Pop quiz: What online petition could you create that would get a record number of signers in an extremely short period of time, making it the largest online White House petition in history? Why, that's an easy one. The petition to declare the Westboro Baptist Church a hate group. The petition, started on December 14, had a goal of 25,000 signatures by January 13, but it has already well-surpassed that, with almost 250,000 signatures. Why is this group so unpopular? Let me count the ways!
The anti-gay group is known for picketing the funerals of dead soldiers, holding up signs with disgusting comments such as "God hates f*gs" and "God sent the shooter." After the tragedy in Sandy Hook, the group threatened to picket the funerals of children and teachers. From what I can tell, they never arrived in Newtown, Connecticut, but they got a huge amount of publicity (which they love) from their stunt.
If they are officially labeled a "hate group" as opposed to a church, it would take away their IRS tax exempt status. What exactly is to stop anyone from proclaiming themselves a church if this group can do it? Baffling.
In 2011, the Supreme Court said that the group's picketing was protected under the First Amendment -- but President Obama earlier this year signed legislation saying that group members need to stay at least 300 feet away from funerals.
One of the group's leaders, Margie Phelps, who looks like a barrel of laughs, recently said that "God sent the shooter" Adam Lanza to Sandy Hook Elementary because of Connecticut's pro-gay marriage laws. "Those children are better off dead than in this nation," the loony Phelps told interviewer David Pakman.
Hate groups can be tracked by the FBI and monitored by other hate group watchers. Other groups recognized as hate groups include the Ku Klux Klan and White Aryan Resistance. It's truly ridiculous that Westboro hasn't yet been officially lumped in with these other losers. They need to be, and pronto.
Do you think Westboro is a hate group?
Image via YouTube