The Westboro Baptist Church, a radical religious group from Kansas, announced in a press release that it intends to picket the funerals of the victims of the Norway massacre. "Norway must repent or perish," the document reads. "WBC will picket at the funerals of the Norway dead to warn the living: they died for your sins."
The Topeka-based church was founded in 1955 by Fred Phelps, and believes "the modern militant homosexual movement" poses "a clear and present danger to the survival of America, exposing our nation to the wrath of God as in in 1898 B.C. at Sodom and Gomorrah." The organization became notoriously famous in 1998, when members of the group demonstrated at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, who was tortured and murdered because he was gay. Since 2005, the group has also targeted funerals of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, arguing that the soldiers' death are a "righteous" punishment against an evil nation. According to the church's website, the organization has staged 46,228 demonstrations since June 1991.
On the attacks in Norway the group writes: "Norway made being a fag legal in 1972 and passed laws for fags to marry and adopt children in 2008. Did you think God would wink at that in-your-face sin forever. No! He sent the killer to slaughter 75+ of your children and citizens ... God formed [Anders Behring Breivik] and appointed him to punish Norway."
According to the website Views And News From Norway, Steve Drain, a spokesperson for the Westboro Baptists, confirmed to Norwegian Broadcasting that the church was indeed planning to travel to Norway. “Yes, we are coming at some point,” Drain reportedly said, although the spokesman was unsure when church members would travel to the Nordic state.