The Westboro Baptist Church, a small cult-like group made up almost entirely of family members of the arguably-insane "pastor" Fred Phelps, is well-known for being complete jerks. They like to show up at things like funerals for soldiers killed overseas and protest that the soldiers were killed because the invisible sky wizard (aka God) is upset with America's tolerance of gays and other classes of people they deem unacceptable.
If you have a free hour you should click over and watch this documentary made about the Phelps clan and their work to get everyone in the country to hate them. They've been remarkably effective on that front.
Tim Hurst from Ecopolitology reports that the church sent a small group to Charleston, W. Va., to highlight their belief that the 25 miners killed in a recent cave-in were killed by God because we're all entirely too tolerant of people living alternative lifestyles. Word of their protest got out, and they were completely overwhelmed by counter protesters organized by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the state AFL-CIO, and local church and community groups, many carrying signs saying things like "GOD HATES SIGNS" and "THIS IS A SIGN".
This is happening more and more to the Westboro Baptist Church members. Recently some smart activists have started to use their protests against them by raising money for whatever organization the church is directing its vitriol against.
The small group of three adults and three children (one of the more pugnacious aspects of the Westboro Baptist Church is how they indoctrinate and use their children during events) didn't stick around for long — after just a few minutes, they packed up their stupid signs and took off in their van.
Here's a great video of the action. (Thanks to Jen Segrest for the link.)
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