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Westboro Baptist opts for radio interview over funeral protest

westboroThe tiny, gay-hating Westboro Baptist Church had set its sights on Saturday's funeral for Braden and Charlie Powell, killed by their father in last weekend's horrible tragedy.

The Church has opted not to make a Washington visit, in lieu of a radio interview on the Bobby D Show, where they will get to state their case. The interview has been prerecorded, and will only air if the group keeps their promise to stay away from the funeral on Saturday.

"Fred Phelps Jr. from Westboro Baptist Church did call in," Bobby D wrote in his blog. "He seemed fine to chat with us and let the interview air on Monday. Having said that, if they choose to show up to the event anyway, the interview will be destroyed and will never see the light of day.

Dave Ross said that he didn't understand why the group would target the funeral of two children. "If their theme is 'god hates gays' what in the world are they doing protesting the funeral of the Powell kids?"

"It just sticks in my throat to even talk about these jack holes because it gives them the attention they're looking for," said Luke Burbank.

Pierce County Sgt. Ed Troyer told the Ron and Don Show the best thing anyone can do is ignore any protests that might occur.

"They want you to scream at them because then it gets on TV. It's part of their game," he said.

In fact, if you're angry about a protest, keep it to yourself because Troyer said the last thing law enforcement needs is an anti-protest and then a possible situation that escalates into a fight.

"The last thing we want is any type of fight or outbreak that takes away from what this day is really about."

Rest assured, Troyer said they've had to conceal this group from officer funerals in the past and they're able to make them virtually invisible at the scene.

"If the few do show up, we're covered."

The handful of publicity hungry hate-mongers is purportedly targeting the service because the state recently approved gay marriage legislation. "This is god's revenge on our state," Luke speculates.

The US Supreme Court previously ruled Westboro Baptist could not be prevented from protesting at a military funeral because of constitutional protections.

"These guys are major jerks for doing this, but the question is, if you stop them are you abridging the first amendment that might come back to haunt us later?" asks Luke. "For other people who maybe aren't major jerks but have something they want to say that is politically sensitive or whatever then you abridge their speech as well."

Dave and Luke agree there is a simple solution: Ban protests at funerals.

"You could make this narrowly tailored. In other words, you could it so it doesn't apply to a hundred things, rather just applies to funerals," says Luke.

Dave says you could make the rules very narrow. "There's got to be a body there."

Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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