Westboro Baptist Church says it will picket Elizabeth Edwards' funeral
December 9th, 2010
10:16 AM ET

Westboro Baptist Church says it will picket Elizabeth Edwards' funeral

Editor's Note: This report comes from the CNN Political Ticker.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church announced Thursday plans to picket Saturday's funeral for Elizabeth Edwards in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Kansas-based Church – monitored by anti-hate groups such as the Anti-Defamation league and the Southern Poverty Law Center – is known for its extremist opposition to homosexuals, Jews and other groups.

The church members also oppose the War in Iraq.

According to the church's website, members will hold a protest from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Edwards, the estranged wife of presidential candidate John Edwards, died Tuesday after a six-year battle with breast cancer.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Church and state • Gay rights • Homosexuality • North Carolina • Politics • United States

soundoff (332 Responses)
  1. jl

    Give the Edwards family a break already.

    December 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  2. Chris

    Man.... we all need to be praying for these Westboro people.

    December 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  3. Calling all Angels

    Remember Matthew Shepherd's funeral, when they tried to protest then, too? Remember how people made giant angel wings & made it impossible for them to see or be seen? It's time to reassemble the Angel Band, complete with beautiful music to drown out their horrible hate speech, for surely such a lady deserves such a tribute.

    December 9, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
    • Bill

      if i had a way to Raleigh i'd go hand in hand against the wicked hypocrits of westboro...sadly no such luck but i'll pray for the angels or whoever silences their message of hate and ignorance.

      December 9, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • Frogist

      With all the anger about these guys I thought this link might be helpful in seeing how you can peacefully shield the families that the WBC protests. These are the angels of Matther Shepard and the Laramie Project who showed up to counter Phelps anger.


      December 10, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  4. jodyann

    The WBC scheduled to picket the funeral of a soldier in Southern MD. Hundreds, if not thousands from the community lined the streets waving American flags, motorcyclist came together as part of the procession line; there were no WBC protesters to be seen. I hope those in her community come together in the same manner to support, not a democrat, not a gay and lesbian supporter, but a human being. No one should have the right to disturb what should be a very personal, private gathering.

    December 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  5. Lobo

    I seriously do not know what i would do, if these nuts showed up a funeral I was attending.

    December 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • Chris

      release a herd of wild skunks

      December 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Trained skunks would probably work much better.

      December 9, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  6. SuzieQQ

    Yet another example of religious HYPOCRITS....

    December 9, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  7. Mike, not me

    Many people try to understand Christians along a spectrum from "nominalism" at one end to "fanaticism" on the other. A nominal Christian is someone who is a Christian in name only, who does not practice it and perhaps barely believes it. A fanatic is someone who is thought to over-believe and over-practice Christianity. In this schematic, the best kind of Christian would be someone in the middle, someone who doesn't go all the way with it, who believes it but is not too devoted to it. The problem with this approach is that it assumes that the Christian faith is basically a form of moral improvement. Intense Christians would therefore be intense moralist or, as they were called in Jesus's time, Pharisees. Pharisaic people assume they are right with God because of their moral behavior and right doctrine. This leads naturally to feelings of superiority toward those who do not share their religiosity, and from there to various forms of abuse, exclusion, and oppression. This is the essence of what we think of as fanaticism.

    What if, however, the essence of Christianity is salvation by grace, salvation not because of what we do but because of what Christ has done for us? Belief that you are accepted by God by sheer grace is profoundly humbling. The people who are fanatics, then, are so not because they are too committed to the gospel but because they're not committed to it enough.

    This of people you consider fanatical. They're overbearing, self-righteous, opinionated, insensitive, and harsh. Why? It's not because they are too Christian but because they are not Christian enough. They are fanatically zealous ad courageous, but they are not fanatically humble, sensitive, loving, empathetic, forgiving or understanding–as Christ was. Because they think of Christianity as a self-improvement program they emulate the Jesus of the whips in the temple, but not the Jesus who said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone" (John 8:7). What strikes us as overly fanatical is actually a failure to be fully committed to Christ and his gospel.

    "The Reason for God" Tim Keller

    December 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      If they were more for fully committed, they'd probably be toting machine guns instead of signs...

      Yes, I really did read and understand your post, but I suspect it would be wasted extremists and twisted, just I twisted it.

      December 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • Russ

      Well said...I enjoyed your post. I just wish your points could be calmly debated and better understood... But the world is getting ready for the end times...hardened hearts and closed minds.

      December 9, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • NoDoubt

      Your post is very true.

      December 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • jeff

      I found Tim Keller's "The Reason For God" a wonderful read.

      December 10, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  8. blahh

    these people need to be shot dead where they stand.

    December 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  9. Kim

    Why don't these people find something else to do with their time? My family has all served in the military during war time, if these people dare show up to their funerals they will find out what it means to be "free" in the country. This is a persons funeral, a time of closure for family & friends, not some buttheads protesting.

    December 9, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  10. whatreallyhappened.com

    We should sick Janet Reno on that cult.

    December 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  11. Ugh

    Her poor children.

    December 9, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  12. HotAirAce

    Speaking of atheists ( :^) ) – could you imagine the outcry if even just one atheist, or even a non-christrian religion, tried to picket/protest at this event? The outcry would be huge – off the scale! I bet these guys pretty much get a free pass 'cause they're christian and merely exercising their free speech rights in a christian country... sigh...

    December 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      You don't believe the outcry is huge now? and to answer your question, no, I don't think it would be bigger.

      December 9, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • Frogist

      @HotAirAce: I definitely agree with you. Can you imagine the sh!tstorm from Conservative talk show hosts and every self-aggrandizing Repub official if this was a muslim group? It would be smeared across every front page of news websites and politicial blogs. But since WBC is Christian, they get labeled silly loons, and passed over despite the heinous nature of their actions.

      December 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Mike, not me

      Hi Mike...

      Actually agree with you that there is a tremendous hate and backlash towards the WBC and Phelps' Klan.

      And... I absolutely disagree with you, in that if.... this was somehow an atheist group, or a muslim group protesting in this manner, they 'hate and uproar' towards said groups would without question, definitely be escalated exponentially.

      There is already enough hatred by a lot of christian churches concerning atheists, and other religions, as christians, believe they have the *only truth* to what God said, and.... anybody else, that doesn't believe is 'leading non-believers astray' from the truth. Which is a grave sin.

      I believe there are some biblical quotes that even speak to this...yes...? (Don't have my KJV out right now).

      But, in essence, the 'over-all' viewpoints against 'non-believers' which includes atheists, and 'any' other religion is not well tolerated by the vast majority of christians in the U.S.


      December 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  13. Texann

    Funerals are for the living, not the dead. The only people that will be hurt by such a useless action are those trying to attend the funeral. It does nothing but show how hateful some people can be. I try to be a good Christian, but I'm not perfect. These people just support the "nutcase" label we get. Thanks folks...you're REALLY doing a GREAT JOB to bolster support for your cause. (note – that is sarcasm)

    December 9, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • HotAirAce

      The members of the Westboro Baptist Church are a disgrace to humanity in general and ought to cause all believers to question their own beliefs. How far is each individual believer, or the house-of-silliness they belong to, from behaving similarly? Is suggesting or condoning violence against these idiots just one step towards behaving like them?

      And please note, as far as I can tell, no atheists will be disrupting this funeral – she and her family (even hypocrite John) deserve a diginified send off.

      December 9, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Texann – the above was meant to be a "post", not a "reply." I'm not disagreeing with anything you said, or directing anything to you personally.

      December 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  14. maird

    ignoramous hillbillies

    December 9, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  15. common sense

    tSurely, the barricades for this protest will be set up far enough away where no one from the funeral will be affected. It is a shame that barricaded need to be there in the first place but ten miles out wouldn't be too far away would it? Also drop that baptist label, please! You do more damage with that tag than any of your picketing or bigoted signs.

    December 9, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  16. Kansas City

    They picketed a soldiers funeral in Kansas City. FIFTEEN HUNDRED people showed up to shield the family from the "protesters" at the funeral. The crazies left before the family even arrived. They are a fanatic group and they are not supported in Kansas.

    December 9, 2010 at 11:12 am |
    • Frogist

      Well rock on, Kansas! Good for you. That's the kind of thing we need to hear about in reference to the WBC – that people will stand up peacefully to deny them their prejudiced rantings.

      December 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  17. john

    I am sorry that I will not be in the area so that I can express my freedom of speech toward the Westboro Baptist Church. I hope that one day, I cross their path. I would love to inflict some very serious disrespect upon "God's people".

    December 9, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  18. dee

    I am sorry that this will happen but I am glad. For years this group of radicals has been protesting at the funerals of servicemembers killed in the the war. Not being morbid or ugly but this will be more of an eye opener...some readers obvioulsy never heard of them until know. GOD Bless America!

    December 9, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  19. Snow man

    The trouble is there finatics in every religion. The call them selves Christian, but the definition is to be Christ like, and everyone knows these people doing the protesting are not Christ like, they are simply ruining the name for people who are workinghard to be Christ like. It is unfortunate that people will associate these people with other Christians. Before anyone passes judgement on anyone, look a little deeper. I know some peole who are Christians who are great people. At the same time i know people who call them selves Christian and are the most self centered people you'd meet any where. The people who are the real Christians, you know before you even have to ask. They are kind, polite, and help when they can. Many religions state treat people the way you wish to be treated. It's a simple rule, and it can change lives.

    December 9, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  20. NE

    Where are the cyber wars now? Can we do something about this "church"?

    December 9, 2010 at 11:03 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.