Westboro Baptist Church Member Jailed In Nebraska

June 6, 2007

I’m a Kansas native and I join most of my fellow Kansans in being totally disgusted with the activities of the Westboro Baptist Church, who go out of their way to protest the funerals of our Fallen Troops, and gleefully sing praises about their deaths. So, when I saw the news about Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps, I did a couple “happy dances” myself this morning.

The members of this church, much like al-Qaeda and the jhidists in Iraq, have taken religion and twisted it to suit their own perverted and twisted beliefs. And, much like al-Qaeda, they’ve chosen to use their twisted, vile and disgusting beliefs, as fuel for their hatred against our Country, against our Troops.

According to the Beatrice Daily Sun in Beatrice, Nebraska, Shirley Phelps-Roper was arrested on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, after allowing her 10 year old son Jonah to stomp on US Flag. Phelps-Roper does not deny this, readily admitting that she allowed her son to stand on the flag. Bellvue, Nebraska police Captain Herb Evers said that a Nebraska state statute enacted in 1977, makes it illegal for a person to trample the flag.

“The officer present observed what happened, and instead of putting a 10-year-old in jail, we put her in jail,” Evers said.

Phelps-Roper claims that the law is against her rights as protected in the US Constitution and dared the Sarpy County Attorney to prosecute her. She was arrested close to 10am yesterday, processed and allowed to post a $150 bond, before being released. She claims that her church has protested at over 280 military funerals and that this one was the first time that anyone had been arrested. Phelps-Roper said that her son intentionally stood on the flag. She also claimed to encourage his behavior, but says she didn’t break any laws and claims that the Nebraska state law should have been repealed years ago.

“Every symbol of the rebellious, doomed America must necessarily be disrespected,” she said. “We did our duty today to our God and fellow man. Our job is to cause this nation to know her abomination. The thing they worship, the flag, is worthless. It’s a piece of cloth.”

“Those rogue cops cooked up this scheme,” she said, “and now the question is whether the person who sits in the office of the prosecutor has character. If they pursue this, our next stop will be federal court in Nebraska to challenge that unconstitutional statute.”

I for one am extremely pleased to hear about this and glad that Nebraska has this law. I feel that more of our states and cities should enact similar laws. Perhaps if these people were arrested each time they protested at the funerals of our Fallen Heroes, they’d think twice about such behavior. I’m thankful for the police officer who stood up to these sick, twisted people and did what was right. The full context of the Nebraska flag law is this:

“A person commits the offense of mutilating a flag if such person intentionally casts contempt or ridicule upon a flag by mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling upon such flag.”

Violating the law is a misdemeanor punishable by three months in jail and a $500 fine.

Beatrice Daily Sun

[UPDATE]To read about the funeral from the perspective of a Patriot Guard Rider who was there, please visit The Radloffs Rambling Midnight Thoughts.
Thanks Chris for sharing the link to your blog.


38 Responses to “Westboro Baptist Church Member Jailed In Nebraska”

  1. Chris on June 6th, 2007 9:32 am

    I was at the funeral in Nebraska, my back to the protesters, holding my flag, hoping the family couldn’t hear or see the protesters. I’m constantly astonished that most of the protesters are children - there are usually only a handful of adults present and a whole passel of children, each one waving their very own little sign.

    I have to say, a cheer went up from the 100+ bikers who were there when word got out that an arrest had been made.

  2. proudandfree on June 6th, 2007 9:53 am

    I agree with Terri. These people are not followers of our Lord and Savior. They have no shame. They are basically a cult. This group is known for protesting funerals just like Code Pink and the communists mock our wounded and disfigured heroes on college campuses.

  3. CommanderMom on June 6th, 2007 10:07 am

    Yes, Terri, a “happy dance” indeedy!!!
    I’m glad that Kansas, not only has this law, but will enforce it!!! Hope more states will follow!

  4. Steven Terrell, Sr. on June 6th, 2007 10:16 am

    I called the Bellevue Police Station just now and thanked them for arresting her. I told them good job and to keep up the good work!!!

  5. ChrisG on June 6th, 2007 10:30 am

    The WBC cult (and that is what it is) has a painfully long and dismal history with acts such as these.

    Phelp’s and his crew go and try to incite violence only to then bring charges against grieving families that they aggravated. The WBC also protests outside WRAMC and attacks/harasses veterans and is quite proud of it. In addition, the WBC gleefully held up signs showing their happiness during the Columbia crash.

    When I was a company commander we had to research this group, along with others who harass funerals and events, to see what we were dealing with. The WBC website is vile and disgusting (I can think of more words, but will not use them). What his cult professes contradicts itself over and over which leads people to wonder if Phelps mentally locked in a closet. In the end, we had to use A LOT of disciple to get through funerals. A military funeral is difficult enough to do without WBC and fellow traveler fools yelling and cursing the dead and the living. Luckily we were able to do things to get around the WBC. Funerals were not announced until it was too late for the WBC to travel, police and local citizen escorts provided security, and several other methods were used.

    Some municipalities, cities and even states have come up with laws which now hamper the WBC’s attacks. Groups like the Patriot Guard and Golden Eagles ride honor guard for funerals and form a wall around the family and military performing the funeral. These are even done for retired vets who pass from old age due to WBC attacks.

    Phelps and crew claim to worship a ‘god’, but I think ‘god’ has horns, or at least dollar signs and a TV camera. In the end, the money he gains from his little escapades and the ‘15 minutes of fame’ from TV/News crews are what Phelps really worships.

  6. Terri on June 6th, 2007 10:30 am

    That’s great Steven. Having worked in law enforcement myself and knowing that it’s mainly a thankless job, I’m sure that they appreciated being told Thank You for a change. Hopefully more communities and states will follow the lead of Bellvue and the State of Nebraska.

  7. Steven Terrell, Sr. on June 6th, 2007 10:34 am

    We can only hope! The Captain I spoke with thanked me for taking the time and calling. I said No, thank you for standing up to these people.

  8. Terri on June 6th, 2007 10:34 am

    Phelps and his cult, which mostly consists of his family members by the way, are nothing short of vile and disgusting. They have a long history of things such as this in Kansas and not only against Soldiers and Veterans. They have at least one attorney in their midst (I believe Shirley is one) and are aware of legal technicalities and will push things to the limit. When I worked in the law enforcement community in Kansas, we had training on these people and other groups, just so we were well aware of what we were up against.

  9. Terri on June 6th, 2007 10:38 am

    Thanks to Chris who shared about being at the funeral. You’re right many of the protestors are children, usually the grandchildren of Fred Phelps. Most of the people who are a part of his little “cult” are family members of his. There are very few who aren’t a part of the Phelps clan. They find it easy and convenient for themselves to use their children, because they’re much less likely to be arrested than the adults are.

  10. CommanderMom on June 6th, 2007 10:42 am

    That’s great you called and thanked them,Steve! Thanks! Kudo’s to you!

    Thanks ChrisG, was thinking of PGR, and GOE, too, LOVE those guys, thanks for mentioning them!

    Terri, thanks for putting this news out. It makes my day!!!

  11. Kathi on June 6th, 2007 11:16 am

    I was so happy to hear this news! I hope it starts a trend.

    (Trust you, Terri, to research the flag law and post it:)

  12. Terri on June 6th, 2007 11:48 am

    Thanks Kathi for the heads-up on this story. It definitely started my day out with a smile!

  13. Kathi on June 6th, 2007 12:58 pm

    Hey, you’re welcome:)
    I was just so darn happy when I read the news, I had to share it with the world:)

    (and go check out Yankeemom’s post, if you haven’t already…she has Other good news that I wasn’t aware of, regarding the WBC and a Missouri case.)

  14. mythor.net » Blog Archive » Westboro Baptist Church Member Arrested on June 6th, 2007 1:04 pm

    [...] A Soldier’s Mind.] Share: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new [...]

  15. Flag Gazer on June 6th, 2007 1:19 pm

    Thanks Kathi for letting us all know and Thanks Terri for all of the information.

    These people are beyond despicable.

  16. Mythor on June 6th, 2007 1:22 pm

    Kathi directed me here for the information regarding the penalty for disrespecting the flag (thanks again!) and it was interesting to read some of the other quotes from the crazylady. The news story I saw doesn’t have everything you’ve got there.

    The bit where she says, “Those rogue cops cooked up this scheme” - I wonder if that would be actionable for the police involved, or is that protected speech in some fashion? It’s sort of implying that the police were somehow behaving in a corrupt fashion… but she has herself admitted that they are guilty and were aware of the law?

    I could say more on the WBC but every time I start, it’s hard to stop. :-)

  17. Kari on June 6th, 2007 1:46 pm

    I am a Nebraska native and man, that makes me miss it all the more!! I am doing a happy dance, too!!

  18. Terri on June 6th, 2007 2:05 pm

    I think that Shirley Phelps-Roper will do or say anything, just to get herself and her church into the media spotlight, Mythor. Honestly I think she’s just grasping at straws, trying to threaten and bully her way into the getting the charges dropped. I’m glad that they didn’t.

  19. VTSharon on June 6th, 2007 2:06 pm

    One fact that appears lost in the top-post and comments concerns the genesis of the Westboro church. In fact, the protests have nothing to do with hatred against the troops (although their behavior is a bit confusing in this regard). Rather, it is the church’s hatred of homosexuality that drives the protests. Having said this, I certainly do not condone the church’s MO in making their point - the church could just as easily go after the teletubbies and create a lot more support in the process.

  20. Steven Terrell, Sr. on June 6th, 2007 2:10 pm

    VTSharon, they do hate the troops. They call them the “Fag Troops” and wish more could die! They say they are “fags” because they are American soldiers and America is a “fag nation”!

  21. VTSharon on June 6th, 2007 2:12 pm

    Disagree, Steve. They use the troops to get their point across in a rather perverted way. But I don’t believe they per se hate the troops.

  22. Terri on June 6th, 2007 2:13 pm

    Quite honestly Sharon, the Wesboro Baptist Church claims that it’s against homosexuality, claiming that because of the “Don’t ask don’t tell” clause in the military, that they feel it means that the Armed Forces condone homosexuality. Growing up in Kansas and working in the Law Enforcement community in that State, I became well aware of this sick and twisted group. Military and homosexuality aren’t the only things they’ve protested against in the past (abortion rights is another). These folks are just plain sick and anything that Fred feels is against what he believes becomes fodder for their twisted hatred.

  23. Terri on June 6th, 2007 2:14 pm

    Actually yes they do Sharon. They don’t have a problem spitting on troops, protesting in front of Walter Reed and holding signs saying things like “Thank God for IED’s,” “Thank God for wounded soldiers”, Thank God for dead soldiers… etc. They don’t have a problem vocalizing this as well. The part I find most disturbing and sad is that they’re bringing their young children along and teaching them the same hatred that spews forth from their mouths. Disgusting indeed. These people are just plain freaks.

  24. Steven Terrell, Sr. on June 6th, 2007 2:15 pm

    VTSharon, I’m assuming you have visited all of their vile websites? They are definitely hate our troops.

  25. Chris on June 6th, 2007 2:33 pm

    If anyone’s interested, I did a quick write-up about the funeral on my blog ().

    Something that needs to be said (and of course I forgot to say it in my own blog) is that the Omaha media needs to be congratulated — they covered the funeral extensively (reporters and TV crews all over the place), but there was VERY little mention of the Westboro people. Kudos!

  26. Steven Terrell, Sr. on June 6th, 2007 3:17 pm

    Chris, thanks for sharing the very indepth story of the funeral. I could feel the childs pain from your description.

  27. ChrisG on June 6th, 2007 7:10 pm

    Sharon, the WBC cult is also not choosy about who they support in their hate. They have migrated back and forth across the political spectrum many times.

    The WBC claims it is against homosexuality and because Islam outlaws homosexuality (in women only) Phelps also supports them. The list of people the WBC says are burning in Hell includes some notable names.

    Phelps does hate Soldiers, leftists, rightists, Christians, and anyone else who he feels has crossed him. He and his clan hate so much that most who know of this cult shudder to think what the children will grow up like.

    Here is the Urban Dictionary site on the WBC which gives their own two websites (godhatesfags and godhatesamerica).


  28. ChrisG on June 6th, 2007 7:43 pm

    I’ve never used “Urban Dictionary” before and some of the opinions there confuse (deliberately or not) the WBC with the “Christian Right/Religious Right”. The WBC is not right wing nor are they left wing. They have given money to Al Gore, the NAACP, bashed conservative leaders, bashed religious leaders, bashed leftist leaders, assaulted funerals for VA Tech students, assaulted Soldiers’ funerals, protested rescue efforts for the W-VA coal miners, protested at the Columbia Shuttle recovery efforts, and pretty much pissed off anyone and everyone they can.

    They are what they are: A corruption of Christian teachings focused on an ‘end of the world/doomsday’ cult.

  29. Tracy on June 6th, 2007 10:19 pm

    Agreeing that WBC is a cult and in no way religious. They do not serve the same God I do. They are full of hate and the manner in which they get their views across is disgusting.

  30. Jon Rocha on June 7th, 2007 12:37 am

    Hey guys, just wanted to say that I just ran across this site tonight, and I think your doing a helleva job!! I was a Marine in Iraq and Afgahnistan and this is just sick to me. Dont do what I did and looked them up AGAIN on youtube…It makes me want to hit something…anyways, I too called the police department, unfortunatly they were not at the station, but the lady taking calls was unaware of the arrest I explained it to her. She asked me to call in again tomorrow, because she knew the
    guys would appreciate the comments. Kudos on this site…its now in my favorites!!

  31. Terri on June 7th, 2007 4:13 am

    Thanks so much Jon and we appreciate you stopping by. THANK YOU for your service. We hope to see you around again.

  32. CLWright on June 8th, 2007 11:22 am

    How shameful! Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the Bible knows that God does not condone hatred, of anyone! My father did 3 tours in Vietnam, my brother served and was wounded in Desert Storm, it was God’s grace that brought them home. And I am eternally grateful to Him for his compassion. These people have no idea of His love, for if they did, they would honor and cherish those who serve. If there is a collection to help them leave this Country they despise, sign me up, I’ll be glad to donate!

  33. CavMom on June 8th, 2007 12:05 pm

    I have been following this group of leeches for years. I honestly do not think they are a cult. Nor do I feel they should get religious privileges.

    Every thing I have read and heard leads me to the conclusion that they are in this strictly for the money.

    Several of the adult members are lawyers who study extensively. They know exactly how far they can push the envelope and remain on this side of the law.

    They attack any issue that pulls at the heartstrings of the morally sound. They know full well that their actions will cause pain. They hope that they will be attacked and their civil liberties blocked.

    Their objective is to make money off of litigation and they are very good at it. Go to any of their staged protests and you will notice that they carry video cameras. They know that most people will have a tough time abstaining from attacking.

    Because of their crap, laws are being changed which could tighten everyone’s freedom to protest any issue.

    They have groups such as the ACLU in their hip pocket.

    I had to laugh when they protested Reggie White for not condemning ‘gays’ enough.

  34. Chris R on June 20th, 2007 9:09 pm

    The most cult-like thing about them is that they are not open to new members. I want to join but they just give me the cold shoulder! Really! I drove 1000 miles to attend church with them. They even lock their church during services. If you want to get in you have to keep knocking and knocking until you annoy them enough to open the door. This alone makes me wonder what these people are really up to.

  35. Terri on June 21st, 2007 6:56 am

    You’ve got to be kidding ChrisR. What the hell would EVER possess anyone to want to join this crazy group of fanatics? If what you’re saying is that you support their hatred towards our troops and other people, then I’m afraid you’ve came to the wrong Blog Chris, because this blog is ALL about our troops and supporting them AND their mission.

  36. Libertarian Girl » Blog Archive » How to Stop Westboro Baptist Church: Take Away Their Taxpayer-Supplied Bodyguards on March 18th, 2008 9:41 pm

    [...] Baptist Church is the unspeakably obnoxious group that protests at things like dead soldiers’ funerals (apparently more than 280 of them) and the funerals of college students. Their main gripe seems to [...]

  37. Nil Street on June 14th, 2008 5:41 pm

    I’m with you and our group was at numerous pickets held by the WBC to counter protest their shit. But where are you, dear soldiers, when the same stupid church protest at our fellow homosexual friends’ funerals, huh? Because they still do! We were their first targets back in the nineties and at this time, where were you, huh? Where will you be next week when another gay will die and the family will have to suffer the stupid ranting from this church, huh? You’ll be elsewhere, as usual.

    Anyway every religions are the same, making believe a stupid book was written by a divinity is twisted enough, but believing it is absolutely mad. And most of these acts of terrorism, and I’m talking also about the crimes the USA commit all over the world in the name of their banner “In God we trust”.

  38. Anthony on June 15th, 2008 2:24 am

    Where was I? I was off doing my job, protecting our great nation from a real threat. Let me know when the WBC decides to start using IEDs or picks up an AK-47.

    Also, if your goal is to come on this site to put down religion or soldiers, you may want to consider finding a different website.

Got something to say?