In the interview excerpted below, recorded on Wednesday, Shirley Phelps-Roper decries the poor treatment she and her family say they got when visiting Minneapolis in the past. It's bizarre to hear a woman complain about the "aggressive violent rhetoric" in Minneapolis and hear my neighbors described as "unabashedly breathing out threatening and slaughter" -- especially when the woman lodging such complaints sent out a news release announcing she'd picket the funerals "of those whom God drop-kicked of the Bridge and into Hell."
On why members of Westboro Baptist Church didn't show up, as they'd announced, to picket two funerals this week for victims of the 35W collapse:
Don’t be short-sighted, hon. You have not just those five that they fished out, but you've got a passel of other people in the water. What we've got is 17 years standing on the streets -- the mean streets of doomed America -- we've got enough experience to know that when the scripture says that you will drink from the cup of God's fury when we put it to your lips (which we did, when we sent out that news release) -- put it to your lips and make you drink it... We’ve been warning this nation for 17 years and you keep insisting -- doggedly insisting -- in going the way of Sodom and you're going to suffer her fate. Now this nation is receiving that condemnation. This is the time of the visitation of doomed America. This nation is heading to a swift destruction. And all these events that are coming on quicker and quicker and more horrendous are just harbingers of that coming event...
We have personal first-hand experience looking in the face of Minneapolis/St.Paul, Minnesota, and we know that from the first time we set foot in that city, that place is probably one of the most violent places in this nation. We have never gone into that city, but we were set upon. Sometimes it was a question who was going to be more inappropriate, the citizens or the police.
So we wait. While you guys work that out of your system -- all that aggressive violent rhetoric that we first got, where the phone rings off the hook day and night and the emails come in by the hundreds and thousands. The point I'm making to you is: you guys are all about worshipping the dead in doomed America, so when those other bodies come out of that water, there will be more memorial services and there will be more funerals and along the way we will pick some of them off.
Last week when I learned of this thing that happened in your city, I was standing at the memorial service of those five bimbos in New York that were killed when they were texting...
At the beginning of each week, we have intentions to go a lot of places and as the week fleshes out, and depending on where the dead soldiers are, that’s how it falls. When we have to divert a group because there’s something we need to get to more importantly, or we divert the group because we see the location where we’re headed is so filled with rage that the gloves are off – they’re unabashedly breathing out threatening and slaughter -- then we won't come. We’ve got all the time in the world. You’re going to be fishing bodies out of there for weeks.
On Westboro's media strategy of calling for protests, then not showing up:
It’s not a strategy… What we put in place was a mechanism to deliver the word of God to a doomed nation. The strategy, that goes back 16 or 17 years ago, is to get out on the street with signs…. We know that our job is to get out with these words – and we have the Internet and of course the news releases. It used to be we had to change all of it because we used to have a tidy way to do it. We’d see an event down the road… and we would send out our news releases and we would have a group of people and it was so orderly. But then all of a sudden, we realized the place we have to be when god is repaying this nation to their face for what they’ve done, we’ve got to be. He said, I’ll drag you into a war you cannot win, and I will dash your children to pieces. Now how are we gonna connect that dot, if we don’t get to those dead soldiers’ funerals? And you know the nature of funerals, you don’t get very much notice.
We’ve got – oh my goodness – five groups that’ll be traveling between Friday and Sunday covering places that cover places from the East Coast to the West Coast and all points in between. You’ve got to understand: there are only 70 of us. We can only do so much of this. You’re gonna see us. Absolutely.