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Westboro Baptist Church Goes To Mississippi – And Loses


On Saturday USMC Staff Sgt. Jason Rogers, who was killed in action in Afghanistan April 7, was buried in Brandon, Mississippi.

That, by itself, is a sadly unremarkable – though certainly noteworthy and solemn – occasion for us to mark.

And in fact when Sgt. Rogers’ body returned to Brandon it was greeted by hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of well-wishers who gathered at the roadside to honor the fallen American hero. The dashboard camera from Mississippi state trooper Elmo Townsend’s cruiser gives an indication of the scene last Thursday.

What is most notable about Sgt. Rogers’ funeral in Brandon, however, is what didn’t happen.

You see, the troglodytes from Westboro Baptist Church had threatened to spew their poison at Sgt. Rogers’ funeral.

But the Westboro mob wasn’t on the scene, and Sgt. Rogers was laid to rest without incident – thank God.

Why weren’t there protestors?

Planning ahead by the locals, as it turns out.

From an Ole Miss sports message board, a tidbit of information…

A couple of days before, one of them (Westboro protestors) ran his mouth at a Brandon gas station and got his arse waxed. Police were called and the beaten man could not give much of a description of who beat him. When they canvassed the station and spoke to the large crowd that had gathered around, no one seemed to remember anything about what had happened.

Rankin County handled this thing perfectly. There were many things that were put into place that most will never know about and at great expense to the county.

Most of the morons never made it out of their hotel parking lot. It seems that certain Rankin county pickup trucks were parked directly behind any car that had Kansas plates in the hotel parking lot and the drivers mysteriously disappeared until after the funeral was over. Police were called but their wrecker service was running behind and it was going to be a few hours before they could tow the trucks so the Kansas plated cars could get out.

A few made it to the funeral but were ushered away to be questioned about a crime they might have possibly been involved in. Turns out, after a few hours of questioning, that they were not involved and they were allowed to go on about their business.

Fred Phelps, the disbarred lawyer and Democrat activist who leads the Westboro congregation, will undoubtedly pursue some form of legal action for the way his people were thwarted in Brandon. Let him try. There isn’t a jury in Mississippi which will see things his way.

This is a template for how to handle the Westboro people. If lawsuits don’t work, other means will. Whatever it takes to keep them from harassing bereaved military families on the day their fallen loved ones are laid to rest.

UPDATE: Some of the feedback we’ve received from this piece came along the lines that it’s inappropriate to refer to Fred Phelps as a “Democrat activist.”

We stand by that characterization. If anything, it’s an understatement.

Fred Phelps ran for major office in Kansas as a Democrat no less than four times. He ran for governor on the Democrat ballot in 1990, 1994 and 1998 and for senator in 1992. Phelps received 11,000 votes, or seven percent, in 1990, he received 5,000 votes, or three percent, in 1994 and he picked up 15,000 votes, or 15 percent, in 1998. And in the senatorial contest in 1992 he garnered 49,000 votes, or 30 percent. Phelps furthermore ran as a Democrat candidate for mayor of Topeka in 1993 and 1997.

Phelps also has been closely associated with Al Gore on several occasions throughout Gore’s career – Phelps’ son Fred, Jr. was a Gore delegate at the 1988 Democrat convention and the Phelpses hosted a Gore fundraiser in Topeka that year. Phelps claims that Westboro members “ran” Gore’s 1988 campaign in Kansas.

Phelps may not fit within the typical definition of “Democrat activist” some of our readers expect – but a six-time Democrat candidate is an activist Democrat. That is quite clear, as unknown to the public as it might be.


1,986 Comments

  1. Idon't Know says:

    Democrat activist?  Hardly.  Pathetic.

  2. This radical group of blithering idiots plans to attend the funeral of U. S. Marine Lance Corporal Jason N. Barfield, 22 of Ashford, Alabama.  I understand that they have been approached by a local radio station that has offered them an hour of airtime on Friday morning so that they will not attend and desecrate the service of this young man.  The same young man who gave his life fighting for the rights that they shove in the faces of our law enforcement when they show up to harass and protest services of our fallen soldiers is the one that they intend to show the disrespect for. I can only say that I am so thankful that the Lord that I serve is not the same as the one that they supposedly serve. My God is a gracious and a loving God. But, let us not forget what He said in Deuteronomy 32:35 “To me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”

  3. [...] and even town workers successfuly blocked one of their protests and well worth the short read: Westboro Baptist Church Goes To Mississippi – And Loses How many of these residents were Christians? We likely will never know. [...]

  4. [...] on the site. We had a major traffic spike back in April of this year when we ran that piece about the folks in Brandon, Mississippi and how they bamboozled the Westboro Baptist Church picketers, and that post represented the vast majority of the page views on the site. In fact, [...]

  5. Teresa_m_0731 says:

    Well now another one of our men will be brought home to Greenville MS And these IDIOTS are suppose to be there, well they might need to look up about us southern people, we DO NOT take this kind of crap from nobody!!! Dont bring ur ass down here cause we are all waiting on u!!

  6. Jimbar says:

    The Patriot Guard Riders will attend any wake, funeral or internment they are asked by family to attend.    If the “church” is there they will stand in front of them.  will not address them at all.
    The “church” posted online they would be in Stamford,Conn to be at funeral of Navy Seal.  PGR asked members to come and support the family.  I went and there were people from at least 3 states.   Those never showed up but since they had to be at least 300 yards away they wouldn’t have been seen since there were woods all around.   There must have been 75 or more people there who held flags and standard bearers.   fire dept and some scouts were there. 
    What struck me was when we saw the town all the American flags were at half staff!   The town was proud of him! 
    I don’t think of it as a “church” but rather a cult.
    One of my friends was looking for an apartment to share.  the guy he was talking to asked him what his interests were.  he mentioned PGR.  the guy asked if he could call back.  when he did he said he couldn’t take him since he was one of the protesters.  That’s in Chicopee, Mass (near Springfield) 

  7. Daphne says:

    I agree with you entirely with the exception of the Democrat comment. I’m not disputing the fact that he’s a democrat. I’m wondering if your comment is to imply that other democrats condone Phelps behavior. I certainly don’t condone it and I would identify myself as a democrat. Some one who is not a Christian could make the argument that Phelps is a Christian therefor all Christians act/feel the way he does. Personally, I am not a Christian but I think his behavior is abhorrent and goes against the moral codes of most major religions as well as most cultures. I think that Phelps personal brand of religion and politics puts him in the same realm as Jim Jones. Phelps is an ignorant-egomanical-narcissistic freak that is the charismatic leader of a bunch of brain dead twats. Please don’t assume that all democrats find his behavior acceptable. He should be shut down.  I have a great admiration for the county leaders and local people who showed up to defend their rights and the rights of the family of the fallen soldier not to be victims of Phelps insanity. Maybe if more people organized and responded in such a manner they could shut him down. 

  8. Jim Barrus says:

    Unfortunately their poison has spread.   I and friend are on PGR.  he was looking for an apartment he could share.  he was talking with a man who had one.   he asked my friend what he liked to do.  He answered and listed PGR among them.  The man asked him to call back later.  when he called back he told my friend he couldn’t since he was one of the “protesters”

    I think they should be called a cult.  the Baptist Church should tell them to take their name off the  “church” or they would be sued.  I hope it has denounced them and cut them off.  if not why not?

  9. Rick says:

    Every once in awhile my homestate of Ms will surprise you and do the right thing.  This time it did the very right thing; and the evil, stupid WBC put its tail between its legs and back to Kansas with Dorothy and Toto. 

  10. brenda dobbs mayfield says:

    sorry, guess i missed why there was such an uproar. will you please re-state the problem? why would ANYONE dis-honor our brave soldiers, especially when he gave his life for them?

  11. Jim says:

    check out PGR – Patriot Guard Riders.   They go to funerals for our heroes – vets included – at the request of the family.      they go to give honor to them each person with a flag.   If the “church” shows up they have to be a few hundred yards back but there is no restriction (to my knowledge) on the PGR.   

  12. Beckman3278 says:

    Always knew I liked the state of Mississippi, now I love it.  WTG & God Bless all who detained the idiots from  Kansas.

  13. Lisalynne62862 says:

    I cant believe Anyone would protest at ANY funeral! Thats the most DISrespectful thing I have ever heard of. I’m glad the townspeople stood up to these morons now if Every Town would do this maybe they would crawl back under that rock and STAY THERE!!

    • Bmntywlsh55 says:

       problem is it isn’t just a protest.  they call the heroes names I will not mention here and say they are defending a … country.  they don’t care that they fight and die for their freedom to say those things.

  14. Jailnurse says:

    How many times has David Duke of the KKK run as a Republican? Four times. He ran for various offices three times as a Democrat, and got no supposrt or attention. Then he switched to the Populist Party, and got less. Then he switched to the Republican party…and got elected. And he has remained a Republican since.

    You may stand by your characterization; I stand by mine.

  15. kjw says:

    Though this piece is thoughtful and relatively provocative, the individual who wrote this should undoubtedly take a few Communication and Journalism classes as well as a seminar in standard English prose.  

  16. Rebecca Estep says:

    only proves that both parties have their share of head jobs!

  17. These devil workers are going to be in Three Rivers, TX on March 31 at 12:15 PM to protest 2LT. Clovis T. Ray at Three Rivers High School. All you Texans go out and support Ray and his family if you can!

  18. please…if I should fall…keep these people away from me, my family.

  19. if I should fall please keep these people away from me and my family.

  20. Alvin Thomas Tims says:

    If I die and these people show up have Uncle Marvin come with a bunch of his friends, bring the Patriot Gaurd and everyone who hates them can show up too.

  21. Nikki Harding says:

    I am very pleased to see the people of Brandon, Mississippi standing against the Westboro protestors. I'm in full support of everything they did. I'm in full support of everything you've said on that topic. I am whole-heartedly opposed to what Fred Phelps and the Westboro congregation appear to stand for. However, can I please urge you to take care with regards to your comments about his political associations. I do not dispute the facts as you have presented them. However, calling Phelps a Democrat activist is a bit like calling Osama bin Laden a Muslim activist. A Democrat, he may claim to be. Just as bin Laden was a Muslim. However, neither is typical or representative of those groups. In a country where there is so much division, pointing the finger and saying this NUTJOB (and I stand behind that!) is representative of anyone other than his only deluded beliefs and followers is just stirring the pot.

    • Mel de Cruz says:

      Well said!!!

      U go Sister!

      Sometimes you don't half remind me of myself! X

    • Nikki Harding says:

      Two peas in a pod! Always were! x

    • That is exactly what I would have said. Clearly it wasn't a Democrat who wrote the unapologetic piece about Phelps being a "Democratic activist". That's absurd on so many levels. It's almost as if Phelps is sabotaging the Democratic party by claiming to be a Democrat.

    • Stacey Conly Posey says:

      Joel Chato Escarpita, I am Republican but I don't for a second believe he's actually Democrat anymore than he is truly Baptist! I'm Baptist and it makes me sick he tries to claim the Baptist doctrine! He just chooses a description, title, whatever and then does whatever he wants

    • Wendi Jaeck says:

      I am confused. What is your Purpose In Therie Life? You how You go any where in this world. WE WILL be there to SHUT YOU DOWN!! Wonder if this is a cover for their Life style on just coming to an end.

  22. John Berger says:

    Obvious from the video that a Democrat would never win in this state.

  23. Blue Kelly says:

    well, I am a democrat, but that doesn't mean the democratic party doesn't accept assholes in the party; and bless the the fine folks that kept the assholes out of the funeral.

  24. they will see how we take cair of things in yucuipa

  25. Way to go Brandon, Mississippi! These people will not get the hint and obviously need to be dealt with in a manner more conducive to their mental capacities (or lack thereof!). The Westboro congregation claims that they are Christian, however, if they are Christian, then they should understand the concept of COMPASSION! Christ forgave the sinners, and told the men in the mob in John 8:7 "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone". These people simply cannot be without sin….no one is, except Christ!

  26. Rusty Kilpatrick Jr says:

    The WBC is an abomination, but if you're going to characterize them as democrats to push your agenda, then you need to characterize them as Christians. Just as he, at one time, was technically a Democrat, technically they are Christians. Everything they spout is in the name of the Bible and Jesus. Don't see you harping on that, though? That wouldn't necessarily jive with your political agenda, though, would it?

    Fortunately, most reasonable people can make a distinction between parading under the guise of something while not representing the true values of the group vs representing the true values of the group.

    The WBC is no more democrat than it is Christian. This is yellow journalism, and it is everything that is wrong with reporters in our generation.

    • Lilli McLean Anderson says:

      They are not Christians. They wouldn't know the first thing about Christianity if it jumped up and bit them in the ass. Anyone can study a few lines from the Bible and recite them and make whatever claims they wish, that doesn't make them a Christian. They hide behind THEIR interpretation of the Bible so they can justify their hatred in their own minds. Fred Phelps is a nut case and his family follows him not God. As far as the Democrat party goes, I would be embarrassed and insulted if Phelps or anyone from that cult ever associated themselves with my party just as much as I find it distasteful that they call themselves Christians. They really aren't for anything or anybody other than themselves.

  27. Michael C. Reppold says:

    Awesome.

  28. Tory Braden says:

    People think Southerners are dumb. But it took Southerners to outsmart Westboro when the Yankees couldn't. Love the tow trucks.

  29. Jeremy Gould says:

    How disgusting that you're trying to score political points by using 25% of your article to talk about how they are democrats. What they believe is far more inline with crazy right wing christian nutjobs, probably like yourself.

  30. Wow, this is very funny person to person- like if me and a bunch of friends thwarted WBC this way, it is a hilarious victory. But to have the local government do it? I don't care how wrong or stupid the Westboro people are- no one should be applauding this type of police harassment. Once the police feel it's ok to do to a bunch of assholes like the Phelps' the police can start to expand their definition of "asshole" to include anyone with an unpopular opinion.

    • Ethan Brown says:

      This was way more than the police… It was hicks with pickups. Tow truck drivers refusing to do their jobs, etc… The guy that got beat up at the gas station is way over the top. But none of the rest of it… police questioning included I really have any problem with.

    • Amanda Williams says:

      Have you ever witnessed Westboro?

      It sounds like the local police supported and protected the local community… im impressed.

    • Of course I have witnessed Westboro.

      I am not impressed that the police can decide one group is worth responding unlawfully towards.

      Next it's Occupy, or the Socialist party, or Greenpeace, or whomever the police decides is a threat to their community. The police should never be lauded for abusing their powers. They already do it enough.

    • Carter Rosen says:

      dude, put down the conspiracy helmet and shut the hell up.

      you are starting to sound like a member of the Westboro Baptist Church.

    • You sound like you are reading deficient.

      I fucking hate WBC. They are scum.

      But if you think it's cool to have police decide who is and is not scum, you are welcoming a bunch of horrible non-conspiriatorial bullshit.

      Just calling me playground names and using hackneyed imagery will not change what I said and you have not addressed the substance of it. All you really said was "NO U!" which is not very convincing.

      If you want to change my mind, you would have to give some kind of rational and well-thought out response that shows why you believe 1. the police do not abuse their powers and 2. why you believe the WBC is a special case where the police ought to be allowed to do so.

      This you probably cannot do if the level of your initial response is any indication of your overall intelligence and rhetorical skill.

    • Kena Lea says:

      Well then, let's test -my- overall intelligence and rhetorical skill.

      1. The police DO indeed abuse their power on a daily basis. That is evidenced in myriad ways by our sensationalist media outlets for all the world to see.

      However, in this situation, I do not see LEOs abusing their powers. I see -citizens- who happen to be LEOs protecting their neighbors in a time of mourning, grief, and loss. I see the police doing their jobs to the best of their abilities. The stopped the beating, they protected the victim of the beating and asked him to describe his assailants. He could no do so. It seems citizens parked their vehicles behind the Kansas plates in self defense. Once the police were called they did their best to have the vehicles removed so that the WBC people could get where they were going. Unfortunately, the tow trucks were all otherwise occupied.

      Coming from a small town myself, I've had to call the police for a tow once or twice and even had a friend who -was- a tow truck driver. Sometimes it can take -hours- for them to get to you when they -want- to. And yes, there are often 'call jumper' tow companies (even in the sticks) that will rush to get your business ahead of the company the police have on rotation that night. However, the police can not control who the tow companies choose to pick up first. And lastly, questioning the few WBC people who did get to the funeral after a citizen pointed them out as being potentially involved in a crime is -exactly- what the police are supposed to do! I do -not- see abuse of power. I see using the granted powers of a state to a police officer being utilized in a manner that increases the peace of the community. EXACTLY as they are sworn to do.

      it just happened to conveniently work out. If you see it differently that is your right, but you can no longer say that peace was not the ultimate goal or that the police abused their power in -this- situation. They are held responsible to keep the peace. And this..they did while staying within the lines of their authority. There was absolutely -no- abuse of power in this situation.

      Just so that I am sure that you understand the concept "Abuse of Power" is using one's authority to gain an advantage that involves twisting, expanding, or otherwise changing the true nature of one's authority in order to create 'personal' gain.

      The only thing these officers gained was what they were sworn to gain. Peace.

      I believe that number 2 is covered within the response to number 1.

      Peace be on you Michael.

    • Julie Upton says:

      Michael Hitchcock People like you are part of the problem. Common sense, kindness, and compassion stopped WBC from interfering with this funeral.

      Being politically correct eventually comes back to hurt everyone. There are victims when WBC shows up. Those victims deserve to be protected.

      Whatever it took to prevent WBC from being involved in this funeral was exactly the right action.

      I am very proud of how the citizens and the police prevented WBC from causing an ugly scene at this funeral.

    • Part of the problem? Shit there are plenty of ways to combat these shitheads without having the police do illegal shit to them and abuse their police powers.

    • Stu Bosarge says:

      Amanda Williams You are absolutely correct. Protecting and serving the people that pay their salaries. To all – keep the political and Christian stuff out of it. The Westboroians are just plain out of line and got what they deserve. They should be treated that way at ever funeral they go and stir up. Leave the grieving families alone. To me they are "terrorist" and should be prosecuted anyway.

      Ethan Brown – what a buffoon you are, how would you like it if they showed up at your family funeral. Oh never mind, I would be surprised if anyone in your bloodline has ever been in the service, so they would never show up at yall's service anyway. I am a native Mississippian and yes I drive a pick up but I am not a redneck, I am just a little bit country. I have seen rednecks in Corvettes and Mercedes so what does a truck have to do with being a redneck? Nothing – so crawl back under the rock from whence you came and eat some grub worms. If you do not like how people in MS act – stay away – that's how they like it anyway.

    • Jeffrey Henley says:

      Of course, in a perfect world that may work Michael, however, this is NOT the same world I grew up in for sure. Are you old enough to remember the Nazi's?

  31. Okay. So it would appear the Democrats do have some undesirable nutjobs after all. That's cool. No party is perfect, he has no official backing from the Dems and I can probably name more Republican nutjobs.

  32. Bruiser Shah says:

    or just get another nutjob to machine gun them all down lol

  33. It's Democratic Party, not Democrat Party.

  34. Sophia Keenesburg says:

    I applaude the Rankin County police force and all who helped them!

  35. Gary M Wise says:

    There is insane people of all kinds of race, creed, and age.
    Being a democratic and bigot is not a novelty, neither is a republican and a bigot.
    the "contributor" of this piece may want to interview and do more research.
    But alas, this is why old school newspapers are dying by the wayside.
    lack of real journalist standards.
    Please try again.

  36. Let's get our facts straight here. Phelps USED TO BE a Democrat. These days, he calls the President "AntiChrist". How is that supporting the Democratic party?

  37. So, how about we throw the Phelps and Drain families into an active volcano to thank Qetzlqatl for delaying the Mayan Apocalypse?

  38. Tyler Duncan says:

    I'd like to see what would happen if they came to Starkville…. not making any threats but I bet the hospital would get a few of them with some injuries if they tried to have one of these protests here. WBC isn't even close to being Christian, like someone else here said they just use the Bible as an excuse to be able to have these protests.

  39. Dale Nulik says:

    Great, now I will have to steal plates from somebody elses car, and bury my kansas plates, before I stay at hotels, I'm from Kansas but not a Westboro idiot?

  40. moodygirlmb says:

    He gives true Democrats a bad name. That man is not a Democrat.

  41. CiaranMacAoidh says:

    You should either call him a lawyer and democrat activist or a disbarred lawyer and former democrat activist. Otherwise it looks like an attempt to tar the dems with Phelps (or the other way ’round) and it’s pretty weak given that his views on gay people are far closer to the Tea Party.

  42. Jake Peery says:

    Stop making this political you asshole

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