“The Michigan Taliban”

Ban too late to stop protests at local military funerals

You hear about this sort of thing, but you never expect it to happen in your neighborhood:

When the family and friends of Sgt. Rick Herrema, who died last week in Iraq, gather for his funeral in a Hudsonville church Friday, protesters from a Kansas church plan to march outside, claiming God is punishing the nation for condoning homosexuality.

The state Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved bills restricting such demonstrations at funerals, but they cannot be enacted into law in time to regulate Friday’s planned protest or a demonstration the group plans Saturday at the funeral of a soldier from Mecosta County.

Hudsonville is between where I live and where I work. I’m thinking of checking out the protest and the counter-protest/shield (by the Patriot Guard Riders) if I’m able.

Rebekah Phelps-Davis, an attorney and daughter of the Rev. Fred Phelps, who has organized several protests at military funerals all over the country through his Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., said the group will not be dissuaded if the bills become law.

“What I would say to the Michigan Taliban is they can pass whatever laws they want to pass,” she said. “It’s not going to stop the message from reaching the people of Michigan and the rest of the country.”

I’m not sure what to think about possibly covering these idiots. I mean, they want the exposure. They wouldn’t act so bloody stupid if they didn’t want the exposure. But exposing them also underscores just how deranged they are.

The “Michigan Taliban” is a bit curious, too. I wonder how fringe groups like theirs would have fared under the Taliban.

The second appearance by the Phelps crew is on Saturday north of Grand Rapids in Morely at the funeral for Army Sgt. Matthew Webber. Webber died a week ago from burns suffered last November in Iraq.

Mecosta County Sheriff John Sonntag, who coached Webber in Rocket Football, said he will have several officers stationed outside the high school.

“We will protect these people, because that’s what Matt died for,” he said. “He died so these scumbags can protest.”

Doesn’t sound terribly Talibanish to Murdoc.

UPDATE: Here’s the flyer from their site regarding the protests:

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