.

    Do they have to apply for a permit to hold these protests? If so, maybe the mayor could make sure they can only gather across the street. I’m sure there are going to be a whole lot of people and media at these services, including trailers, vans and other media equipment. If these people were forced across the street, they’d be almost non-entities.

  9. aja175 February 18, 2009 at 8:25 am #

    for those interested – (facebook)
    There will be an anti-protest protest.

  10. Beth February 18, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    I talked to St. Joe’s University this morning- they were not yet aware of the planned protest but were going to talk about what to do

  11. whitney February 18, 2009 at 9:27 am #

    I’ve contacted Stonewall to see what they’ve got planned, if anything. I think coordinating with the Facebook protest is a good idea.

    Also if you’re not familiar with Angel Action, go here:

  12. Michael in Cheektowaga February 18, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    Peter Farrell wrote: “Wasn’t there an article a while back about a group of motorcyclists who travel around going to these funerals and revving up their engines so these people can’t be heard? Wonder they’re at now?”

    Those riders still exist – they’re the Patriot Guard Riders. They were in town when Michael Hauser came home, and I’d bet that if they were made aware of the plans for this weekend, they’d come back.

    In the meantime, I BEG ALL OF YOU WHO WANT TO COUNTER-PROTEST… PLEASE DON’T TURN THIS INTO A CIRCUS. While I laugh at the thought of a gay pride counter-parade or direct challenges to these knuckleheads’ “beliefs”, it will only add to the loss of dignity the dead deserve.

    It would be one thing to block these hate mongers and keep them a good distance away from the memorials… but shame on us if we only add to the circus.

    Please think about that this weekend.

  13. Danielle M. February 18, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    Facebook organization already in process:

    Also in contact with Stonewall and Outspoken for Equality. Outspoken is definitely mobilizing, Stonewall I haven’t gotten a hold of Bruce yet.

  14. Céilí Maolán February 18, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    I’m the one who organized the “ant-protest protest” on Facebook.

    To clarify, it’s not meant to be an “anti-protest protest.” I am hoping to get enough *peaceful* people to surround the area so that Westboro isn’t even able to get near the church. I don’t want to upset the dignity of the service, that’s definitely not my intent. In fact, the opposite is the goal here.

    As an American who believes in the right to free assembly, I can’t say I want Westboro shut down and banned from protesting. I believe it’s their right, as despicable as it is. But I also have the right to peaceful assembly, and if my assembly happens to get in the way of their assembly and we can surround the bastards so they can’t be seen or heard, then I’d say we just made the best of an otherwise sad day in WNY.

  15. Danielle M. February 18, 2009 at 9:55 am #

    Additionally, our plan is to surround their protesters with a human shield to keep them away from the mourners so they can be left in peace.

    We aren’t going to picket, or fight or argue, we’re simply going to enclose them in silence

  16. LC Scotty February 18, 2009 at 10:07 am #

    Apply as appropriate. Lather rinse repeat.

  17. indabuff February 18, 2009 at 10:21 am #

    Though well intended, a counter protest will only make for a bigger circus than what it is already going to be.

    These types of groups actually hope that there will be a counter protest because it plays right into there hands and increases their exposure.

    My suggestion, let the groups and churches organizing the memorials plan around these people with local authorities.

    Don’t feed the madness…

  18. Mike In WNY February 18, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    Just ignore them.

  19. hank February 18, 2009 at 10:30 am #

    Alan—The Patriot Guard Riders would be happy to assist you. I happen to be a member.

    Their website is down right now (, but a call to Buffalo Harley-Davidson should get you in touch with the local members.

    Most, but not all members of the Guard are military veterans. And you do not have to be a motorcycle owner to be a member. All you have to do to be a member is a desire to support the families who have lost loved ones in the service of our Nation.

    And you can bet your last buck if Westboro plans to be there—for what reason I’ve got no clue, the Guard will come out to make sure nobody hears or sees those clowns or their signs. Also a call to your local Legion Post and Marine Corps League Detachment will bring out the American Legion Riders and the Marine Corps League Riders, many of whom are also members of the Patriot Guard.

    “WE Stand for those who stood for US”

    The Guard is not violent, but the ones I’ve met I wouldn’t want to be very sassy to. Most all of them have seen way too much. They’ll do their job, which is to screen the family from Westboro or any other group that wants to desecrate the burials with protests.

  20. Eric P February 18, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    God’s rod and something about 9/11? I don’t get it. I’m sure there is a very sensible explanation for their concern. I guess God was slapping us with his weiner for being such homos. Yes, that must be it.

  21. Dave Allen February 18, 2009 at 10:40 am #

    These guys showed up at my army post last year. From what we understand, the leaders are lawyers who have a history of suing those who confront them – it’s actually their main source of funds, and they’re very good at baiting folks. I’d just ignore them.

  22. NorPark February 18, 2009 at 10:44 am #

    How about we just drag them all away from the service, perhaps into some back ally, and give them the beating of a lifetime.

  23. Sean C. February 18, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    I’m putting 3 dozen eggs just close enough to the radiator so the will turn green by Sunday.

  24. NorPark February 18, 2009 at 11:07 am #

    I was just checking out the website for these ‘people’ and their hate group, holy cow are they bat shit crazy.

  25. Colin February 18, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    Anarchists in Pittsburgh had the right idea when these folks picketed Fred Rogers’ funeral — yes, they hate Mr. Rogers. Anyway, the @’s made big, moveable murals in tribute to Mr. Rogers and then used them to screen out the right wing scum.

  26. Céilí Maolán February 18, 2009 at 11:30 am #


    Kitty Lambert with Outspoken For Equality is looking to do something exactly like this.

  27. Patrick February 18, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    “Be interesting to see, when I die, who exactly was right on all of this stuff….”

    Most idiotic thing I’ve read or heard in some time.

  28. mike February 18, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    I dont know whats worse, idiot protesters or idiots on loud Harley’s both sould be arrested for disturbing the peace. Just move the Mass to a real church like St Louis on Main oh i forgot you hate us city folks!!

  29. Beth February 18, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    mike… just as an FYI- St. Joseph University is a city church and is very committed to social justice and working with the university height neighborhood.

  30. August West February 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    Upon whose property do these Cretins intend on protesting?

  31. Danielle M. February 18, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    Mike –

    I’m sure the families chose the location of the service for a reason.

    Whatever that reason may be, they should not have to face the Westboro idiots, regardless of what church they chose to have the service at.

    Colin –

    I like that idea, and, as Céilí (who’s in the next room watching movies with the kids) said – Kitty likes it as well, and I’m sure we’ll be drafted into mural painting this week.

    We don’t want to add to the circus, we aren’t calling the media, we’re simply going there and blocking them from view.

  32. Russell February 18, 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    Danielle, not calling the media has nothing to do with whether or not you’re making this a bigger circus. Providing these people with more attention only gives them a larger platform. Your presence will force the media to pay attention to them.

  33. Michael in Cheektowaga February 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    After reading some additional posts I feel a lot better…

    The mural sounds like a great idea. If we stay on focus (remembering the crash victims) and not get sidetracked with gay rights issues or anti-war agendas, we could send one heck of a message to these knuckleheads.

  34. Russell February 18, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    Really, Michael? These people have done this hundreds, if not thousands of times. You’re going to respond with tactics that others have used other times and have had little effect, but that’s going to send “a heck of a message”?

    Again, sounds like you’re going to make it a bigger spectacle and assist them. These are 10 freaks with a few signs. You’re going to counter with 100 people and much bigger signs? That just makes them feel good that people are noticing them and will cause even more people to notice them. This is exactly what they want from you. You’re playing right into their hands.

  35. Céilí Maolán February 18, 2009 at 2:39 pm #


    Thank you. And for the record, I am a gay rights activist but have no intention of turning any of this into a gay rights issue. It has nothing to do with gay rights other than I know of Phelps and his ilk through my ties to gay rights issues. In fact, I am often critical of the religious community. But not this time. The whole issue here is that these churches, while I may not agree with them on every issue, have the right to hold a peaceful memorial service without being molested by the likes of Phelps.

    As I said earlier, it’s as if the victims of Flight 3407 are being victimized a second time, and that infuriates me to no end. That is the issue. Nothing more, nothing less.

  36. sconsetmonkey February 18, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    People, listen, don’t get into a lather over this.

    These events are usually attended by a single local member of WBC or a complete no show all together.

  37. Céilí Maolán February 18, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    This is what we are organizing… The same thing Romaine Patterson did at the Matthew Shepard memorial service.

    Angel wings to shield memorial attendees from the hateful signs and slogans of the Phelps clan.

    Read the story here:

    See pictures here:

    Participants are under no circumstances to speak, respond, or even make eye contact with a member of Westboro. The soul purpose is to create a human “angel” shield. That is all. This renders Phelp’s signs and slogans useless. It worked before and it will work again.

    And once again, this is NOT a gay issue. It is about protecting the families of the victims of Flight 3407 and attendees of memorial services from such vile hatred.

    For more information or to get involved call Kitty Lambert at 578-3782.

  38. hank February 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    Colin–these people are pond scum, but leave the “right wing” out of it.

    The majority of Patriot Guard Riders are Conservative Republicans, and it has been their mission since the formation of the group to oppose the antics of Westboro Baptist Church, and other groups like Code Pink.

    They are not about Politics. The purpose of the organization is to allow families to grieve with their friends and members of the community who care about them without seeing or hearing any protests.

    Ask any family member if they would rather hear some Harley’s riding escort and blocking out the noise of protestors, or not. Nothing but positive comments and appreciation from the funerals I’ve attended with the Guard.

    Don’t forget—the dead can’t hear—this is about the families. They deserve peace to grieve .

  39. mike February 18, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    Hank, if we used the Binet scale: the protesters are “idiots” (IQ of 0-25), the bikers are superior in one degree to “imbecile” (IQ of 26-50) then we get to you “moron” people with an IQ of 51-70. I hope you enjoyed your lesson for today.

  40. David February 19, 2009 at 1:06 am #

    I don’t know how effective the Patriot Guard Riders are going to be if there’s snow on the ground.

  41. Meghann French February 19, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    No need for a “counterprotest” – that *would* be making a bigger spectacle & not at all what is called for.

    Just a human shield, like the PGR does. No shouting, no arguing, no talking, no engaging the WBC cretins. Just standing there in solidarity & showing the mourners that there are people who are willing to protect their right to pay their respects in peace – or try to, anyway.

    Thanks for posting this – ever since I heard what Phred et al. were planning, I was wondering whether there was any plan to deal with him. I’m under no illusion that it sends any sort of message to them – they’re clearly beyond help. I’m all about sending the message to the families of the victims that we support them & that we don’t tolerate this sort of hatred in our community.

  42. Timothy Domst February 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

    The WBC or whatever are probably the funniest in-real-life trolls around, that’s why Howard Stern has them on his show. The way to get rid of them is to ignore them.

  43. Dave February 19, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    I’m headed to wherever they plan to stain my town and stand my ground to drown them out so they will not be heard.
    I’m gonna be wherever I need to be so help me Jesus, I will exercise my freedom too and they may not listen, but they will have no choice but to hear me, this I guarantee.
    I will refrain from causing them physical pain whether in the snow or rain or gusty winds blowin through their brain as it carries the sounds I’m layin’ down within my town that they are tryin to stain.

    Enabler? Maybe so. But this isn’t about them or me. It’s about compassion for your fellow human being, and their lack of such. I’ll never change their mind, nor will I allow them the opportunity to spread their hateful venom.
    Not in my town. Not in OUR town. Enough is enough.

  44. Kathy February 19, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    To comment #1….Ummmmmm. Its Buffalo……Where do you think motorcycles are in the middle of February, in a snow storm or in 10 degree tempertures???????

  45. Rick Vallone February 19, 2009 at 10:41 pm #

    It looks like a group of some people from a message board I post on will be assembling together to block these hate mongers. We plan to bring white sheets and stand together in front of them to block them out of view. I am not certain on a meeting time or place yet, but can post with more info as I get it. Or, just check the original post I’m referring to, here:

  46. frieda February 20, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    Block them when they are about 50 miles from buffalo.

  47. maggie February 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    Terry– there is no “right.” If you believe that God sanctions disrespect for the dead, deliberate insults to the grieving, and intentional, vicious hate speech, then I am very, very glad I don’t follow the same path.

    As for the media, you know they are going to show up. I’m sure the local TV news stations will be there filming, especially if these idiots show up. It’s too much to hope for that they will ignore these fools, so those of us who don’t want them here might as well try to shield the families from this.

  48. Anonymous February 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

    How about water balloons? Its cold here.

  49. Derek February 21, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    People of Buffalo!!!!!!!!


    in the old days people who couldnt behave in our home wer either burried on a construction site or found when the ice melted, unfortunatly in this case we no longer have our Italian freinds in power. But i also no longer condone violence.

    just keep them away from the grieving. this is all that matters.

  50. Bryan Jones February 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm #

    I really hope somebody murders the whole WBC lot.

  51. jacki February 23, 2009 at 5:57 am #

    isn’t that woman in the pic. considered a crime, it’s racial & it’s a hate crime. it would be in az.

  52. Lady Donna Royce February 24, 2009 at 2:15 am #

    Look people. I have been tracking these fools on the net since May of 98 and from what I have seen, NOTHING works to shut them up! You can surround them with all the Angel Wings, Posters, Murals, Flags, Trailers, Motorcycles, 18 wheel trucks you want and make all the noise you want to drown them out and IT DOES NOT WORK anymore then ignoring them does!

    I dearly love what the Patriot Guard Riders do and I respect the entire ruddy lot of them! BUT! Even their good work does NOTHING to stop these monsters from showing up where THEY ARE NOT WANTED and standing there with their DISGUSTING signs and deliberately insulting everyone around them in the hopes of trying to start a fight with the locals!
    Once they get the fight started, they have their people standing there with video and still cameras shooting the entire thing and then hauling the ones that they insulted into court and suing them for every dime they can get! This is how that bunch of freaks makes their extra money to keep going around the country like they do to spread their HATE!

    To my way of thinking, the ONLY way any town is going to get the message that they are NOT welcome there through their THICK, BONE HEADS is to let them show up and then have a large group show up and PEACEFULLY RUN THEM OUT OF TOWN!
    The people of any town has the right to say who does and does not belong in their town and take PEACEFUL action to make it known to the offending group that THEY ARE NOT WANTED THERE!

    Get about 100 to 200 people together and have your own video and still cameras operating for your own protection, walk up to them, take their DISGUSTING signs away from them GENTLY and start GENTLY pushing them back towards the vehicle they showed up in. Get them loaded in the back of it and two of you drive (One keeping a video camera running at all times.) said vehicle to the town’s border with the others following you with video cameras running.
    Keeping the cameras running. Get out of said vehicle and point them the way out of town and say THE AIRPORT IN THE NEXT TOWN IS THAT WAY! DO NOT EVER SHOW YOUR FACES IN OUR TOWN AGAIN! YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE! If they show up again after that. You arrest them for trespassing.

    To my way of thinking, this is one of only two ways of shutting them up. The other way is extreme. Your town, city and so on denies them a permit to picket and when they defy your town and come anyway, YOU ARREST THE LOT FOR TRESPASSING and since they ALWAYS bring their children with them and put them in danger, you have your local CPS step in and put the children in PROTECTIVE CUSTODY!
    These “things” are too inbred and stupid to get the point that they are not wanted anywhere and all the peaceful ideas are not going to work on them because all they understand anymore is HATE! So it is going to take EXTREME, PEACEFUL, LEGAL measures to stop them now!

    Lady Donna Marie Royce


  1. These people* make me sick « Brenworld’s Blog - February 18, 2009

    […] I cant stand these people […]

  2. Fred Phelps Spells Like a 2nd Grader | Buffalo Pundit - February 19, 2009

    […] There are plans for a counterprotest, as set forth in comments here, and can also be seen on Facebook […]

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