Westboro Baptist Church cancels Ponderosa High, DU Hillel protests for travel complications

Thumbnail image for Fred_Phelps.jpg
Fred Phelps.
Today, the Douglas County School District website kicks off with a "Breaking News" item that reads: "The planned protest by the Westboro Baptist Church at Ponderosa High School's graduation has been canceled by the group due to travel complications." The response from a member of the Counter-Protest Westboro Baptist Church in Colorado! Facebook group, which had planned to face down WBC pickets at the Ponderosa graduation, the DU Hillel and the Denver Islamic Society? "'Travel complications.' Uh-huh."

Of course, the Westboro venom-spewers have played this game before, as illustrated by our January 2010 post "Same sex-marriage debate: Westboro Baptist Church protest falls flat -- because gay haters don't show up." But this time around, the group went to the trouble of informing the Parker Police Department that between six and eight protesters would be on hand at the graduation as a way of demonstrating their displeasure with Ryan Wheeler. A Ponderosa High senior, Wheeler had written a Denver Post essay suggesting that the Supreme Court shouldn't have ruled in favor of the WBC's right to protest military funerals.

Why the cancellation, then? One possibility is the announced response at various picketing locales. The Denver Islamic Society never returned Westword interview requests, so we don't know what its representatives had planned. But the Dougco schools spokespersons encouraged students and parents to ignore the protest, and DU Hillel staffers went a step further. They planned to close the office, so the WBC crew would be left to confront an empty building. Moreover, DU's undergraduate student government passed a resolution condemning the WBC but arguing that student participation in protests would further the church's mission.

No telling if these tactics convinced the WBC (which still lists the Colorado events on its web schedule) to stay home. But it's something to consider the next time the Westboro slugs threaten to darken this state with their presence.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Top 8 Westboro Baptist Church insults against Colorado."

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12 comments
Druid
Druid

They can speak, and so can we.  All we have to do is go to their location and protest louder and with more people.  We can surround them and drown them out.  Hopefully, they will be the only ones to disappear when "The Rapture" comes this weekend.

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

 I think they should ban the protesting.  It’s more of a freedom to organize issue thana freedom of speech issue.  Anyone withcommon decency would agree it’s wrong.  Whatare Fred Phelps and the WBC afraid of anyhow? Rainbows? Unicorns? A flamingpink queer apocalypse?  I attempted to addressthis with a portrait of the good reverend on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...  Drop in and let me know what you think!

Catalyst
Catalyst

WBC: "travel complications"? Sounds like one of your outside job bosses finally stood up and said get 2 work or be fired, assholes :D #AbtTime!

Oo
Oo

 I feel like High School students are probably a little more of a threat then military family even. Like , they will get outraged, and irrationally violent most likely. But High School students? Organize within their vicinty on some fuck you shit and see what happens!! Every High School student is looking for an excuse to MollyWop a motherfucker who looks like Fred Phelps lol lol lol 

Robert
Robert

WW in an entusiastic participant in the media conceit that a handful of religious extremists from Kansas are more newsworthy than hundreds of local citizens protesting in the streets.  It is nice to feel that one's problems are external to oneself, and stories about WBC serve to distract the foolish from the stark reality that Colorado seems incapable of self-government.

Stan
Stan

 The government is coming to get you.  You will be converted into a new flavor of soylent products.  Any guess as to what this new flavor will be called?  If you guessed, "Douche-Berry," you're absolutely right!!!

Robert
Robert

With Hickenlooper as Governor, and a choice of Romer or Hancock for Mayor, the joke's on us -- maybe you and Dude are partly responsible.

TheDude
TheDude

Douche ----------^ 

Stan
Stan

Super-Douche! 

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