Military funeral protesting church leader dies
Fri, 21 Mar 2014 20:27:54 GMT —
The man who led the church that became famous for its anti-gay picket lines and protests at military funerals is now dead.
Fred Phelps, 84, of Westboro Baptist Church died March 19 of natural causes, according to a church spokesman.
Phelps founded Westboro Baptist Church nearly 60 year sago in Topeka, Kan.
Followers of Phelps often could be seen holding signs saying, "thank God for dead soldiers" and "fags you are going to hell".
Albert Snyder was one of those hurt by the work of the church. His son, LCPL Matthew Snyder was killed in Iraq in March of 2006. He was just 20 years old. Two days after his son's body came back from Iraq, Snyder received a letter from the Westboro Baptist Church. It had his son's picture on it and a picture of a military coffin, stating that they would be protesting at St. John's Catholic Church.
The day of the funeral, seven church members showed up holding signs of hate just 30 feet away from the entrance to the church. Even though the family eneterd the church through the service entrance, they said they saw the signs and felt the hate.
Snyder filed a lawsuit against the Westboro Baptist Church that included an invasion of privacy, emotional distress, and civil conspiracy...and lost in courts.
In 2012, President Obama signed a federal law saying that you had to be a 500 feet away and that they couldnâ??t do a protest two hours before or two hours after a funeral.
Snyder said it's a day of justice that gives him peace.