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A Kansas Baptist church that sponsors a web site called "God Hates Fags" is coming to Buckhannon to protest at a memorial service for the twelve deceased miners that died at Sago.
Buckhannon's newspaper, the Record Delta, reports that members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas says "God is laughing, mocking and deriding hypocritical fag-infested West Virginia."
"Thank God for the lightning bolt that caused the explosion that trapped the Sago miners," said a press release.
"God killed them and cast them into Hell. Westboro Baptist Church will picket their memorial service, warning "sodomite America that West Virginia symbolizes this hell-bound nation, and worse ... is on the way from God," says their website.
The hate group which focuses on gays, has advised Buckhannon officials of their arrival during a Sunday memorial service on January 15th from 1:30-2:00 p.m.
In a phone interview Friday, Shirley Phelps-Roper informed the Record Delta that a group of approximately 15 people will be coming to Buckhannon.
The group has picketed at 80 funerals since June, as many as four to five a week, according to Phelps-Roper. Many of these funerals have been for soldiers.
The church has conducted more than 22,000 such demonstrations since June 1991.
Rev. Mark Flynn of First United Methodist Church of Buckhannon said, "I have met members of the families of most of the miners. I shared scripture passages with several of them. I found them to be people of faith, as are most of the residents of West Virginia."
"This mine disaster was not God's judgment on West Virginia." he said.
God is a compassionate God, and John 3:16 in the Bible is a testimony to that fact," said another Buckhannon clergyman.
"They are not talking about the God we serve," he said.
Rev. William Mooring of New Life Tabernacle cited Jesus' message, "If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
"We live in the age of grace," Mooring said.
Westbrook Baptist Church says they "know West Virginia very well, having led picketing missions there in religious protest and warning. They mocked our message, despised our words, and misused our people, until the wrath of the Lord arose against West
For more details on this story use the links:
Buckhannon, WV-The Record Delta Newspaper Online
Editors note: This website contains language and material which may be offensive ... The Westboro Baptist Church Home Page