Move America Forward says The Westboro Baptist Church is a disgusting hate group led by Fred Phelps, who she says is insane. Phelps and his group are known for attending military funerals and attacking the families of fallen troops. Move America Forward has been dealing with them for years but after the tragic shooting in Tucson, the church group announced it also intended to protest the funerals of Jared Loughner’s victims.
When Debbie Lee heard the Westboro Baptist Church was planning this new protest in Tucson, she says she was incensed. That same church group was actually in Oregon in 2006 to protest her son Marc’s memorial service, after Marc gave his life for his country serving in Iraq. Marc was killed in Ramadi in 2006 and although he gave up his own life, he saved the lives of his squad that day. Debbie Lee says “He gave up his tomorrows so that his buddies could live on, so that Americans back home could live free and safe.”
“You can imagine the disgust when I learned the Westboro Baptist Church had decided to protest the funerals of those killed in Tucson,” Debbie Lee said in an article she wrote, published on a local TV news station. “Again the emotions were overwhelming, as I had experienced the vileness of these protesters at Marc’s Memorial Service in Oregon. The Westboro clan has been protesting at the funerals of our fallen warriors for years attempting to vilify and dishonor our mighty warriors.”
“When I heard that the Westboro protesters had targeted Marc’s Memorial Service in Hood River, Oregon on August 26 2006, I was horrified. I wanted to know who these crazies were and told my son Kris, I was going to their website. He had already checked them out and told me not to as it would be more pain than I could endure. I was later told they had posted pictures of my son and had signs with disgusting slogans on them. I was a fighter so I made some phone calls to see what we could do to stop them. The American Center for Law and Justice stood in the gap and researched Oregon’s State Laws as to what they were allowed to do. The American Center for Law and Justice worked with the City of Hood River to help legally restrict the church group.”
Debbie on ABC 15 News Talking About Her Experience in Dealing with the WBC
The laws in Oregon were similar to what Arizona state legislators passed yesterday and it restricted the church group within 300 feet of the building. The Patriot Guard Riders sent about 100 bikers who lined the street and blocked the protesters from Debbie Lee’s family. She says “I remember driving by and seeing them out of the corner of my eye as they stood on the street corner where we turned. They were only about 15 feet from us at that point. It’s hard to explain the depth of the grief and the emotions you feel when you have just lost a child.”
“The next day I was watching the local news coverage of Marc’s Memorial Service when I saw the Westboro protesters spewing their vile rhetoric. They said that I was a horrible Mother and that I had “failed my son,” and “I had sent my son to hell,” They said “Marc choose an occupation of murder.” This young man earned the Silver Star, one of America’s highest medals for bravery and they are saying God is glad he’s dead? I remember feeling that I was going to throw up and was uncontrollably shaking. No one can begin to imagine the pain that was inflicted upon me by this so called “Church.” I didn’t want anyone to experience the pain that had been hurled like a javelin into my heart from this hateful cult.
Move America Forward wants to continue protecting military families from the senseless hate speech by the Westboro Baptist Church, whose rhetoric belongs on the internet or on their poorly printed handouts – but NOT at a grieving family’s funeral service!
Several states have passed laws to help protect military families from these kinds of attacks, but Move America Forward says they are working to spread these initiatives to states that don’t.
Move America Forward has a petition and donation drive to help the efforts to get more states to pass laws that protect military families and their privacy.