A fire-and-brimstone congregation that has made headlines and drawn scorn for its protests at soldiers' funerals has announced that it will protest the public memorial services for Crystal Cathedral founder the Rev. Robert H. Schuller.
Westboro Baptist Church announced on its website that it will picket the funeral later this month for Schuller, who the Kansas-based group claims promoted tolerance and failed to warn against the “sins” of same-sex marriage.
“He should have preached about hell," the group said in a statement.
Since 1991, Westboro – which contends end times are imminent and that Obama is the antichrist – has staged 55,000 protests, often drowned out by far greater numbers of counter-protesters.
Westboro members picketed at a staging of the musical “Rent” at Corona del Mar High School in 2009, where they were met by hundreds of students – some dressed in rainbow shirts -- who protested the congregation's arrival.
Schuller, whose weekly sermons were once broadcast to more than 150 counties and whose sunny brand of religion set a tone for the mega-church movement, died last Thursday at the age of 88.
A public service is planned April 20 at 10 a.m. at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove -- formerly the Crystal Cathedral.