300 Show Up In The Rain To Counterprotest 5 Westboro Protesters At Elizabeth Edwards’ Funeral

December 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Today, friends and families gathered in Raleigh, NC to mourn Elizabeth Edwards, who died this week after battling cancer. Outside, a small group of protesters from the extremist anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church picketed the event because they said Edwards “spent her life in defiance and disobedience to God.” The church regularly harasses the families of dead American soldiers by picketing homosexuality at their funerals with signs like “pray for more dead soldiers,” and “your sons are in hell.”

But at Edwards’ funeral today, the tiny group of hate-mongers were confronted by more than300 counterprotesters, who turned out to stand against hate, despite the rain:

Members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards in Raleigh, N.C. Saturday. But they were vastly outnumbered by a “human buffer” of people who quietly stood in the rain singing Christmas carols and carrying signs reading “God loves Elizabeth Edwards” or simply “Grace” and “Hope.” [...]

In a 2007 interview, Mrs. Edwards described herself as “completely comfortable with gay marriage,” hence the Westboro protesters at the funeral. But on Saturday just five church members (two of them children) showed up to picket, waving hateful signs about Mrs. Edwards and the United Methodist Church where the service was held.

Watch a report from the local ABC affiliate:

For more on Edwards’ legacy, see ThinkProgress’ remembrance of her.

ThinkProgress

More than 1,200 at Edwards funeral; protest fizzles

December 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Raleigh, North Carolina (CNN) - More than 1,200 mourners, including hundreds who loved and admired Elizabeth Edwards from a distance, packed a Raleigh church Saturday to pay respects to the activist and estranged wife of a failed aspirant to the presidency.

The mourners included Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who in 2004 picked Edwards’ husband, John, to be his vice presidential running mate in an unsuccessful bid for the White House. John and Elizabeth Edwards separated earlier this year after the former North Carolina senator admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock while the couple was married.
FULL STORY


CNN Political Ticker

Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral to take place amid possible protests

December 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Raleigh, North Carolina (CNN) - As mourners gather to commemorate the life of Elizabeth Edwards on Saturday afternoon, picketers from a Kansas-based church - along with counter-protesters - could change the mood outside the funeral.

Edwards, the estranged wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, died Tuesday after a lenghty battle with breast cancer. She was 61.
FULL STORY


CNN Political Ticker

John Will Not Speak at Elizabeth Edwards Funeral

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

At Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral, mourners will hear tributes from her daughter and two close friends — but not her estranged husband, John Edwards, CBS News reports.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Protest Planned at Edwards’ Funeral

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

The Washington Post reports that the Westboro Baptist Church, which has staged protests at the funerals of fallen U.S. soldiers, plans to hold a protest at the late Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral on Saturday.

“Westboro’s Web site does not say why it has singled out Edwards’s funeral, but it regularly attends funerals of military personnel.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Westboro Baptist Church To Picket Elizabeth Edwards Funeral

December 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

A Kansas-based church known for its high-profile protests of service members’ funerals is planning to show up at the memorial service for the late Elizabeth Edwards, the group said Thursday.

The Westboro Baptist Church’s website said the group will hold a protest from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. at a memorial for the Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Senator and 2004 vice presidential candidate John Edwards. Edwards, a lawyer and health care advocate, died Tuesday after a six-year battle with breast cancer.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Elizabeth Edwards 1949-2010]

“They coveted things that were not theirs  - and presumptuously thought they could control God,” the Westboro Baptists said in a news release. The church also said Edwards “meddled in matters of the womb,” an apparent reference to fertility treatments she reportedly received to conceive her two youngest children. The WBC also apparently took issue with Elizabeth Edwards’ books and her struggles with her own faith after the death of her 16-year-old son, Wade, and her own cancer diagnosis.

The fringe church is monitored by anti-hate groups like the Anti-Defamation league and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

[H/T CNN]









TPMMuckraker

Westboro Baptist Church Says It Will Picket Elizabeth Edwards’ Funeral

December 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Members of the hate-filled Westboro Baptist Church announced today that they will picket outside Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral this weekend. The Westboro Church is well known for holding publicity-seeking anti-gay stunts at funerals, particularly at those of U.S. soldiers. The church’s website doesn’t state why its members chose Edwards’ funeral, but claims she allegedly “spent her life in defiance and disobedience to God” and spews other invectives towards her. Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case considering whether the church had the right to protest U.S. servicemembers’ funerals. During the hearing, Justice Stephen Breyer called the group’s tactics “very obnoxious” while Justice Antonin Scalia called their picket signs “nasty.”

ThinkProgress

Westboro Baptist Church says it will picket Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral

December 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

(CNN) - 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.


CNN Political Ticker

Saturday funeral likely for Elizabeth Edwards

December 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina (CNN) - Family and trusted friends are huddled together planning details for Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral.

One of them tells CNN the service will be in Chapel Hill, likely on Saturday.  The close and trusted family friend said that the former wife of 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards mapped out a lot of the details before her passing.

Edwards died on Tuesday after a prolonged battle with breast cancer.  She was 61 years old.

John Moylan worked with both Edwards in the husband’s White House bids in 2004, as a vice presidential nominee, and in 2008.  Amid the Edwards’ brushes with success - and scandal - Moylan remained close with the family.

In talking to CNN about a likely Saturday funeral, Moylan stressed there were not yet firm details.  He also said it’s not yet certain whether any reporters, including a TV crew, would be allowed inside the service.

Moylan was not inside the family home at the exact time of Elizabeth Edwards’ passing. He was there shortly after.  He described to CNN the mood in the house.

“I think there’s understandable sadness over Elizabeth’s death.  But I think it was a remarkable display of strength,” Moylan said.

“Elizabeth did a great job in preparing her children and her family for this day.”

Moylan also said that the Edwards’ two young children, Jack and Emma Claire, were sent to school on Tuesday - after their mother’s death - to maintain a sense of normalcy.

The couple had two other children: Cate, an adult, and Wade, who died in 1996 in a car accident.

Moylan said a photo of Wade was at Elizabeth Edwards’ bedside when she passed.  Though Moylan said it had long been there.

John Edwards was there in the final moments of his former wife’s life.

Moylan explained to CNN that the former presidential candidate is dealing with the loss - and what his focus is going forward.

“John is focusing all of his energy and attention on the children.  Which I think is the appropriate thing for him to be doing,” Moylan said.


CNN Political Ticker

Details being mapped out for likely Saturday funeral for Elizabeth Edwards

December 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina (CNN) - Family and trusted friends are huddled together planning details for Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral.

One of them tells CNN the service will be in Chapel Hill, likely on Saturday. The close and trusted family friend said that the former wife of 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards mapped out a lot of the details before her passing.

Edwards died on Tuesday after a prolonged battle with breast cancer. She was 61 years old.

John Moylan worked with both Edwards in the husband’s White House bids in 2004, as a vice presidential nominee, and in 2008. Amid the Edwards’ brushes with success - and scandal - Moylan remained close with the family.

In talking to CNN about a likely Saturday funeral, Moylan stressed there were not yet firm details. He also said it’s not yet certain whether any reporters, including a TV crew, would be allowed inside the service.

Moylan was not inside the family home at the exact time of Elizabeth Edwards’ passing. He was there shortly after. He described to CNN the mood in the house.

“I think there’s understandable sadness over Elizabeth’s death. But I think it was a remarkable display of strength,” Moylan said.

“Elizabeth did a great job in preparing her children and her family for this day.”

Moylan also said that the Edwards’ two young children, Jack and Emma Claire, were sent to school on Tuesday to maintain a sense of normalcy.

The couple had two other children: Cate, an adult, and Wade, who died in 1996 in a car accident.

Moylan said a photo of Wade was at Elizabeth Edwards’ bedside when she passed. Though Moylan said it had long been there.

John Edwards was there in the final moments of his former wife’s life.

Moylan explained to CNN that the former presidential candidate is dealing with the loss - and what his focus is going forward.

“John is focusing all of his energy and attention on the children. Which I think is the appropriate thing for him to be doing,” Moylan said.


CNN Political Ticker

Libtalker Mike Malloy Tells Liz Cheney ‘Go Plan Your Father’s Funeral’

September 25, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

As the Media Research Center reported last month, there are some truly sick, hate-mongering liberal radio hosts in America today, and one of the most disgusting is Mike Malloy.

On Friday, this vile miscreant with a microphone said on the air that Liz Cheney should be planning her father’s funeral rather than offering her opinions to the American people.

This comes three months after Malloy told his listeners that he hoped former Vice President Dick Cheney would die in the hospital. 

On this day, the subject was Liz’s comment concerning a Barack Obama quote about America being able to absorb a terrorist attack referenced in Bob Woodward’s new book (video follows with partial transcript and commentary, h/t Right Scoop):

MIKE MALLOY: Back to Cheney, whose father is directly responsible for every single death in Iraq since the invasion and occupation that he championed in 2003. He’s responsible, and that’s not just Americans and the wounding of Americans, but the deaths and wounding of, of countless hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. He is responsible for the deaths in Afghanistan, Cheney is. He is responsible for the deaths in New York City, at the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Pennsylvania. Dick Cheney is one of the bloodiest sons of bitches ever to have held power and office in this government in terms of deaths that were a direct result of his incompetence and his lies. Dick Cheney.

Malloy then read Liz’s response to Obama’s "we can absorb a terrorist attack" remark:

"Americans expect our President to do everything possible to defend the nation from attack. We expect him to use every tool at his disposal to find, defeat, capture and kill terrorists. We expect him to deter attacks by making clear to our adversaries that an attack on the United States will carry devastating consequences. Instead, President Obama is reported to have said, ‘We can absorb a terrorist attack.’ This comment suggests an alarming fatalism on the part of President Obama and his administration. Once again the President seems either unwilling or unable to do what it takes to keep this nation safe. The President owes the American people an explanation."

Malloy then went after Liz:

MALLOY: Her father and her father’s puppet George at the very least allowed, at the very worst engineered the worst attack on this country since the War of 1812, and she has the audacity to make this kind of a statement. "Americans expect our President to do everything possible to defend the nation from attack." Where was your father after he deliberately authorized a stand-down, on a day and a time when he knew there was going to be an effort made to attack this country? I don’t know why I give this psychopathic misdirected woman, you ought to be there planning your father’s funeral, Liz, because I’m sure all the nation’s bigwigs, especially the Republicans are going to fall all over themselves to worship in front of his coffin. That’s what you ought to be doing instead of making your filthy, insane, gratuitous statements about what the American people expects their president or an administration to do to protect us from terrorist attack. Shame on you, Liz Cheney. Go plan your father’s funeral. Just do that. Do at least one thing in your useless life that will have some meaning. Go plan his funeral.

What the hell is happening to this nation?

How did we come to a point that someone actually gets paid to make such vile statements over the airwaves?

Regardless of the answers, I’m speechless and need desperately to go take a shower hoping with all my heart I can scrub this filth from my memory.

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Maher Praises Pat Tillman Brother Richard’s Rip Against Religion from Funeral

September 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

As the actor Richard Tillman – brother of former Army Ranger and former NFL player Pat Tillman – appeared as a guest on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher to talk about his film about his brother’s death in Afghanistan, host Maher played a clip from Pat Tillman’s funeral in which Richard Tillman mocked the religious references made at the funeral by speakers Maria Shriver and John McCain. Maher went on to praise Richard Tillman as having "a lot of balls" for his words as there was also moderate applause from the audience.

Maher set up the clip: "But, you know, they had Maria Shriver and John McCain… Speaking there, and Maria said, "Pat, you are home. You are safe." And McCain said, "You will see Pat again when a loving God reunites us all with our loved ones."

Then came a clip of Richard Tillman speaking at the funeral while nearly crying: "Thank you for coming. Pat’s a f—— champion and always will be. Just make a mistake, he’d want me to say this. He’s not with God. He’s f—— dead. He’s not religious. So thanks for your thoughts, but he’s f—— dead."

After applause from the audience, Maher responded, "That’s a lot of balls, my friend."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, September 24, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO:

BILL MAHER: But, you know, they had Maria Shriver and John McCain who I assume were his two close friends.

RICHARD TILLMAN, BROTHER OF PAT TILLMAN: Oh, yeah. On FaceBook.

MAHER: Right. Speaking there, and Maria said, "Pat, you are home. You are safe." And McCain said, "You will see Pat again when a loving God reunites us all with our loved ones." And then you got up. Show the clip of what you said.

TILLMAN: Thank you for coming. Pat’s a f—— champion and always will be. Just make a mistake, he’d want me to say this.

He’s not with God. He’s f—— dead. He’s not religious. So thanks for your thoughts, but he’s f—— dead.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)

TILLMAN: I actually, I had a-

MAHER: That’s a lot of balls, my friend.

TILLMAN: I had a different poem written, but that just flowed. It just flowed so well.

MAHER: It’s like the beginning of the Hangover Part II.

TILLMAN: Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly. No I just, I found it offensive, you know, it’s like I don’t go-

MAHER: Right.

TILLMAN: -into a church and say this is bulls—-, so don’t come to my brother’s service and tell me that he’s with God. He’s simply not with f—— God.

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

George Vogel Arrested for Shooting Pepper Spray at Westboro Baptist Church” Protesters at Marines Funeral

August 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

62 year old George Vogel was arrested and booked on 16 counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of felony assault on a police officer for shooting pepper-spray at protesters. Arrested, this dude should have been given a medal and a monetary reward.

Why should he get a medal you ask?

The people that Vogel shot pepper spray at were the reprehensible fools from the Westboro Baptist Church who were protesting at a Marines funeral. Because we all know it is completely appropriate to form a counter protest at a funeral, especially at a military funeral where a brave soldier made the ultimate sacrifice for his /her country. But that is not what the loons at the Westboro Baptist Church are about. They are about them, the publicity and law suits, not God, honor or country.

A motorist fired pepper spray Saturday at a group of demonstrators and counter-protesters outside a funeral for a U.S. Marine in Omaha, Nebraska, police said.

The incident occurred shortly before 10 a.m. (11 a.m. ET) as members of a small Kansas church that protests at military funerals and counter-protesters stood nearly a block away from First United Methodist Church during services for Staff Sgt. Michael Bock, 26, who died August 13 in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

A man in a Ford-150 pickup truck drove by, extended his arm and sprayed with a large can, police said. His vehicle was stopped a few minutes later.

“Initial indications are he was probably targeting the Westboro Baptist Church” protesters, said officer Michael Pecha, a spokesman for Omaha police.

 

Video Hat Tip: Left Coast Rebel … Westboro Baptist loons getting pepper sprayed

What a rotten example of a group of hate mongers of intolerance hiding behind the civil liberties of freedom of speech and religion. Do not worry, one day the members of the Westboro Baptist Church will be witness to God’s law. Guess what Westboro Baptist members, you are in for an eternal damnation of a lot more than pepper spray.

What might be even more pathetic than the disgraceful members of the Westboro Baptist Church, is that CNN did an entire story and did not even reference the young Marines name who gave his life for his country. Thanks to Weasel Zippers for having the honor and integrity to do so. The heroes name was Staff Sgt. Michael Bock.

Staff Sgt. Michael Bock died August 13 after bring shot in Helmand province while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Bock grew up in Springfield, Nebraska, before moving to Leesburg with his family when he was in high school.

A month after his high school graduation in 2002 Bock went off to Marine boot camp.

Bock leaves behind his wife of seven years and a 3-year-old son, Zander.

God bless you.

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Scared Monkeys

When Special Interests Use The State To Create Monopolies: Priests Under Fire From The Big Funeral Racket

August 26, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

That’s some bad karma, casket dudes:

After the storm pummeled much of a pine forest they had long relied on for timber and income, the monks hatched a fresh plan: They would hand-craft and sell caskets.

But now, local funeral directors are trying to put a lid on the monks’ activities. The state funeral regulatory board, dominated by industry members, is enforcing a Louisiana law that makes it a crime for anyone but a licensed parlor to sell “funeral merchandise.” The morticians are serious. Violators such as the monks can land in jail for up to 180 days.

“I don’t relish that thought,” said Abbot Justin Brown, head of the 107-year-old abbey, as he sipped coffee in the monastery on a recent misty morning.

St. Joseph’s 36 monks, whose pastimes include baking raisin bread for the homeless, are putting up a fight. On Aug. 12, they filed a lawsuit in federal court in New Orleans to try to overturn the state edict. In the filing, the monks argue that the state law violates their right to pursue a gainful occupation. “We’re not just going to sit back and let these guys bulldoze us,” says Deacon Mark Coudrain.

As an aside, funeral operations are notoriously overpriced and take advantage of the grieving (not all). Over 90% of funeral homes are corporate rather than family operations and they make big bucks selling super expensive caskets.

Not only that, you HAVE to have a casket, even if you’re going to be cremated. Ridiculous. And the government aids and abets these criminals.

I want a plain pine box and cremation and to have my ashes spread in the Library of Congress. You think I’m joking.

Liberty Pundits Blog

Marines Refuse To Attend Honors Funeral Of Convicted Murderer

August 25, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In 1981 Raymond R. Sawyer strangled his second wife, Francis Sawyer, to death in cold blood in the couple’s home. It took police 26 years to solve the case. In 2007, Sawyer, while being interviewed at his home in Arvada, Colorado, gave information only the killer could have known. He was arrested and charged with first degree murder. In 2008 as part of a plea deal, the first degree murder charges were dropped in exchange for Sawyer’s plea of guilty to second degree murder. He received a 13 year sentence.

On August 11, 2010 Sawyer died in prison at the age of 83 while serving his sentence. Yesterday his cremated remains were laid to rest at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Colorado with full military honors. Sawyer was an ex-Marine who saw combat in the Pacific during World War II. He later made false claims of having received the Navy Cross. The Legion of Valor, chartered by Congress, refused his application to join when official records showed no evidence that he had ever been nominated for, or received, the high honor. Marine records have since confirmed the Legion of Valor’s findings.

Sawyer’s family wanted him buried with full military honors at Ft. Logan National Cemetery. The request was granted, but when the Marine Corps asked an honor guard comprised of former Marines to perform the honors ceremonies, they refused to perform or attend. Speaking for the Marine Honor Guard, Col. Bob Fischer (USMC-ret.) said, “We are not going to honor someone who has dishonored us.”

Sawyer’s honor guard instead came from American Legion Post 161 of Arvada, Colorado. When asked why they performed the honors ceremony when the Marine Honor Guard had refused, the answer was simply, “He served.”

The service included presentation of a folded flag, the playing of Taps and a 21 gun salute. Sawyer’s daughter accepted the flag.

Federal law denies military funerals, burial in a military cemetery and military honors for those convicted of a “capital crime” and receiving a sentence of death or life imprisonment. Because of the plea deal, Sawyer, though a confessed murderer, was convicted of second degree murder which is not a “capital offense” and was not sentenced to death or life imprisonment. The law was passed in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing to prevent Timothy McVeigh from receiving a military funeral. Congress is currently considering an amendment to the law which would add persons convicted of forcible rape to the list of those ineligible for military funerals. The proposed amendment, sponsored by Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ), would not cover the likes of Raymond Sawyer.

Tom Richards of the California chapter of the Legion of Valor, and who opposed military honors for Sawyer, believes that American tax payers should be “irate” at having to foot the bill for Sawyer’s funeral. Both the funeral services and the headstone at the grave are paid for with federal funds.

Sources: Associated Press, Marine Corps Times, 9NEWS.com (Denver).

Cross posted at Elijah’s Sweete Spot.


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