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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Kansas church picketers ought to stay away

Westboro Baptist Church is, thankfully, like no other church we know. The Topeka, Kan., congregation preaches hate instead of love.

It sends demonstrators to high-profile funerals around the country, proclaiming that tragedies result from God’s condemnation of everybody who is not a Westboro Baptist.

The church is best known for its protests at funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq.

Westboro’s members are much like Islamic terrorists: To express their religious or political opinions on certain issues, they randomly target innocent people and circumstances that have nothing to do with those issues. Westboro Church is most outspoken about homosexuality.

Now the church has announced that it will picket the funerals, which start today, of teenagers killed in Monday’s school-bus accident in Huntsville.

Such picketing would be a despicable perversion of religion. The students’ families and friends — indeed, decent people everywhere — are grieving their loss. This is a time for religion to offer comfort. Instead, Westboro Baptist Church wants to exploit the tragedy and, if it can, deepen the hurt.

Westboro members often quote the Bible. Here’s a Scripture for them: 1 Corinthians 1:3-6, in which the Apostle Paul described the Lord as “the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.” The Lord “comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble,” Paul wrote.

Westboro’s protesters are not welcome in North Alabama. They should stay home.

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