The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., plans to stage protests at funerals of victims of the 35W bridge collapse to state that God made the bridge fall because he hates America, and especially Minnesota, because of its tolerance of homosexuality.
The church and its pastor, Rev. Fred Phelps have become notorious over recent years for their claim that the attack of 9/11 was an act of God's vengeance and their determination to make that case at the funderals of U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq.
In a press release issued the day after the bridge collapse, the Church called for the protests at the funerals and outlined its feelings about the relationship between God's plan and the sins of Minneapolis and Minesota, which it calls the "land of the Sodomite damned."
Reached at the church, Shirley Phelps Roper, who is both the daughter of the pastor and one of the attorneys for the church, said that America, and Minnesota especially, have alienated God by its tolerance for homosexuality, and that the bridge collapse was an act of God's vengeance. She said:
"The bridge stood place by the word of God and it fell by the word of God...Each of these little events is just a harbinger of the coming destruction of this American experiment. We are delivering the final call of the doomed nation."She said, as they have done for years, members of the church would stand "lawfully and peacefully on the public right of way" near the funerals and "put in the air words of praying and instruction and warning."
The signs that the protesters will wave will read:
"God cast down the bridge... Thank God for 9/11... America is doomed... God hates fags... God hates fag enablers... God hates Minnesota."