The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Westboro’s Latest Outrage: Picket Norway Victims’ Funerals

By Mark Potok on August 5, 2011 - 11:03 am, Posted in Anti-LGBT

In the latest outrage from a group that specializes in generating outrage, the Westboro Baptist Church is promising to picket the funerals of the victims of a Norwegian mass murderer who it says God sent because Norway legalized homosexuality.

“Norway made being a fag legal in 1972, and passed laws for fags to marry and adopt children in 2008,” the group, based in Topeka, Kan., says on its infamous GodHatesFags website. God “sent the killer to slaughter 75+ of your children and citizens. It doesn’t matter what stripes Anders Breivik has or what you do to him now; God formed him and appointed him to punish Norway.”

Westboro is headed by Fred Phelps, and its congregation is almost entirely made up of Phelps’ children and grandchildren. Phelps began a crusade against gay men and lesbians starting in the late 1980s that has only grown increasingly vicious with the years. Last month, for instance, the church said it would picket the funeral of the beloved former first lady Betty Ford because she divorced her first husband before marrying future president Gerald Ford. As often happens with Westboro, Phelps and his followers never showed up at the July 8 funeral, but they received plenty of publicity.Breivik has admitted murdering some 77 people in Norway on July 22, saying he was acting to fight back against Muslim immigration. (Virtually all the victims, including scores of children, were connected to the relatively liberal Labour Party, which has promoted tolerance of Muslim immigrants to Norway.) Authorities in Norway described him as a Christian fundamentalist apparently influenced by American Islamophobes.

It seems highly likely that the Westboro group, if it actually attempts to go to Norway, will be turned away; like most European countries, Norway has laws that penalize or forbid certain kinds of speech. In 2008, a group of Westboro congregants were turned back from the border of Canada, which has similar speech laws and where the Phelps clan planned to picket the funeral of a young American murdered on a bus by a mentally ill stranger.

But Phelps and his followers, even when they don’t show up to carry out their threatened protests, are expert at generating media coverage, albeit universally negative, with their horrific publicity stunts. They have picketed Jewish synagogues, saying Jews killed Jesus, and the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying they were killed by God because America is a “fag-enabling” nation. After their success in getting horrified press attention over the planned pickets of the Betty Ford funeral, it seems obvious that the Westboro congregants are once again simply carrying out the most outrageous protest it can think of in the hope of winning attention.

  • Shadow Wolf

    I think their “God” they are referring to, is probably Satan. After all, Satan is the “God” of all “hate”. According to the Christian(Baptists) faith. I think its only fair to say that this Westboro group is nothing more than a Satanic cult. That is, if they’re promoting all that “hate” and fear.

    Skinny M.
    Just so you know that I’m a “gun-lover” myself. That doesn’t make me a Bible thumper or a bully. In an ardent pro-gun state like Arizona with a high crime rate. It’s only common sense to have some sort of weaponery to protect yourself and your family from the actual bullies and Bible thumpers. These loons can be dangerous. Check out Senator Lori Klein if you know what I mean:

    “Senator Lori Klein points gun at reporter”
    http://slatest.slate.com/posts....._repo.html

  • difluoroethene

    It’s quite ironic that they’d be holding him up as an instrument of God, given that Breivik was pro-Jewish and anti-Muslim, and the WBC guys are practically the exact opposite. Phelps and his clan are notoriously anti-Semitic, but have been far more charitable in their assessment of Muslims; Phelps reportedly was a personal acquaintance of Saddam Hussein, he has expressed approval of Muslim countries in which homosexuals are executed, and claims that God is using Muslims to punish America. Again, this double standard probably (like everything else about Phelps) stems directly from his anti-gay obsession. Because Muslims are in general far less tolerant of homosexuality than are Jews, Phelps tends to view the former more favorably than the latter.

  • skinnyminny

    Is this what American going to be reduced to, a bunch of hate-filled nuts, bullies, gun-loving, bible-thumping, most illegal drug/alcohol-consuming…country in the world. But anyway, the world is watching and listening to what is becoming the most uncivilized nation in the world that likes to tell others what to do. Oh yeah folks, this is how a true leader behaves, and they have the audacity to get angry when newly arriving immigrants don’t want to assimilate.

    It would be nice to see what would happen if this guy was snatched up and put into a straight jacket. Wonder if he and some of the others would change their tune.

    I think he may be right on some points, Breivik claims the ammunition came from the U.S., allegedly says he had plastic surgery here in the U.S., allegedly stayed at Lake Elmo MN – allegations that he stayed at Bachmann’s camp…on another note, perhaps he can answer if God gave Patsy Buchanan a ‘girly-man’ voice and why? LOL!

  • Mitch Beales

    Norway could do us a big favor by admitting them and then arresting them and detaining them for a long time.

  • Reynardine

    I hope they actually make it into Norway, preferably by illegal means, because they won’t get First Amendment protection there. Who knows, they might even bring out the Inner Viking…