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[UPDATE] Westboro Baptist Church Member Says Group Will Picket Sandy Hook Elementary

Topeka, Kan., councilman apologies to Newtown for decision by WBC.

MONDAY (4:30 p.m.): A Topeka, Kan., city councilman has apologized for his community to the residents of Newtown for the statements by members of the Westboro Baptist Church that they plan to picket Sandy Hook Elementary in wake of Friday's deadly shootings.

"I want to send my apologies to the folks in Newtown," Topeka Councilman Chan Manspeaker to The Huffington Post. "We are not a community that embraces the Phelps."

Westboro Baptist Church, led by Fred Phelps, says it has been attacked since it announced on Saturday that it would picket in Newtown.

Manspeaker says he believes the group said it would protest in Newtown simply to get attention for itself.

"The motive is for them to get more press," Manspeaker told The Huffington Post. "They are excellent PR managers, if your message is hate and discontent."

In addition to being targeted by the hacker group Anonymous since its protest threat, Westboro Baptist Church has been:

- The target of a series of negative Tweets

- The subject of a petition to the White House seeking to have WBC recognized as a "hate group" — more than 131,000 signatures have been posted on the petition. 

Original post

A member of Westboro Baptist Church, the group that is known for picketing funerals of soldiers and AIDS victims, says the group plans to picket Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to Examiner.com.

A day after Friday's shooting in Newtown, CT, where police said 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother and then 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, Westboro Baptist member Shirley Phelps-Roper posted a message on Twitter that the group would "sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment."

Fellow member Margie Phelps, according to Examiner.com, tweeted "Westboro 'God hates Fags' Baptist Church is planning to pciket at Sandy Hook, to praise 'God's judgment.'”

Westboro Baptist Church is a Kansas-based organization that has gained national attention through its pickets at U.S. soldiers' funerals, by assailing homosexuality and even calling Barack Obama "the anti-Christ." Previous messages by Phelps-Roper have come prior to protests by the group. However, the group has threatened to protest at other high-profile incidents in the nation, but then failed to show up.

In apparent retribution for the protest threat, the hackers group Anonymous posted information — names, addresses, telephone numbers — of Westboro members online.

CNET reports that the posting of the data is part of a campaign dubbed #OPWestBoro to counter the efforts of Westboro Baptist Church members. Westboro also released a video called "God Sent the Shooter," saying it is a "message for Connecticut."

Danielle Browning December 17, 2012 at 06:42 AM
I sign and shared BOTH ! Blessing be with you all.
Lori Jacobs December 17, 2012 at 07:13 AM
This group is crazy! They are not showing the love of Christ. picking on grieving families with little children, that's not what God does. God will deal! with them and very harshly, I am praying! Trust me, leave it in God's hands and he will deal with them sharply. They should be grieved over this great loss! The Bible says to mourn with those who mourn. they are not real Christians! Please don't let them give Christians a bad name! God bless!
Tim December 17, 2012 at 08:46 AM
Has anyone thought of contacting Representative Murphy and asking him to bring some resolution to the House floor to stop these nutjobs? https://forms.house.gov/chrismurphy/webforms/issue_subscribe.htm
lily riley December 17, 2012 at 09:46 AM
Yes we should keep them away ( for their own safety) they need to be protected right? So as a nation we should keep them away, that is a good reason for the police to use to keep these evil people away! Wouldnt they protect others in danger? Good enough for me! God bless all those people who were involved in this travisty, and all of us!
PerryHallParent December 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM
If they have a right to free speech, would they be allowed to hold up signs that said they were going to assassinate the president or set off a bomb on a plane or set fire to a theater, would that be OK? Terroristic threats are a crime and they are directly related to speech. So, hate speech, which this is, should fall under the statute of a hate crime.
Phil Braun December 17, 2012 at 01:49 PM
These members from the Westboro Baptist Church are not even close to being Christians . How in their faith could they act in such a manner .Their minds are twisted and their hearts stone cold.
norward brodie December 17, 2012 at 01:59 PM
westboro need to drop the name'baptist church' and call themselves an 'evil cult'. there is nothing "Christlike' in what they are doing. Christ is all about Love and peace. ,compassiom Sure we have the right of freedom of speech,but not to freedom to hurt those who are already hurting,beating on those who are already down.
Hannah G December 17, 2012 at 02:32 PM
It's sad that things have gone this far.....Families and friends of the victims have suffered enough and to add insult to injury they must endure a protest at the funeral. God has his reasons for doing things..... but thats not to say that we as people need to add salt to the wounds of the grieving. Yes people need to have the right to speech but please NOT at innocent peoples funerales where there is enough pain and suffering already. One day the so called "protesters" will realize the damage they have caused..... it might not be here on earth but they will have to respond for their actions just like everybody else. While it might be hard to endure their negative comments and their protesting now....take some peace in knowing that rightness will be done sooner or later for those who act so evil in what they call the name of God. My sympathy and heart are with each and every family that lost a loved one that day. Hold dear to your heart the memories and cherish what you still have. God is great and will be with the families every step of the way..... at times you will fall and feel as though he is not there but silently he is picking you up and giving you the strength to face another day.
Patricia Hodge December 17, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Are you serious?? This foolishness makes me so angry, people who don't even know God putting His name on this craziness. Death is never and has never been in God's will, Jesus came to bring LIFE to all! Since the beginning, God gave man (humanity ) the power to choose, and God will not take that back from His children. What satan meant for evil, God has turned it around for good. Satan's influence on a man who made a very bad choice is not more powerful than God's compassion & mercy that has covered those who suffered this man's bad decision. On Friday morning the children and all who laid down their lives for all the children ( for this is the epitome of God's love ) went to be with the Lord. Death is swallowed up in victory! If they knew God, their message would be to broadcast God's victory and judgement over satan and death, the true Church needs to shut down this false House and teach these people about God ...
Concerned Brookfield Citizen December 17, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Brookfield's students organized Angel Action when they threatened our town when TBTA presented The Laramie Project. We will come to the aid of our neigbors so they can mourn in peace.
Ajbanores December 17, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Freedom of speech still has to be within the law set be forth the land. Not a single person or organization is above the law. The message they preach is hate and is deemed illegal in many states. As right to protest, they have the right as long as the verbiage is not conveyed as hate. Look up wallingford kkk protests. They demonstrated peaceful protests without any verbiage. As a Jew I do not condone this it is what it is. There is ignorance everywhere, but as a Connecticut citizen I will not allow these hate mongers to desecrate a child's funeral or disrupt the victims parents lives anymore than they already have been, by peacefully setting up a boundary between these evil people and the victims.
Chris December 17, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Dear Newtown Residents......Words cannot describe the anguish the my family feels for you and your loss. Please know that the Strom Family in NorthWest Missouri is praying for you and those you lost. We wish you peace and whatever joy you could possibly wring out of this Christmas season. CStrom and Family
Leash December 17, 2012 at 06:38 PM
They came down to tucson and picketed after Gabby Giffords was shot and others were killed, including the 9 year old angel. I really hope their plans fall through, but if they don't, my thoughts are with you Newtown. They're terrible people, but their presence is quickly forgotten.
megan p December 17, 2012 at 06:56 PM
this is absolutely rediculous! as if these parents and families arent going through enough now picketers are gonna go & try & put their two sense in?! no one cares what they have to say, If i was in those parents shoes & they showed up to my 6 yr olds funeral they would probably never get to leave
Dawn December 17, 2012 at 07:10 PM
I really hate the fact that people think they know what is going on. No one knows if god did this, no one knows why the man did this. The only one who knows is the man who did this and god. I wish people would stop thinking they know everything. They do not!
ana ripoll December 17, 2012 at 08:03 PM
You may be OK with them picketing a child's funeral or a child's death BUT most people in their right mind are not!!! These people are insane and theirs is not protesting it's out-right intimidation.
Kathi Swanson December 17, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I would be willing to go down there from MA as many times as needed to protect those families in their grief and to protect the memory of those little angels. ust say where and when
Catherines_comment December 17, 2012 at 11:09 PM
And citizens have the right to water the lawns and clean the streets with fire hoses. If Westboro happens to be in the way, so be it. Get the police and media to look the other way so no one can be identified. After they are nice and wet, close any business they may try to shelter in. Let them get back in their cars and go back to Kansas.
Patsy Dailey December 18, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Signed & there need no more signatures its past 25,00 but I signed it anyway this has to stop! Newtown we are all here for you as a nation.
Patsy Dailey December 18, 2012 at 01:57 AM
I sent him an email although I am not in his district I told him this needs to be stopped as a mom, a grandmom & a Children's Minister that this is hate group & this town has suffered enough. I hope it helps?
Boyd Martin December 18, 2012 at 06:14 AM
They will get there's. Lets hold our anger for now.
Theman December 18, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Baptist church is going to HELL...
Daria December 18, 2012 at 05:46 PM
are they in our town now??
Hey Deb December 20, 2012 at 01:30 PM
OMG OMG!! THEY ARE THERE!!! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/19/westboro-baptist-church-protest-newtown-victim-funeral-_n_2331880.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=2118167,b=facebook
Hey Deb December 20, 2012 at 01:31 PM
yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/19/westboro-baptist-church-protest-newtown-victim-funeral-_n_2331880.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=2118167,b=facebook
m. smith December 20, 2012 at 01:42 PM
As hateful as they are, if the WBC protests legally, leave them alone. Let's not give our rights away at every turn. I think the human blockade sends a much stronger message. We are strong together and you, WBC are not a part of us.Turn your cameras away from them and ignore them but don't give up the right to free speech because of them.
BJ December 20, 2012 at 11:05 PM
They are.
Patsy Dailey December 20, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Who are the bikers are they there to help with these wbc idiots?? Praying for you all. We had a threatening letter sent to our Northampton MA High School yesterday & other schools in MA got it too. Released early. Sickos in this world. God be with you all. My prayers & Love from Northampton, MA
Patsy Dailey December 20, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Oh I see it, the bikers stopped them from protesting the funerals staying at the Motel 6. Members of the quasi-religious group, Westboro Baptist Church, planned to gather in Connecticut to protest the funeral of Newtown, Conn., shooting victim Principal Dawn Hochsprung. However, Good Samaritans were already there to thwart any possible protest with a human wall. How ridiculous the same sex marriage is their insane purpose. I wonder if they left or are still there? I hope not. They are trouble. Not a church.
Patsy Dailey December 20, 2012 at 11:37 PM
I hope they dont stay in that motel 6 I hope they get out of there, They have no business to harm anyone, especially anyone grieving. I agree water your lawns, time to clean the streets too!

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