America

Report: Westboro Baptist Won't Protest At Funeral Of 9-Year-Old

Just in from Topeka's Capital-Journal:

"Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church won't picket the funeral of a 9-year-old girl killed in Saturday's shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., in exchange for getting airtime on two radio stations, a church spokeswoman said Wednesday morning."

But the tiny, controversial church that stages protests outside funerals of soldiers and others to spread its anti-abortion message, is going ahead with plans to be outside Friday's funeral of federal Judge John Roll, another of the six people killed on Saturday.

As we reported yesterday, word of Westboro Baptist's plans sparked outrage in Arizona and a national outpouring of calls to shield mourners from any such protests. Local lawmakers quickly passed legislation aimed at keeping any protesters well away from mourners.

According to the Topeka newspaper, "radio stations in Phoenix and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, offered to give the Topeka church airtime to discuss its views in exchange for its members not picketing the girl's funeral."

Update at 1:35 p.m. ET: An e-mailer raises a good point. Westboro Baptist members protest about more than abortion. They are well-known, for example, for believing that homosexuality is a sin — and for leveling anti-gay slurs at homosexuals.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.