Church of the Poison Mind brings twisted message to Galesburg
The Rev. Fred Phelp's Westboro Baptist Church, a group of psychopaths if ever there was one, has announced their plans to protest at the Galesburg funeral of Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry Allen Tharp, a Naval Reservist from rural Aledo who was killed by an IED in Iraq.
Anti-gay protesters from a Topeka, Kan., church will picket a U.S. Navy Seabee's funeral in Galesburg Saturday -- the third time the group will descend on the city.Well, there ya go. But are the Quad Cities going to stand idly by while Galesburg beats us in the evilness deparment? I think it demands some studies and PR efforts to turn this around.
Westboro Baptist Church members will be outside the funeral of Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry Allen Tharp, a Naval Reservist from rural Aledo, protest organizer and church member Shirley Phelps-Roper said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
The group believes soldiers are being killed in Iraq because God is punishing the United States, especially its military, for tolerating homosexuality, she said.
Even though Gov. Rod Blagojevich in May signed the "Let Them Rest in Peace Act" barring protests within 200 feet of a funeral site, the law hasn't deterred the group from heading to Galesburg's Bethel Baptist Church for the third time.
Ms. Phelps-Roper said she believes "Galesburg is a particularly evil place" because residents do not serve God.
All joking aside, I can't think of a more loathsome group than these people, and there's plenty out there to choose from.
A group called the Patriot Guard assembled from all points on motorcycles to escort the body of OFC Tharp from Chicago to Aledo. Though they were delayed over two hours and didn't arrive in Aledo until after midnight, there were hundreds of participants and crowds along the route to pay their respects.
The group's website has a page for the Tharp "mission" , and it reveals a group of dedicated and respectful vets with motorcycles who ensure that vets get the honor they deserve.
If you read through the comments, you can find some pretty inspiring and touching sentiments, such as this one posted after the escort duty was completed.
07/19/2006 1:08 PM AlertThe group is planning to provide honor guard duty at Tharps funeral services in Galesburg as well. I don't think Freddy's gang will want to mess with them.
This is why I do what I do with the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR)...
Last evening/night (Tues, 7/18), I was on a PGR mission, escorting the hearse with a fallen SeaBee and his widow from O’Hare to Aledo (Iowa Border, near Quad Cities).
Flight in with the body was 2 hours late, then the hearse driver got misplaced from the airport to the Park Ridge VFW, so we didn't get on the road until about 10. Police escorted us down 294/88/355/55/80 at up to 95mph – about 12 bikes started from VFW, some others met us along the way to Princeton. Stop at Princeton to gas, meet with more family and more PGR. Had probably 60 bikes (maybe more) on to Aledo.
Starting about 15 miles out from Princeton - other officers and fire personnel were parked, lights on, in the median or on overpasses, at attention, saluting. One overpass had to have had 50 people and police with candles and flags lighted by the LEO's spots.
The truck stop in Princeton that was the gas/meeting point looked like a little city of its own, street and parking lot lined with folks with candles, flags and well wishing signs.
Once off the interstate – at every bump-in-the-road town -- police, fire, residents, lining the sides of the road - again flags, candles, signs and salutes.
The entire town of Aledo was in Central Park with flags and candles – at midnight. Local VFW had a color guard there. Every vehicle that had any kind of flashing light lined the road into town and surrounded the park. The SeaBee's business partner had one of those cement pumping rigs there with the boom extended and a huge flag suspended from it. A bagpiper was playing as we pulled in (order was police escort, PGR, hearse, family cars, Navy cars). The local choir sang the National Anthem, Amazing Grace and his favorite hymn. Buglers played dual trumpet taps.
Not a dry eye in town... certainly not mine.
Family expressed their appreciation, individuals from both VFW’s thanked us for what we do, strangers from the town came by to shake hands or hug and say thanks – and my answer is – “It is Our HONOR to be here”.
It was an expensive night for me - riding at warp speed shredded my large flag, broke the shaft on my small flag, took my CB antenna off and cracked the cover on my airhorns... Due to the delay, I ended up in a B&B room for 5 hours at $60... Then this morning on the way home, passing an odd shaped oversized load that created some weird turbulence, I lost my PGR hat...
AND I"D DO IT ALL AGAIN IN A MINUTE!!!!
PGR - “Riding with Respect”
McHenry County, IL
One member noted that he'd talked to members of Tharp and they were worried about the possibility of trouble from the nut job "Christian" group. He gave his word that the family wouldn't even know they were there, and I trust that these guys don't give their word lightly, especially to the families of fallen brother's in arms. With any luck, the creeps from the Church of the Poison Mind will be not allowed to protest while the family is within earshot and they won't have to witness this disgusting display.
The Westboro Baptist Church out of Kansas' website has the charming URL godhatesfags.com. (their mirror site is godhatesamerica.com)
The site is a real treat if you want to see what passes for Christianity in these folk's warped mind. They seem to subscribe to a notion similar to one that fellow blogger Jim Mowen has also espoused. As the Westboro Baptist website puts it, "God loves everyone -- the greatest lie ever told!"
This notion which is currently gaining popularity among the "Christian" right could be expressed loosly that Jesus was a bad mofo who was capable of hate and advocating ill will or death towards those considered "sinners" by ... well... by the person who believes this crap. In other words, you can still be a good Christian and "Jesus follower" and hate particular groups of people, feel superior to them, and wish them ill, essentially throwing the basic tenets of Christianity out the window.
How convenient that they've found a way to adjust their religion to accomodate some of the lower instincts among us, but not others. And of course, greed is increasingly being found to be a Christian virtue by the right as well, as is veiled racism and religious bigotry.
Religion is flexible, you see. It's a big tent, and these folks pick and choose what's immoral and what's not, who's evil and who's blessed, primarily along the lines that the immoral things that they practice and believe (and can't hide) are ok, and those that they SAY others do,(a lot of them do it themselves), primarily having to do with their obsession with the sex lives of others, aren't.
The only difference between the more muted country club type of Christian rightist and Fred Phelps is that Freddy is more honest and up front about it.
I might take a trip out to Galesburg tomorrow just to see these freaks with my own eyes.