Westboro Baptist Church Plans Protest at Mansfield Funeral

The extremist group announced plans to picket the funeral of Lieutenant colonel Michael J. Greene on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Update 7:18 p.m.: The Congregational Church of Mansfield on West Street will hold a meeting Sunday at 2p.m. to discuss a peaceful response to the possible protest on Tuesday.


Update 5 p.m.: Earlier today, Mansfield Police Chief Arthur O'Neill responded to the possibility of a protest on Tuesday. He said that Mansfield PD will be ready if there is a picket but that he believes it is unlikely that the group will show up. Click here to read more.


Original story

The Westboro Baptist Church, an extremist group infamous for protesting military funerals, has announced plans to picket the funeral of Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Greene on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

The picket is planned for 8:15 a.m. near St. Mary’s Church on Pratt Street.

The Kansas-based group announced the protest as one of four military funerals they plan to be at between February 15 and 19.

While the group often announces plans to protest, they have been known to not show up. Their demonstrations often attract counter-protests.

In an announcement posted in the press release section of their website, the group says, “If you sign up to be a part of the military, you sign up to stand proud in God’s crosshairs for the cause of f*** and whores. Soldiers die for WBC’s right to preach. To deny us our First Amendment rights is to declare to the world that these soldiers died in vain, and that America is a nation of sodomite hypocrites.”

The group went on to say that soldiers are dying for homosexuals and the other sins of America and that God is now America’s enemy who fights against the country.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has named the Westboro Baptist Church a hate group.

Peter Zampine February 16, 2013 at 02:27 PM
This man was a proud Husband, Father, and son of the community that stepped up to serve his country proudly to protect the rights we all enjoy every day. The intolerance and hate these people spew is not Christianity, it is disgusting! The Hate and prejudice this group displays every day needs to be stopped. God rest Lieutenant Colonel Michael Greenes Soul.... May he Rest in Peace and may his family take some comfort in knowing the majority of the community, Town and Country appreciate him and his service!
Tina Mqs February 16, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Well said. He is loved! We have no room for this trash in Mansfield. Shove out, WBC.
BH February 16, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Of course these cowards announce this to leave little time for people to organize. Aside from any adult attending as a barrier, I hope every high school kid walks out of school that morning and marches to St Mary's, can't punish them all.
Anne Burke February 16, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Since the WBC protest takes place Tuesday morning at 8:15 at St Mary's and it is school vacation week, I think it would be wonderful of every family in town to line the streets of Mansfield from the funeral home all the way to St Mary's Church! It doesn't take organizing, just be there in an area that works for you! I will be with my 10 year old son!
Tina Mqs February 16, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Can i get a "h3// YES!" Line the street, and follow the progression, on the sidewalk, down the street, and fall in in front of the church. No room for WBC. They can stand in the gutter where they belong.
Rev. Ted Newcomb February 16, 2013 at 04:55 PM
Friends, I've been in contact with the Mansfield Police to gain their guidance on this as we work to organize a respectful witness for love, tolerance, and comfort for Lt. Col. Greene's family even as we stand in opposition to hateful attitudes. I also expect to hear back from Monsignor Stephen Avila at St. Mary's Parish. Word has now gone out to the ecumenical churches in town through our Clergy Association. We plan to convene interested folks here at the Congregational Church on West Street by the South Common on Sunday Feb. 17th at 2pm to provide opportunity for conversation and organizing around peace principles as we cannot allow hate to go unchallenged. But the means of resistance must be in concert with the peaceful end that we seek. For this reason it's helpful to have a gathering in advance to coordinate and talk through strategies we will employ esp. as they relate to legal protocols. If you or anyone you know may be interested, please do come down on Sunday at 2pm and we'll look forward to putting all of our heads together out of respect for Lt. Col. Greene and his family even as we provide a witness for common decency. Thank you. Rev. Ted Newcomb, Pastor, Congregational Church of Mansfield.
Tina Mqs February 16, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Thank you, Reverend. If I can get my car started, I will be there. If I can't, I will be there in spirit and will look forward to hearing the outcome.
Janine Archambault DeCoste February 16, 2013 at 05:15 PM
I will try my best to be there. It breaks my heart - these people have nothing better to do with their time. This so-called church should be thanking the Greene Family for their sacrifice. Lt. Greene gave his life to protect our freedoms- one of the benefits they receive for his sacrifice.
Janine Archambault DeCoste February 16, 2013 at 05:17 PM
That is fantastic. I will try my best to be there with my family.
tom poole February 16, 2013 at 05:19 PM
SHAME ON YOU Mansfield Patch !!! You people have some nerve to get the family and friends upset with worry when there isn't a press release or schedule date to to confirm !!! SMARTEN UP AND DO THE RESEARCH BEFORE YOU UPSET EVERYONE !!!
Union guy 4 February 16, 2013 at 05:28 PM
These people are cowards they hide behind a piece of paper called The Declaration of Independence this what is wrong with the world today forget the police why put them in the middle they feel the same way we foo. Every man ,father , son , uncle , nephew friend should meet this group head on and make sure they never come back to Mansfield again I know violence is not always the answer but in this disgraceful act towards a hero I feel it be for the best . God Bless this family I'm so damn mad and I don't even know this family. Good luck
BH February 16, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Tom it's on their website, you need to relax and do your own research.
Tina Mqs February 16, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Please excuse the language- it's not my words. this is their press release and this is their URL handle. http://www.godhatesfags.com/fliers/index.html and http://www.godhatesfags.com/fliers/20130214_Non-Combat-Soldiers-Thomas-Delrie-Walsh-Greene.pdf .
Always_Write February 16, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Always_Write February 16, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Unfortunately violence sometimes is the answer. That's what wars are. If you ask me this group needs a huge ass whooping. I don't know what the wishes of this family are so I'm not sure it would be appropriate at the church out of respect for the soldier and his family. I'm not sure I could control myself around such scum.The claim "Soldiers die for WBC’s right to preach. To deny us our First Amendment rights is to declare to the world that these soldiers died in vain, and that America is a nation of sodomite hypocrites.”...........So they show their gratitude by using those rights to picket funerals with signs reading "God Hates Fags." And then say the Government is the hypocrite? Please. I don't even know why this group is allowed to protest, they are hands down, without question a hate group that commits hate crimes. I hope their plane crashes on the way here.
Jen February 16, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Tom Don't be an idiot. It's clear everyone did their research before posting.
James Perry February 16, 2013 at 08:11 PM
These Blowhards don't know what's going to hit them on Tuesday. Bringing a sheet to block these punk "Christians" from disturbing an American hero that sacrificed his life
Tina Mqs February 16, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Allrightie, guys. Let's remember that sometimes they don't show up. You also have to remember that there's no talking to these people. They've been chugging their version of kool-aid for awhile now. Don't waste too much time on them. We can show up and show that the LOOOOOOOVE in this town's a lot bigger than their hate.
Maryann Ferns February 16, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Has anyone called the MA chapter of the Patriot Guard?
Maryann Ferns February 16, 2013 at 09:33 PM
And talk to your mayor or town council to enact a temporary bylaw that banners and signs at rallies or protests can be no larger that 8½X11, call it a "visual pollution" ordinance!
Olivier Kozlowski February 16, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Following up on Rev. Newcomb's comment, yes, there was a WBC flyer identifying this funeral, along with 3 others, though investigation shows they may not show up. There is not going to be a procession from the funeral home to St. Mary's, and the layout at St. Mary's would make it difficult for them. The parking lot is private property, the sidewalk on the church side is likely to be snow covered and there is not public sidewalk across the street. I will try to make the meeting tomorrow if I can get back to town in time.
Tina Mqs February 16, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Thank you. Hopefully if anything's done, people arrive to empty streets at St Mary's Tues at 8:10AM, and can split by 8:30 because of WBC no-shows! :D
Tina Mqs February 16, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Always_Write, that's the kind of thing they're looking for. If they show up Tuesday, I don't aim to give them what they want. They want confrontation. They are BETTING on ANYONE to DARE challenge their right to free speech. It's a no-win argument. They will win on that round. This is why you don't engage people like this- it's like pi$$ing in the wind. Turn your back to them, turn your face and care towards those tho deserve the support. WBC will not likely be the ones to instigate violence. THEY will raise peoples' hackles enough through words and presence to attempt to incite US to violence- and then they can go rub it in victims' faces as they go free and we would be the ones in legal trouble. Are you that easily swayed? Stand our ground, that's all we have to do.
Always_Write February 17, 2013 at 05:12 AM
Tina Mqs February 17, 2013 at 01:36 PM
BTW, Always_Write, not to say i disagree with your sentiment at all ;) ...just don't think this is the correct application of it in an occasion such as this.
Joe Silva February 17, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Everyone should show up with a 3x5 flag or bigger.
Frank Z. February 18, 2013 at 01:49 PM
If any of their members died, would they proclaim that God wanted it that way? How about these "wolves in sheeps clothing" apply their sick logic to everything evil or tragic that ever happens. Therefore that logic would make God evil. These people are really sick!
Robert Otto February 18, 2013 at 08:34 PM
It's Bobo. I'll be up there tomorrow, even if we all have to join arms and march them out of the way, they won't be allowed to ruin a time of mourning for this poor family.
teresa anne burke February 19, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Amen Anne Burke, you are so right on lady, and guess what? My name is also Anne Burke from Georgia, and I to have a 10 yr old son:)) Amazing yeah:)
teresa anne burke February 19, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Amen girl, some of us here in Ga, stand with you 100%!!!


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