Facebook Outrage Over Church Plans to Picket Girl?s Funeral

January 11, 2011
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imageAt least three Facebook groups sprang to life Monday less than a day after an infamous church trumpeted plans to picket the funeral of a nine-year-old Tucson, Ariz., shooting victim.

?Stop the Westboro Baptist Church? had collected more than 30,000 supporters by Monday afternoon; other sites added numbers steadily as word spread that the notorious Phelps family intended to turn up Thursday for Christina Green?s burial.

Green and five others were shot and killed during a rampage on Jan. 8 at a U.S. congresswoman?s open forum at an Arizona supermarket. The congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, was critically wounded and another 13 people were injured.

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In a rambling, error-filled video, 81-year-old Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro Church in Topeka, Kansas, proclaimed, ?Thank God for the violent shooter, one of your soldier heros (sic) in Tucson,? wrongly contending that the accused, Jared Loughner, had been a soldier in Afghanistan.

That doesn?t matter, Phelps?s daughter and spokeswoman, Shirley Phelps-Roper, told the Star.

?They broke his moral compass. God has cursed America,? she said. The church, most of whose members are Fred Phelps?s many children and grandchildren, will picket Green?s funeral because ?she is not innocent. They corrupted her from the womb. God doesn?t make mistakes.?

Westboro operates at least eight often-blocked websites, including one called godhatescanada.com. Several Phelpses are avid Twitter users.

Westboro?s relentless pickets of the funerals of Afghanistan veterans provoked a lawsuit by one soldier?s father. It will be heard this spring by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Photo:A parent and a student leave a note at a make-shift memorial at Mesa Verde Elementary School in Tucson, Ariz., Monday, Jan. 10, 2011. Christina Green, 9, a student at Mesa Verde Elementary School, was shot and killed during a speech given by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, at a supermarket Saturday.

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