'Angels' Will Counter Westboro Baptist Protests At Arizona Victims' Funerals

January 11, 2011

Mark Memmott

Outraged at the news that members of the tiny Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., will try to get attention for their anti-abortion views by protesting outside the funerals of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green and the five others killed in Saturday's Arizona shooting rampage, people in Tucson and local lawmakers there are organizing to counter any such actions.

CNN reports that there are plans for an "angel action." Volunteers will wear "8- by 10-foot 'angel wings' ... to shield mourners from pickets." The funerals begin Thursday.

Local news station ABC-15 adds that "Arizona Lawmakers are hoping some quick action Tuesday will [also] protect mourners from protesters." Arizona State Representative Kyrsten Sinema has drafted legislation that would require any protesters to stay at least 300 feet away.

There are several Facebook pages up and running, including "Fight the Westboro Baptist Church in Tucson with Love," where you can join others who object to Westboro Baptist's plans.

Westboro Baptist, led by Fred Phelps, has been showing up in recent years at soldiers' funerals and other high-profile services to push its views -- and blame the deaths on America's supposedly sin-driven society. It has even said "thank God for the shooter" in the Arizona tragedy. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.