As the first of many funerals for victims of the terror attack at Pulse nightclub began, much of the crowd wondered exactly what Westboro Baptist Church would do after receiving a permit to protest.
— Westboro Baptist (@WBCSaysRepent) June 14, 2016
The hate group posing at a church has openly promised that they will attend most of the Pulse victim’s funerals and protest with their vitriol and deploirable signs, the most notorious of which is “God Hates Fags”.
This time, they held up a new sign among the many they are known for. This one simple read “God Sent the Shooter”
— Westboro Baptist (@WBCSaysRepent) June 16, 2016
And when the most despised people in America showed up to cause a scene, it was everyday Americans from all walks of life who stepped up to shield the mourning family from hatred.
The people took a cue from the Patriot Riders and other veterans biker groups that have shielded the funerals of combat veterans where Westboro Baptist Church came to disrupt a funeral.
It happened again when the hate church showed up to harass the families of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. There was no publicity that the biker veterans would show to arrive, they just did – to provide peace and respite for the families.
— Michael J. Buell (@buell003) December 24, 2012
In Oklahoma, the nation’s most hated church promised to protest the funerals of seven children killed in a tornado, issuing a press release praising God for sending the natural disaster:
We pray for God to send tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis … whirlwinds of every form and size … to slaughter you malicious, violent americans. And when our Father answers our prayers by dropping a relentless torrent on the vile citizens of Oklahoma … we rejoice and wash our “feet in the blood of the wicked”.
— Christopher Hagan (@mywrrd) May 25, 2013
The people of Moore, Oklahoma took none to kindly to that and hundreds of them lined the streets, shielding the family and confronting the so-called church members. That protest by WBC lasted less than 8 minutes before the protesters fled in fear for their safety as the crowd’s anger boiled over.
“I thought it was hilarious. I mean I really did. We sat there and laughed the whole time,” Tina Johnson, a counter-protester, commented. “They were running, yeah.”
This time it was the streets of Orlando where hundreds, if not thousands, of people showed up in force to pay their respects to the victim and shield the family from the message of hate and intolerance.
Many also wanted to send a message that they will not allow Westboro Baptist Church to make these services even more traumatic for the victim’s families.
— Gayety (@Gayetyco) June 16, 2016
With rainbow flags flying and signs calling for peace, love, and unity, the counter-protesters made their voices heard and created a human chain, many actually arm in arm, to protect the family from the WBC members and their messages of hate.
— JoeMyGod (@JoeMyGod) June 16, 2016
The wall of people was so thick that not only did the family not see the WBC members, they never heard them – meaning they received the peace and solitude everyone deserves when saying goodbye to a loved one.
— Robert Kovacik (@RobertNBCLA) June 15, 2016
Many of the people in the crowd said they will be back at each and every one of the funerals for the 49 victims of the terror attack to show that love and community can always overcome hate.
from the "Human chain link for Pulse Funerals" facebook page <3 pic.twitter.com/2uzzA8kTN1
— soorya (@soorya) June 16, 2016
It looks like WBC is learning very quickly that even though Orlando is a tolerant city… they have not tolerance for bigots and preachers of hate.