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Posted at 4:35 PM ET, 10/ 4/2010

Church protests at Md. soldier's funeral

By Meghan Louttit

Members of Westboro Baptist Church protested outside Arlington National Cemetery Monday where Navy Seal Lt. Brendan J. Looney, 29, of Owings, was being buried. Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., is run by Pastor Fred W. Phelps Sr., who says the deaths of American soldiers are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality. (Photos by Astrid Riecken/For The Washington Post)

Story: Supreme Court to rule on anti-gay protests at military funerals


Wally Dawall, from Gaithersburg, Md., and Ray Schlegel, from College Park, Md., pay respect for Navy Seal Lt. Brendan J. Looney near the main entrance of Arlington National Cemetery.


Megan Phelps Roper, 24, from Topeka, Kan., granddaughter of Pastor Fred Waldron Phelps, is one of three members of Westboro Baptist Church who protested the funeral of Navy Seal Lt. Brendan J. Looney. Looney, 29, of Owings, Md., was killed last month in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.


Members of Westboro Baptist Church protest the funeral of Lt. Brendan J. Looney.

By Meghan Louttit  | October 4, 2010; 4:35 PM ET
 
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Comments

I can't stand when idiots try to hide their hatred behind God. They hate Obama and want everyone to know it. Since they are not fooling anyone, why not just admit it.

Posted by: ctree | October 4, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Freedom ain't Free...you gotta put up with all types

However, a good azzkickin is sometimes necessary as the price one should pay for said Freedoms

Posted by: kahlua87 | October 4, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully they will get even less respect at their own funerals than they show our fallen soldiers.

Posted by: ctree | October 4, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

This is an absolute disgrace... and I totally agree with ctree... on both posts..... they are idiots....

Posted by: ReflectionofLyfe | October 4, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

People who protest at funerals--and ESPECIALLY at the funeral of a Navy Seal who was defending OUR country--deserve whatever punishment they get. This church should be ashamed of itself. They make me ashamed to be an American, and I love my country.

Posted by: arlingtonian6 | October 4, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

The families of the deceased soldiers should be commended for the restraint they have demonstrated at these protested funerals. If it were my dead family member, I'd go to jail for the things I would do to these nutcases protesting the funeral. I don't know how the families restrain themselves from knocking these lunatics out.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 4, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I certainly hope that the WPost is going to print tomorrow with coverage of the ACTUAL funeral. If this is the extent of the WPost coverage for LT Looney's funeral then this is truly sad day for a onetime respectable newspaper.

Giving these 5 or 6 "protesters" coverage just feeds their demented views and validates their pitiful efforts. Though disturbing and disrespectful to the core, they were barely noticed by the family of LT Looney or the 2,500 others in attendance for the wonderful tribute to an American hero.

If you agree with me then click on the link for LT Looney's notice (below) and make a donation to one of the two groups his family suggested for memorial donations.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?n=brendan-looney&pid=145615626&fhid=6151

Posted by: dcfd75 | October 4, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

The death of these heroes, Navy SEAL Brendan Looney and his roommate, Travis Manion, who he was buried beside, are testament to the fact that there are heroic Americans who will defend the right of these idiot Baptists to protest.

There could be no better punishment for Pastor Phelps and his cohorts than to send them to serve those dying of AIDS or to fight for the country that they supposedly love.

They are not Christians - in the true sense of the word - they are stupid and intolerant bigots. And sadly, our Constitution protects their right to protest, even if it makes most Americans sick.

Posted by: carolineC1 | October 4, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Remember this is where hating and discriminating against gay people can go - think before you say well don't do this but i don't want gay people in my family, workplace or to get married, etc.

Posted by: baisasa | October 4, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I really hope that guy dies a horrible, painful death.

Our soliders fighting this war has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality. It is sad that he will try to find any platform he can to speak his bull. I feel for the family of the solider, who just wanted to honor him, and get this horrid person coming in and being so selfish. Disgusting.

Posted by: kaj215 | October 4, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I am a Christian and a Retired Navy SEAL Master Chief. The misguided people of Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) may be exercising rights of free speech and assembly; however their actions and their signs are not Christian. One does not have to be a Homosexual, service member or Christian to know they are not acting on behalf of a loving God. They are clearly a hate group, and a religious cult with extreme views. But we all know this and they probably know this. They protest, and our wonderful Patriot Guard Riders, protect. Our brave and long suffering families, friends and military comrades turn away from them resisting temptation to do them harm–thus demonstrating Christ-like qualities. So why post if we already know they represent evil, un-Godly and ridiculous views? I suspect the WBC raise public interest for two reasons. First is curiosity that draws some people into the Freak Tent at a carnival, they certainly got that going for them. Perhaps it is simply the juxtaposition of such bizarre and contemptuous behavior as protesting a funeral of a serviceman and our belief in free speech. How do we square the two? Most see the irony that our servicemen and women (gay or straight) fight and die for the right of free speech. Our Supreme Court is looking at this WBC issue; perhaps those brilliant few judges will interpret our beautiful Constitution drawn from the minds of those brilliant few (and no doubt God inspired) Founding Fathers and find a logical answer. For me it is simple, first I restrain the urge to harm these misguided people and I commend all that manage this restraint. I remind the misguided sinners of the WBC and the Phelps Family, as I remind myself (also a sinner), of our essential guidance from God and from his son Jesus Christ of our prime directives as God’s creations found in the Holy Scripture, God’s Word. In Matthew 22, Jesus was speaking to a group of religious leaders that were grilling him: “35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40). As Christians we can allow God to punish these unrepentant sinners that blaspheme in his name. There is nothing that I or anyone on this earth could do to these people that will be worse than God’s wrath should he choose to punish them – I pity them. Should the highest court of our land find a proper way to prevent these disgusting people from continuing this hate speech, I am all for that. If not, I am comforted that God will deal with them, and I will pray that God will give strength and patience for all good people that have to see these false Christians and their hate.

Posted by: SCollins111 | October 5, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

The Phelps' church stood outside the marine funeral with signs and shouts saying that they had an important message from their god and everyone should take them seriously. Until the parents of the dead marine sues them for damages due to hurt caused by their speech. In court the same Phelps' church stands arguing that their speech is protected because their message was meaningless, freely given, harmless and an exercise of their rights. So without regard to what the Supreme Court will decide, how can anyone EVER tell when the Phelps' church is telling the truth or legally protected lies?

Posted by: Sample44 | October 7, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

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