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December 10th, 2010
02:41 PM ET

Westboro Baptist Church says it will picket Elizabeth Edwards' funeral

Timothy Phelps, a member of the Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kansas, stands with banners in front of the US Supreme Court on October 6, 2010 in Washington,DC.
Timothy Phelps, a member of the Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kansas, stands with banners in front of the US Supreme Court on October 6, 2010 in Washington,DC.

CNN Political Ticker

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church announced Thursday plans to picket Saturday's funeral for Elizabeth Edwards in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Kansas-based Church – monitored by anti-hate groups such as the Anti-Defamation league and the Southern Poverty Law Center – is known for its extremist opposition to homosexuals, Jews and other groups.

The church members also oppose the War in Iraq.

According to the church's website, members will hold a protest from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Edwards, the estranged wife of presidential candidate John Edwards, died Tuesday after a six-year battle with breast cancer.


Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Gale

    RE: Protesters at E. Edwards' funeral: What did that guy say about a Supreme Court ruling, something about inciting to fight, that it was an "old" ruling, not recognized? (then just dismissed it – what was the point of having him on if he wasn't going to bring something to the table,something we could work with.) Well. Let's just look into this and see if it IS still a ruling and if so, dust it off and put it to use. "Anderson. If you're busy, give me the info and I'll follow through. (I'm out of work right now, by the way, so I have plenty of time to research this:))" For real!

    December 11, 2010 at 3:13 am |
  2. ETS

    "You have to be carefully taught to hate and fear"
    Apparently these people were taught to hate and
    fear.

    December 11, 2010 at 1:18 am |
  3. Mary Pat Kelly

    The Lord, Elizabeth and Wade watching down from the heaven will definitely be dismayed. Picketing at the funeral does not fit any word or verse in the Bible.

    December 11, 2010 at 1:14 am |
  4. Stacie

    As I sit here & listen to one of my hero's (Anerson Cooper) report about this insane,evil and cruel "church" preparing to protest Elizabeth Edwards funeral tomorrow, I am wiping tears...for many reasons. As a young lady fighting breast cancer for the past eight months, I wonder how these "church" members would feel if their loved one became ill with cancer? I bet they wouldn't be holding signs then, thanking God for cancer. But then again, these people do not know love.
    My thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Edwards children and family.

    December 10, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
  5. Kathy Ertzner

    What happened to charges for disturbing the peace? That is absolutely heart wrenching that someone cannot have a funeral-memorial without this kind of cauous. They should be arrested.

    It was mentioned on your show by Tubin (?)that freedom of speech was set up to protect political rallies. Yet our courts say church and state are to be separate?
    This church is coming up against Elizabeth Edwards talking about sin with few words about any political agenda.

    December 10, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  6. Jenny

    I'm so angry with these people, first of all, to let the flag drag the ground is so disrespectful, but also to go and cause more grief to a family that is trying to lay there loved one to rest. I am so sad to even have people like this in our country, we are suppose to love thy neighbor, but they don't seem to be worshiping the same god that real Christians worship. How are we suppose to try to get world peace when we can't even get it in our own country? I so hope that the community in Raleigh will NOT give them any service of any kind! I'm honestly am so embarressed to even be from Kansas. My love and prayers go out to the Edwards family, and hats off to Elizabeth for battling cancer but still had her head held high and full of smiles. As for the haters, well they will have there judgement day as God is watching there every move.

    December 10, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  7. ives

    They do it because they get a reaction and the U.S. is a bunch of bleeding hearts that care to much about human rights. As a former Marine and currently a mother and a wife of a Marine, i think it is rediculous that these WBC folks are even in the news. Where are the freedom fighters and the "proud americans" when we need them?

    Ignore these people. When they get a reaction it just fuels their fire. Let them do what they do. And when they come to protest, i hope to god the family of anyone who has to suffer from them has the guts to do what they need to in order to get them out of the area. God forbid one of their church members die... And if by chance it hits the news....Karma will then be repaid.

    December 10, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  8. billy g ca.

    With all the violence in America, why don't they go and interrupt a gang members furneral, that would surely be their last headline. What now?

    December 10, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  9. John

    Anyone with any knowledge of Gods word knows that Satan has a special place reserved for these protesters. God bless you Elizabeth. May you rest in peace. My prayers are with your family and friends.

    December 10, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  10. Clayton M. Lawrence

    As a law student. I would expect the United States Supreme Court to make a stand against such strong malicious protest. These protest are interfering with other peoples rights.

    December 10, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  11. Lynda Carter

    We protected a young soldier's funeral from this vermin in Jacksonville, Fl. a few years ago. When they found out how many people were there, the cowards did not show up. The true God-fearing people who show respect in death will drive these people away like the rats and roaches they really are.
    This church is the cancer and their hatred only serves to bring others together to fight this evil.

    December 10, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  12. Joanne

    Why would this group claim to be a Baptist group? They do absolutely nothing that represents the Baptist faith. How sad. The people of Topeka should be gravely embarrassed.

    December 10, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  13. Barbara

    God has nothing to do with the Westboro Church, shame on them and their protests. I hope the people of NC will protect the family and the Edwards children from seeing the protests. They are one of the most dangerous hate groups in America.

    December 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
  14. John Moore - PA

    I am often left wishing that the right of free speech could be better defined. I see freedom of speech as the right to voice an opinion, but do not agree that one should have the option to express that anywhere we happen to choose. A person should not be able to hide behind one very important right in order to abuse the rights of others.

    December 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
  15. Jana

    Please flesh out your story to begin to make clear WHY anyone would protest in this funeral of a very courageous, totally giving person ??

    The town officials, everywhere when this hatred is allowed within its parameters, should actively remove them ..... this is NOT FREEDOM IN ACTION ... it is absolutely the OPPOSITE !! Where are all the other 'Christians' in town ?? Are they not outraged that the name of Christ should be so used ?

    December 10, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
  16. sandy

    I will NOT WATCH any coverage of these wackos disrupting Elizabeth's funeral!! If you show any coverage of these wackos I will CHANGE THE CHANEL!!! I will not watch!

    December 10, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  17. Bruce

    Is anyone answering the call for action? Take a stand – make a statement!

    December 10, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  18. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    How absurd. these protesters should be arrested.

    December 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  19. amy rose

    I am working out of state..live in Cary,NC and have heard that a local church has applied for a license to pickett Westboro Church during Elizabeth Edwards funeral...local family and friends would like to support her as a mother and breast cancer victim..if anybody has info. please let me know...thanks

    December 10, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  20. paul murdoch

    I call on all who can attend to do so and to push these people back and to shield Elizabeth's children! people of north corilina no child should hear this trash on the day you bury your mother and for god's sakes not a 12 year old I ask you to show up in the 1000,s and not let those poeple any where near that woman's babies it's just wrong wrong wrong!agree or disagree with her politics that woman worked everyday of her adult life to try and make america better because she loved thus country let's love her enough not to let that scum get anywhere NEAR her childern god bless you and god bless america

    December 10, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  21. humanitarian

    Why? Why would anyone protest at the funeral of this gracious woman who died of cancer after having been publicly humiliated by her cheating husband?

    "Thank God for breast cancer?" What kind of a cruel and idiotic statement is that to make?

    This story is sorely lacking in helping anyone understand why Elizabeth Edward's funeral should be picketed.

    December 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  22. Jo Ann

    Sick sick people and we allow this. God help them

    December 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  23. Karen

    I know we have freedom of speech but it is disgusting to picket a funeral.

    December 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  24. Chelbie

    I am putting a call out to all of my fellow North Carolinian's, especially establishment, store and motel/hotel owners. Do not serve these people! They do not deserve our Southern hospitality. if the country takes a stand in the way we can, (because violence is what they want, that's how they make their money), reserve the right to refuse service! If they learn that they will not be served a hot meal, given a place to sleep or allowed to make any sort of purchases, maybe their travel will become less frequent.
    I am so proud of how we as a country have come together to protect the grieving families during these vile protests and I'm sure we won't be let down tomorrow by Raleigh.
    Take a stand against WBC and let them know they and their hatred are not welcome.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  25. randall williams

    I beleve in freedom of religion-but this is crazy-let her rest in peace..find something else to do–like finding "lost" souls–what God asks you to do.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  26. Bruce

    This is a request to the good people in Elizabeth Edwards home town. Please gather as many of you as you can and create a human wall between her family and those idiots from the Westboro Baptist Church.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  27. Bridget

    These people make me sick and sad at the same time. To be so cruel to families that don't deserve it shows that they aren't true Christians. Jesus said "do unto the least of others as you would do unto me". Would these people treat Mary this way when our Savior was crucified?

    December 10, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  28. Peter Trevino, New York City

    Why? Why would they picket Elizabeth Edwards' funeral? What do they have against her?

    December 10, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  29. Karen

    This sickens me physically! These people are deranged and in NO WAY represent God! There is something profoundly wrong with them and I dare to say, even more profoundly wrong with a Nation is so concerned with the rights of Westboro that it will allow one small group to inflict such pain and outrage in a time of personal crises. I am an artist, I believe in freedoms, but I also believe that there has got to be a a voice more powerful than this putrid hate that can stop it!

    December 10, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  30. Carol

    These people give Christianity a bad name. They need to start their prayers asking for God to forgive them for the sins they are commit in his name. They are a disgrace to decency.

    December 10, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  31. t talbot

    I am appauled by this developement. This is not a real church;it is basically members of one extremist's family. Elizabeth had a rough time. She was courageous and carried on in the face of humiliation. She was an inspiation to so many.

    Why can't someone do SOMETHING about these crazy church people?

    The public needs to picket his congregation at every service. I don't think their behavior will get them into heaven.

    December 10, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  32. T.H.Long

    I am quite sure Hell is full of people like the members of Westboro. I am also sure that nothing they can do will ever diminish the souls of those they protest. In the big picture they are as important as the bubble gum on the sidewalk. Annoying but not life changing.

    December 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm |