Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket Steve Jobs’ funeral

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Westboro Baptist Church — the small Kansas congregation that has gained notoriety for protesting at the funerals of U.S. soldiers — has a new target: Steve Jobs.

Upon hearing the news of Jobs’ death late Wednesday, several church members turned to social media to announce that they would protest at Jobs’ funeral as well. (The Washington Post notes that many of these Tweets employed Apple technology and devices to get the word out.)


“Westboro will picket his funeral. He had a huge platform; gave God no glory & taught sin,” tweeted Margie Phelps, daughter of the founder of the church, Fred Phelps. She later added: “No peace for man who served self, not God,” she wrote with the hashtag, #hellgreetedhim. “Westboro must picket.”

Steve Jobs: 1955-2011

Perhaps you’re wondering how they can get away with picketing at funerals. It’s because the U.S. Supreme Court said they could. And that’s a fact that Phelps knows well. She’s an attorney, and successfully argued the church’s position in front of the court. The justices ruled earlier this year that Westboro’s protests are protected by the 1st Amendment.

Church members travel the country targeting military funerals and anyone or anything seen as promoting a homosexual agenda. They argue that God caused the soldiers’ death in reponse to the country’s permissive attitudes toward gays and lesbians, and they typically carry signs saying “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “God Hates Fags.”

Efforts to reach church members Thursday were unsuccessful.

So far, no funeral arrangements have been announced for Jobs.


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--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch