"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." We've all heard that old cliche. Just because it is a cliche doesn't mean it isn't correct. Westboro Baptist Church knows this. Perhaps that is one reason they are not following through on their threats to protest at funerals in Oklahoma.
Margie J. Phelps, daughter of the founder (Fred Phelps) announced on Twitter that the Westboro Baptist Church would be protesting at a funerals in Bixby, Oklahoma and another funeral in Elgin, Oklahoma. Despite their threats, they failed to protest at those three funerals.
Ten members of the Westboro Baptist Church were in Bixby on the day of Shane Reed's funeral. He was one of three people killed in a motorcycle crash on March 20, 2011. The church claims the three deaths were a caused by God's anger towards Oklahomans for a long list of sins. Despite being in Bixby, they did not protest the funeral. Spokesperson for the Westboro Baptist Church, Shirley Phelps-Rogers, said it was due to "too many God smacks."
Despite the failure of the Westboro Baptist Church to picket this funeral, the city of Bixby was ready for them. Approximately 300 to 400 people were on hand, ready for counter-protesting and to support and protect the family of Shane Reed. Many were member of the American Veterans Motorcycle club.
The Westboro Baptist Church also threatened to picket at the funeral of Kali Hull, a 17 year old girl killed in the same crash, and a the funeral of a soldier in Elgin, Oklahoma. Shirley Phelps-Rogers stated the reason they did not protest the funerals was because they would be protesting the funeral of Elizabeth Taylor.
The funeral of Elizabeth Taylor was also not protested.
Perhaps the real reason that Westboro Baptist Church did not protest has something to do with their past protests in the Sooner State. Since they protested a funeral in McAlester, Oklahoma, the Sooner State has become a target of the Westboro Baptist Church. Each time the Westboro Baptist Church protests they are met with huge opposition. Oklahomans come from all over the state to protect the right of the family to mourn the loss of a loved one in peace.
The protest in McAlester in 2010 that made Oklahoma a target for the venom of Westboro Baptist Church did not go well for this radical and crazed group. They reported the tires of their mini-van had been slashed. The McAlester police reported that no one in McAlester would repair the tires. That isn't a "God smack." It is a "Westboro Baptist Church smack," delivered by the good people of Oklahoma!
It appears the heat from Oklahoma kitchens is too great for the Westboro Baptist Church. They prefer softer targets, places where they will get more media attention and counter-protesters will not come out in droves to stop them from harassing and abusing the family and friends of the deceased. Seeing the heat is too much for them to handle, the Westboro Baptist Church fails to follow through on their threats.
I say let the Westboro Baptist Church bring it on. As a "cotton-pickin' Okie" and a Christian, I will stand with others against this hate-spewing, anti-God so-called church that is clueless what God is all about. I have been to other funerals that the Westboro Baptist Church has protested in Oklahoma and I will attend more. I will be there as often as possible to protect the right people have to mourn in peace.