Grady, Druid Hills and Douglass high schools: Ignore these idiots.

Westboro Baptist Church children Gabriel Phelps-Roper, 10, and his sister Grace Phelps-Roper, 13, both of Topeka, Kan., protest at the funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder in Westminster, Md. The young soldier died in a Humvee accident in Iraq four years ago. (AP Photo/Carroll County Times, Dylan Slagle)

Westboro Baptist Church children Gabriel Phelps-Roper, 10, and his sister Grace Phelps-Roper, 13, both of Topeka, Kan., protest at the funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder in Westminster, Md. The young soldier died in a Humvee accident in Iraq four years ago. (AP Photo/Carroll County Times, Dylan Slagle)

Please. If I were Druid Hills, Grady and Douglass high students, I would not give these pathetic wretches a second of my time. Anyone who shows up at the funerals of slain U.S. soldiers and holds up signs celebrating their deaths is beyond contempt. We should step over them like vomit on the street.

According to the AJC:

Topeka’s Westboro Baptist Church, whose membership consists mostly of family members of its pastor, Fred Phelps, has planned nine protests around the metro Atlanta area on May 5-6. The small Kansas group, known for picketing the funerals of U.S. soldiers and its antipathy toward homosexuals,  will protest at Grady, Druid Hills and Douglass high schools, the Jewish Georgian and a Cinco de Mayo rock festival in Alpharetta, among other locations.

“These perverts have a platform God has given them to enfluence [sic] this nation,” the Westboro group wrote in one of its tamer dispatches. “They should be using their position to teach obedience to God’s standards, not disobedience!”

Shielded by the First Amendment, the group has withstood attempts to silence its protests.

Grady High School student Rebecca Daniels is organizing a counter-protest. via Facebook, designed to “spread the even more powerful message of love. While they yell, scream, and waste their breath on something as cruel and inhumane as what they believe, we can be doing something amazing instead.”

122 comments Add your comment


April 21st, 2010
5:23 pm

My understanding from talking to some psychologist friends is that a lot of the worst homophobes are actually self-suppressed gay people. Fred Phelps is probably just jealous that he is too scared to come out of the closet. The Grady and Douglass kids will make an easy snack out of him.

I just feel sorry for the kids in this church. I hate to see this stuff forced on children.


April 21st, 2010
5:38 pm

This group angers me and saddens me. Anger at the hate they express in the name of God,
sadness that they fail to understand the message of grace through Jesus. The counter protest should include songs of Christianity is truly about, something the Westboro group
knows nothing about.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Matt Motley, Maureen Downey. Maureen Downey said: Grady and Douglass high schools: Ignore these idiots. [...]

Future Teacher

April 21st, 2010
6:33 pm

Wow, Maureen. I don’t think I’ve seen anything posted on this blog that has incited so much anger. I agree, 100% however.

Hank Rearden

April 21st, 2010
6:48 pm

Total idiots for sure.

But they still do far less damage to GA education than the GOP does.

Real nice of our republican pandership to throw the wealthy a $387m sports car allowance last week when our schools are drowning.

Georgia Teacher

April 21st, 2010
6:50 pm

These folks are a senseless wastes of carbon.

Georgia Teacher

April 21st, 2010
6:56 pm

Please forgive my typo above… No excuse for such poor grammar.


April 21st, 2010
6:58 pm

Grady and Doughlass HS kids making an easy snack outa these twits?
H*** – send ‘em down the block to Inman MS where my kid goes – they’d give ‘em a right and proper greeting…
And when they’re at Grady, they’d best stay real close to the cops, b/c the gays in the ‘hood ain’t gonna be happy to have ‘em either, and i’ll go stand with my gay neighbors just for fun


April 21st, 2010
7:31 pm

Are they protesting at Grady, as Maureen says, or at Druid Hills HS, as it says in the article on the front page? In either case, will they be allowed on school property? I can’t see how they’d be allowed on school property.

Attentive Parent

April 21st, 2010
7:50 pm

This is the same group that is going after a father of the slain soldier for its legal fees while they litigate whether there’s a free speech right to demonstrate at funerals.

Beyond disgusting. My applause to anyone in the counterdemonstration.


April 21st, 2010
7:52 pm

Woo hoo! I just checked their website. They’re protesting at Douglass HS, and Grady AND Druid Hills! Additionally, they’re protesting: the “JCC’s of North America Biennial 2010 Leadership Conference” at the Marriott Marquis; the offices of the Jewish Georgian; the Marcus JCC in Marietta; the “Project 9-6-1 Cinco Party” at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre; the Emory University Hillel Center; and “The Selig Center (Jewish Federation of Atlanta).” They’re going to have a busy couple of days.


April 21st, 2010
8:10 pm

I for one will be at the Alpharetta rock festival and will not hesitate to give them a piece of my mind about thanking god for dead soldiers. Disrupting their funerals, disrespecting their sacrifice of these brave young men and women in the name of God? I certainly hope that ever veteran will join me and show these misguided souls what Southern hospitality is all about as let them know these yankees and their pagan faith are not welcome.


April 21st, 2010
8:52 pm

Bravo to the Grady principal. I hope everywhere these idiots show up in town there will be a much larger crowd to “greet” them.


April 21st, 2010
9:12 pm

They spend so much time and energy spreading hate – just think what could be accomplished if they were sharing love instead. This is just sad and sickening.

high school teacher

April 21st, 2010
9:16 pm

Maureen, don’t hold anything back. Tell us how you really feel :)


April 21st, 2010
9:21 pm

There is supposed to be a counter protest, already started on a fb page, I really wish these people feel totally unwelcome here.


April 21st, 2010
9:44 pm

Why are you even reporting this? By publishing their planned protests, you are giving them free advertising which is exactly what they want. I plan to just ignore these nuts.


April 21st, 2010
9:50 pm

I saw bring back public stonings. These people are an abomination and the antithesis of everything they preach about. It is outrageous that they are protected by the courts and were able to collect costs of litigation from that soldier’s father. What possesses someone to preach the “gospel” in support of such activity and what possesses the idiots who follow?


April 21st, 2010
9:51 pm

Randy-O, Don’t blame the Pagans for these bat-sh*t crazy people. Speaking as a Pagan, whatever it is that Phelps spouts has nothing to do with us. In fact, he most likely hates us too. :-) The man and his group of bat-sh*t crazies make me sick. Part of me wants to join a counter-protest against them and the other half knows it’s better to just ignore them and not give them the attention they crave.


April 21st, 2010
9:53 pm

They have the freedom of speech to say what they believe. I applaud those who will use their freedom of speech to say what they believe about this group’s speech. Groups, like these should never be ignored but always countered with the truth against their lies.


April 21st, 2010
9:56 pm

Groups like these should never be ignored. They need to countered with free speech that is truthful to counteract the lies they spew. Better to report and encourage those who can to confront with truth than ignore and thereby miss the opportunity to exercise one’s freedom of speech to promote the general welfare. God bless our troops for their sacrifice.


April 21st, 2010
10:01 pm

Hey Maureen, if these wackos showed up at your place of business or home, then maybe you could say whether or not they should be ignored. Also, do you expect highschoolers to just ignore these wackos?


April 21st, 2010
10:02 pm

LOL I love it when Maureen calls out the idiots of the world. :D


April 21st, 2010
10:03 pm

GOD doesn’t hate anyone – even the Westboro nazi’s.

They have the privaleged right to speak their garbage in this wordl but they will have a special place in hell for doing so.


April 21st, 2010
10:15 pm

The whole “hate” thing is very funny. Just because Westboro disagrees with, and stands against sodomy doesn’t make them “haters”. Sounds like you are the haters. You disagree and stand against Westboro. You are a hater. But that would make too much sense.
Quick Bible lesson, God does hate some things too and sodomy is one of them. Check out Leviticus (yes, the Old Testament) but also check out Romans (oh my, that one is the New Testament). And don’t give me that garbage about how Jesus didn’t say it. He did. Check out the first chapter of John.
Last thing, don’t talk about how God loves everybody and hates Westboro. You are a Bible idiot. And if you attend church somewhere, your pastor isn’t doing his job because he can’t be and you still be that stupid about the Scriptures.


April 21st, 2010
10:15 pm

I think they may be in a world of surprise when they step onto hamilton holmes dr, and i dont think they will get much of a reaction out of the kids at Douglass.

Maureen Downey

April 21st, 2010
10:16 pm

Sean, I just don’t think we should turn these morons into media stars. They clearly love the cameras and the frenzy they spark. I think it is the story of the bully – the audience is very important to the act.

Maureen Downey

April 21st, 2010
10:18 pm

High school teacher, That’s been my life problem — too much restraint. I am going to break out of that mode here on the blog.

Teacher-Mom in Cobb

April 21st, 2010
10:19 pm

“Step over them live vomit in the street.” Favorite simile of the day.


April 21st, 2010
10:36 pm

Frankly, I’d like to shake Mr. Phelps hand and thank him for reminding me that we do have free speech so I can say to his face that he will burn in Hades for his hateful ways.

V for Vendetta

April 21st, 2010
10:58 pm

Hmmm, I wonder when was the last time atheists vociferously protested using such hateful rhetoric.

Oh, that’s right . . . never.

I personally think they should be brought up on charges of child abuse. It saddens me that the two children in the picture at the top of the page never had a chance–or a choice. That’s indoctrination on the very worst and most evil level. Though I don’t believe in it, I kind of hope there really is a hell–just so they can burn in it.


April 21st, 2010
11:07 pm

What if no one showed to object or watch and the media did not give them their 10 minutes of fame..

The Cynical White Boy

April 21st, 2010
11:09 pm

Dang, if the ‘Rev” Fred is looking for sinful places to protest these days, he must be a busy man!


April 21st, 2010
11:23 pm

Hee hee… I think they should head on down to Little Five Points after they are done with Grady and/or Druid Hills. That would make for an interesting show!!!


April 21st, 2010
11:31 pm

Are you out of your mind? Ignoring this sends the message that – what? – people agree with them? I’m not saying we should meet them with violence, but a good solid opposition to this kind of dangerousness is on the scale of the least we should do. Ignoring racism got us nowhere. Ignoring anti-Semitism got us nowhere. SPEAK OUT


April 22nd, 2010
12:11 am

I agree that the message these protesters are trying to spread is abhorrent, but I can’t decide if whether or not I think that all of the buzz surrounding them is just fueling their fire, or if that all of the attention focused on the protests is good since it gives others a chance to challenge them and spread positive messages. I think that if we ignored them, they would get bored since they weren’t getting a rise out of anyone. But I could be wrong. And I’m not even saying ignore them in the sense that we should deny that it is going on, but I think it’s more a matter of just only focusing our attention on spreading love and peace, and eventually we’ll be able to drown out the protesters annoying static nonsense.


April 22nd, 2010
12:14 am

These people are not Christians, they don’t follow THE Bible they follow Phelps version of it. Its sad the children and grandchildren are being brainwashed and used by this nutcase and it makes me wonder what kind of other abuse his children and grandchildren have suffered at his hands. People like Phelps use and twist the Word to further his selfish desires and whims. We cannot ignore them, we have to fight them with their own words and with the truth. Perhaps a few signs calling out Phelps and his sinful ways would be appropriate because God above all else hates liars and Phelps, like Satan is the biggest one of all.

Voice of Reason

April 22nd, 2010
12:17 am

As the parent of two Army soldiers, I dare Phelps and his ilk to show up if God forbid something happens to my two or any of their friends. I feel for the children and grandchildren they are victims of rhetoric, lies, manipulation and brain washing, the authorities need to rescue them from this lunatic. And the government also need to look into their non-taxable status as a church, using their ‘church’ as a political mouth piece is not legal.


April 22nd, 2010
12:19 am

Honestly, I have heard Fred Phelps does this kind of stuff to incite people and hope they do something he can sue them for (From some one who has participated in the patriot guard who have formed solely to protect funerals from Westboro Church’s protests). I don’t think he really cares (he is actually a lawyer) but is acting just enough in bounds in a way to tempt people to want to go out of bounds so that he can sue them (from what I understand, be very careful how you act around him cause he will look for any reason to sue).

Now, his daughter, Shirley, I think has bought his crap hook, line, and sinker (and she comes off very psychopathic to me. I really wouldn’t be surprised if I read an article that she killed some one and is thinking she is a martyr for it).


April 22nd, 2010
12:32 am

Even the devil can quote scripture.
(Matthew IV)


April 22nd, 2010
12:39 am

I think it is very sad, that any group would hide behind free speech and protest the funeral of one of the hero’s that defend this country so they can speak there mind. Don’t they know how many folks have died for this country, so we can live free! I guess his church is full of folks that would run for the boarder rather than defend this country! PLEASE LEAVE NOW! I thank God that all we live in a country that you can speak you mind. I will be happy to be in Alpharetta to speak my mind to the brain dead rev.


April 22nd, 2010
12:46 am

Hey Chris. You are an idiot. You say the Westboro folks aren’t haters? Gee…wonder why their tee-shirts say GOD HATES FAGS? No one is going to listen to you quote scripture when you obviously can’t READ!

[...] Source:Grady and Douglass high schools: Ignore these idiots. – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]


April 22nd, 2010
1:28 am

Coming from someone who has already “been there and done that” w/ WBC, the best thing is to give them as little attention as possible. It’s not easy, trust me. But, these people are known for suing counter-protesters. They’ve hired lawyers who know the laws re: their rights backwards and forwards. This is a business to them. I don’t think they’d be able to survive if it weren’t the money they get from lawsuits.
I wonder if any of the schools could adjust their arrival/dismissal times so that they would not coincide with the protests. Or maybe even re-route traffic around the locations WBC has chosen. Can you imagine how annoyed they’d be if no one was there to hear them?
But, if you decide to go, please let it be peaceful. Think about it: their income will be greatly lessened if they’re unable to successfully sue anyone. No money = can’t afford to come to a town near you.


April 22nd, 2010
4:11 am

The behavior of this group is scary.

Libby Gadsen

April 22nd, 2010
4:18 am

The only difference between Glenn Beck and Phelps is; Phelps is anti-War and against the useless deaths caused by the military industrial complex following the USA’s neoconsevative agenda. See me on Face Book.


April 22nd, 2010
4:54 am

The best greeting these clowns could get would be no greeting at all. The media will be waiting for a confrontation, but how great would it be if at every location everyone just ignored them.


April 22nd, 2010
6:23 am

state leaders again fail, they could have introduced bills to make it unlawful to protest with 1000 feet of a burial ceremony, while we all have freedom of speech there is rules/laws for the location, limit the dp (volume), and if these ppl are attempting to incite a riot. The safety of the students and the disruption of school day I think is one way to make sure students do not have to see their hate speech.


April 22nd, 2010
6:30 am

what if the entire school (students) empties to go after this so called church; would they be removed for their own saftey???? I just have a feeling this is not going to end well.


April 22nd, 2010
7:46 am

It is always a small group that laws are formatted for and make things difficult for the larger portion of society. I am a baptist and truely believe in my religion. The first thing I was taught from childhood, is to love one another as Christ loves you. All this group portrays is hate and humilation. They are not true Christians. Instead of protesting and greating humiliation for others, they should be protesting the love Christ has for all individuals. Kill evil with Kindness always wins. I will pray this group will see the light that what they are doing is not ok in Gods eyes.

1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.