Publicity shot, 2004

Publicity shot, 2004

The Westboro Baptist Church, lead by Fred Phelps and family, has announced in its usual very non-loving-their-neighbor-as-themselves manner that they’ll add Roger Ebert’s funeral to the many they have picketed over the years. Ebert, they say, was a “fag enabler.”

According to Hollywood Reporter, the group

… complains that (Ebert) used his Twitter “˜to mock the faithful servants of God at Westboro Baptist Church.’

On March 25, Ebert did in fact tweet a link to a Salon post that features an excerpt from a book by Jeff Chu titled Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America. …

Ebert tweeted the link twice, once with the message “˜Just another day at Westboro Baptist’ and again with a similar message: “˜One more day at the Westboro Baptist church.

In the world / heaven / hell of Westboro, it’s always possible to find a link to the “fags,” whether a celebrity, a U.S. servicemember killed in action, or just anyone who was or might have been a “homosexual.”

After they started showing up at the funerals of servicemembers, cities and states started paying much more attention to their protests, and laws were enacted around the nation to keep them at a specified distance from the funeral and graveside services. Years of dealing with the “God hates fags” group at the funeral services of LGBT individuals had lead friends of such to form their own group, to help shield the families of loved one from the hate of the Westboro group by standing between the two. That tactic has been widely used at services for those who weren’t LGBT, but were targeted by Westboro nevertheless.

Roger Ebert doesn’t deserve such treatment, nor does anyone else.

And Westboro complaining about being “mocked” rates high in the irony category.