Phelps’s son says enough hate as local protest nears

05.6.2010 by André Natta · → 1 Comment

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A special report on last night’s Nightline was significant considering what’s scheduled to happen tomorrow morning locally.

Members of Westboro Baptist Church are currently planning to protest during the funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas E. Rivers, Jr. at Briarwood Presbyterian Church (map) tomorrow morning. Those interested in shielding mourners from the protesters will want to check out this Facebook event and share it with those that may be able to attend and help.

One person says that this pattern of hate needs to stop – the son of church founder Fred Phelps.

Nate Phelps spoke with the ABC News program last night about abuse at the hands of his father as a child, the reason why he left home nearly 30 years ago. He also spoke about his opinions on the case before the Supreme Court that will determine whether the fundamentalist church will be allowed to continue protesting at funerals.

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Filed under: Take a moment

1 comments
Robert E.
Robert E.

My youngest son is a Marine Lance Corporal currently stationed in Calif and training for a deployment to Afghanistan early next year. As members of the "Marine family" we grieve for the Rivers family...and are proud of Tom’ service, his heroism and his sacrifice. My appeal to the Birmingham community is this: Please don't let his funeral become a media travesty focused on by the planned protest of Westboro Baptist Church. The Westboro people are wily…they take care to obtain the proper permits and stay just inside the limits of the law…but they always stay within the law. We hear the phrase "freedom isn't free" so often I wonder if we really stop to think about what it means. Freedom isn't free. It's purchased in blood by warriors like Tom Rivers. But it's also purchased in the grief and sorrow of families who mourn their sons and daughters yet understand that "freedom of speech" means just that...the freedom to speak. There will be plenty of military and other folks on hand to shield the Rivers family from the Westboro rabble. A large crowd showing up to counter protest only draws attention to their despicable message. Try to think about it this way: There is no greater testament to Lance Corporal Tom River’s service and sacrifice than the fact that our laws allow people to exercise their First Amendment Rights, regardless of how reprehensible or hurtful their message is, or how angry it makes us. So let’s grieve for Tom and his fellow fallen warriors within ourselves and honor their sacrifice by ignoring the Westboro protest. Deprived of media and public attention these pathetic people and their hateful organization will eventually wither away.