The anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church is blaming Carrie Underwood for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
For many, it was bad enough when the group announced earlier in the week they would protest at the funerals of the children and teachers who died. But Pat Cashman and Lisa Foster, filling in for Dori, were at a loss for why the group would target Underwood.
“This is a fringe group, of course, anti-gay, anti-Semitic, anti-kindness you might say, too, because they picket at funerals of fallen soldiers and charitable organizations,” said Pat.
The organization, based in Kansas, has staged at least 50,000 protests in over 800 American cities. They are most famous for picketing outside soldiers’ funerals.
“We’re trying to find out why,” said Pat, “maybe they don’t have any reasons why for most of the things they say.”
Pat’s first thought was that the church group may have taken offense to one of Underwood’s country-western song lyrics or even something as senseless as how the singer dresses. Others say that it’s because Carrie Underwood, a native of Oklahoma, might support gay marriage.
“Trying to understand their logic behind it is a waste of time,” said Lisa. “I think they decided to move on from that and blame Oklahoma as a whole. Oklahoma said ‘Yeah, you’re not going to be doing this to us,’ and they actually fought back. Westboro decided to leave them alone.”
Whatever the reason, the Westboro Baptist Church is using Carrie Underwood to justify picketing children’s funerals with signs like ‘God hates you’ and ‘God sent the shooter.’ But they’re already getting a lot of backlash.
After the organization said it would protest the funerals, hacker group Anonymous said they’d give the Westboro Baptist Church a taste of their own medicine.
Anonymous took to Twitter, releasing personal information about the Westboro Baptist Church members, where they were staying in Newtown, and threatened to do more if they went through with their protests.
Some other groups also rushed to counter the protest. Dozens of bikers flooded the streets in front of the Newtown cemetery Wednesday to shield families during the funeral of Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung.
Church members were nowhere to be found.
But there doesn’t seem like there is a way to really stop the group from showing up at the Sandy Hook victims’ funeral services if they want to.
Lisa pointed out that hundreds of people have created petitions to revoke the Church’s tax-exempt status and have it declared a hate group, to no avail.
“And that’s really what it comes down to,” said Lisa. “How do you fight back, how do you disarm this sort of organization?”