Westboro Baptist protesters headed to SC coast

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WCSC) - The radical church group that travels the country protesting military funerals and professing God's hatred of homosexuals is returning to the Holy City, according to the church's website.

Westboro Baptist Church, online at www.godhatesfags.com, plans to be at various churches in Charleston on May 16.

May 16, 2010

  • Cathedral of Praise, 3790 Ashley Phosphate Rd. from 8:30-9 a.m.
  • First Baptist Church, 61 Church St. from 9:30-10 a.m.
  • Blessed Sacrament, 5 St. Teresa Dr. from 10:30-11 a.m.

Groups from the church are also slated to protest in Myrtle Beach, Irmo, Charleston, Columbia and Mount Pleasant in May.

According to the website, the church is visiting the area to warn children of President Barack Obama's education plan, protest area churches' interpretation of the Bible, claiming "the Catholic Church is the largest, most well funded and organized pedophile machine in the history of man," and parents' rearing of their children.

Protesters will be at the Cathedral of Praise because "[t]hey spout lies to freaks with checkbooks and cash, who love the lies they're told that salve their consciences and send them to hell."

In it's posting for Blessed Sacrament, the site states, "The words can't be said too many times - Priests Rape Children! Run from that nasty whorehouse! We know that you will not - you are paying them for their lies so that you can salve your consiences. You would rather have your children raped than to put away your filthy idols, your various and sundry gods, and OBEY YOUR GOD!! There are more idols in a Catholic church per square inch than there are stars in the sky."

The group posed the presumably rhetorical question to the First Baptist Church downtown: "Did you liars/hypocrites really believe we would come all this way and not take some time to preach to the so-called members of your whorehouse?"

The group, on their March 23 visit to Charleston, did not protest the church.

Westboro also protests non-military events, such as the 2007 funeral of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, and the deaths of 29 miners recently in West Virginia. The group first grabbed widespread notice in 1998, when members appeared outside the funeral of Matthew Shepard, the gay University of Wyoming student whose murder drew national attention.

The group routinely makes trips around the country in protest of religion and politics, but counter-protest groups usually greatly outnumber -- and silence -- the group. On the group's last visit to Charleston, a group of College of Charleston students banded together by the hundreds to drown out the group's message.

On that particular trip, the WBC contingent was made up of two adults and two young children.

The WBC's aim, many believe, is to incite counter-protesters to do something that will allow the group to file a lawsuit against private citizens and state and municipal governments. Much of the group's funding comes from winning such lawsuits.

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Copyright 2010 WCSC and WMBF News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.