Folks in Weston, Mo., are as fed up as the rest of us with Fred Phelps and his followers from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kans. When a funeral was scheduled for one of their own, Sgt. First Class C.J. Sadell, they organized to make sure Phelps couldn’t interfere.
Yesterday residents and people from as far away as California and Australia rallied hours ahead of time to take up all available parking spaces, as well as all the the sidewalk space at the intersection specified on Phelps’ permit. Patriotic music was played and American flags waved, including one so large that it would have completely blocked the view of the Kansas protesters.
The Phelps family, known for their disruption of military funerals with hateful anti-gay signs, did show up at the funeral but left when they realized they’d been out-maneuvered.
Cheers to organizer Rebecca Rooney and her Weston community. This sort of action should continue until Fred Phelps and his followers stop abusing their First Amendment rights and start showing some respect for the soldiers who fight to protect those rights.
And sincere condolences to Sgt. Sadell’s family and loved ones.