Westboro Baptist Church Plans To Protest Joe Paterno's Funeral
Shortly after Joe Paterno's death was announced Sunday, the daughter of Westboro Baptist Church Pastor Fred Phelps announced via Twitter that members plan to picket his funeral, the Star-Ledger reports.
The exact details of the protest remain unclear, as Phelps has yet to announce when and where members plan to meet.
According to the Patriot News, the church also threatened to protest outside Beaver Stadium last November during the Penn State-Nebraska game in condemnation of Paterno, whom they referred to as "the Pope of Happy Valley."
In addition to announcing the protest plans, Phelps also posted dozens of Tweets condemning Paterno and Penn State and responding to users' comments on the Church's protest plans.
Margie Phelps tweeted:
"Penn State Penn Rape" rings in Joe Paterno's ears in hell.He partook of sin for fame & fortune. Worth NOTHING to him now.#PicketFuneral— MargiePhelps (@MargieJPhelps) January 22, 2012
Services for Paterno will be held throughout the week starting with a public viewing at 1 p.m., Tuesday at the Pasquerilla Spiritual on Penn State's campus, NBC Sports reported. There will be another viewing at 8 a.m., Wednesday morning, followed by a private funeral service at 2 p.m. and a family funeral procession at 3 p.m.
Lastly, a public memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Penn State's 16,000 seat basketball arena, The Jordan Center. Penn State reported overwhelming demand for tickets to the memorial service which were distributed free of charge, the Washington Post reports.
It remains to be seen whether members of Westboro Baptist Church will follow through on their protest plans.
The planned Paterno protest is sure to be one of many protests the Westboro Baptist Church will schedule this year. Check out the slideshow below for past protests.
LOOK: Westboro Baptist Church's Past Protests
The Westboro Baptist Church first gained national notice at the <a href="http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/article_fa10936e-cb5b-5170-afd8-e7eaa0a43aa8.html" target="_hplink">funeral of Matthew Shepard</a> who had been robbed, brutally beaten and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming.
The Westboro Baptist Church threatened to picket <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/06/westboro-baptist-church-steve-jobs-funeral_n_998032.html" target="_hplink">Steve Jobs' funeral</a> but called it off when the memorial service was held privately.
The Westboro Baptist Church picketed Elizabeth Edwards' funeral after she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/09/elizabeth-edwards-funeral-westboro-baptist-church_n_794333.html" target="_hplink">died of cancer</a>.
The Westboro Baptist Church protested Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder after he had died serving his country in Iraq. The protest of the hate group went all the way to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/29/father-of-dead-marine-ord_n_517614.html" target="_hplink">the Supreme Court</a>.
While it is not clear that the hate group ever got there they declared their intent in this charming YouTube Video staring the head hater himself who tells the people of Norway -- <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC3K9ZoU7So" target="_hplink">God Sent the Shooter</a>. Read more about it <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/04/westboro-baptists-church-norway_n_917388.html" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Illinois Holocaust Museum
The Westboro Baptist Church protested the Illinois Holocaust Museum <a href="http://skokie.patch.com/articles/update-westboro-baptist-church-protest-at-holocaust-museum" target="_hplink">on the eve of Rosh Hashanah</a>
The Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funerals of victims of Tucson shootings. They agreed not to picket the 9 year old Christina Taylor Green i<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/12/westboro-baptist-church-arizona-funerals_n_808088.html" target="_hplink">n exchange for air time</a> on a local radio show.
Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funeral of recording artist Michael Jackson. Members of Westboro have also recorded a song titled "<a href="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2422138213120376038" target="_hplink">God Hates the World</a>," an adaptation of Jackson's charity single, "We Are the World."
President Obama Joplin, Missouri after the Tornado
The Westboro Baptist Church protested in tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/29/nation/la-na-obama-joplin-missouri-20110530" target="_hplink">when President Obama visited</a>.
Foo Fighters Fight Back
Read more about it <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/18/foo-fighters-westboro-baptist-church_n_968395.html" target="_hplink">The Foo Fighters vs. Westboro</a>.
Earlier on HuffPost: