Church group targets area schools - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Church group targets area schools

Protestors sent notices to NIC, LCHS, CHS

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Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 10:41 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - A Kansas church group with a fondness for picketing is headed for North Idaho.

The Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church - a group that claims God hates America, the world, and just about everyone in it - sent notices to North Idaho College, Lake City High School and Coeur d'Alene High School early this week.

Church members alerted the schools they would be stopping at each location on the morning of Oct. 22, and again on Oct. 30 at NIC.

"We received a letter from them over the weekend. It went to the chief of security," said John Martin, NIC vice president of community relations and marketing. "We responded to that, just acknowledged it. We'll be discussing what actions or precautions need to be taken to make sure it's peaceful."

The Westboro Baptist Church has similar visits planned at several colleges, universities and places of worship in Eastern Washington this month as well.

The WBC has made a name for itself by protesting events, and is best known for picketing military funerals.

The Washington Post reported that church members, holding signs that read "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "Thank God for IEDs," picketed the burial of a Navy SEAL Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.

WBC members, led by pastor Fred Phelps, regularly protest performances of "The Laramie Project," a show being staged by the NIC Theater Department Oct. 21-23, and 28-30.

"Mr. Phelps is really looking for confrontation," said NIC theatre instructor Joe Jacoby.

"They make their money by doing things that make people so angry, they react by doing something they shouldn't. Then Phelps and his people sue them."

"The Laramie Project" is a play that examines the affect the 1998 killing of Matthew Shepard - a murder motivated by homophobia that gained widespread national attention - has had on the community of Laramie, Wyo.

"What I really like about it, is that we hear a variety of voices," Jacoby said. "Some disagree with homosexuality, some agree with it. We get to hear this wonderful complexity of responses to this very tragic situation."

The play was created using interviews of Laramie residents and published news reports.

"I would like nothing better than for the church protesters to be met with no confrontation, and not have a dime to show for it," Jacoby said.

Local law enforcement and NIC campus security will be planning the best response to the protests.

Lake City High School principal Deanne Clifford said her only concern is that students are able to get safely into school that day.

"There is a task force board meeting tonight, and certainly that topic will be on the agenda," said Christie Wood, vice chair of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations. "The task force intends to be very involved."

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  • Person Guyz posted at 2:28 pm on Sat, Aug 6, 2011.

    Person Guyz Posts: 101

    -- Tell that to the Jews who died for their religion in WW-2. Tell that to the people burned to death in the witch trials. Tell that to the Christians and Muslims who died in the Crusades. Tell that to the Hindu v. Muslim battles in India-Pakistan. Tell that to the abused children in the Catholic church. Micheal

  • NicoXIV posted at 2:33 pm on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    NicoXIV Posts: 5

    The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations is holding a Peace Rally & press conference to counter the WBC protest at NIC.
    Here is the facebook event w/ details:

  • TheMomma posted at 5:48 pm on Thu, Oct 7, 2010.

    TheMomma Posts: 4

    CHASE THEM AWAY!!!!!! THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO PICKET THE MILITARY would they feel if we picketed their childrens funeral?!!!! Let the know they are not welcome here...we have respect for our military and our families!!!

  • The Truth posted at 11:12 am on Wed, Oct 6, 2010.

    The Truth Posts: 2193

    "To infer religion is the root of all evil is a foolish statement and ignores all the good works done by dedicated people"

    -- Tell that to the Jews who died for their religion in WW-2. Tell that to the people burned to death in the witch trials. Tell that to the Christians and Muslims who died in the Crusades. Tell that to the Hindu v. Muslim battles in India-Pakistan. Tell that to the abused children in the Catholic church.

    Yeah, sure, religion is a good thing. Right.

  • Kconner posted at 7:35 am on Wed, Oct 6, 2010.

    Kconner Posts: 327

    At first I thought about joining the counter protest against these repulsive “church” protestors. But as I gave it thought, I decided not to. That is exactly what these parasites want, more publicity, coverage and attention. The more protestors, for or against there are, the more coverage and pres it is going to get. Ignore these mentally ill people completely. They can do their little protest all alone and with nobody paying attention. If you deprive them of the media attention, which they so desperately crave and need, they will go away and their twisted cause will go no further than their own sick little minds. Ignore these losers, they don‘t deserve our efforts or time. Same goes fot the media, don't give them any air time or coverage.

  • area man posted at 9:32 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    area man Posts: 78

    I am going to guess here that this guy did not vote for Obama.

  • fun gal posted at 6:34 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    fun gal Posts: 232

    Krisian 1 has a great idea. Someone should get a hold Greg down at Lone Wolf and see if he can round some folks up.

  • milburnschmidt posted at 5:47 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    milburnschmidt Posts: 1161

    To infer religion is the root of all evil is a foolish statement and ignores all the good works done by dedicated people. To equate this group as a poster child of organized religion is a biased ill thought out remark.
    To give them the cover of calling themselves a church is a insult to organized religions , Certainly you can go back in history and find examples of church misconduct but those are human flaws. One would think cemetaries could prevent these demonstrations on private property. Although it would be against the rules one can only hope a group of disgruntled veterans or family would knock the dog stuffings out of them on occasion since they also have the right to act wrongly and pay the price for their actions. The thought of one of those church members laying in the street after harrassing a grieving family who lost a son or daughter with one of their signs sticking out of their tokus would bring a chuckle to my day. As for their appearance at schools they should see nothing but backsides and silence. One can also hope for a electrical fire at their church in their absense. Offbeat chrches and nazis are ingrown hairs we have to put up with in a free society and in the long run total ignorance of them is best.

  • Anyone posted at 2:55 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Anyone Posts: 1557


    I think they should have to pay UP FRONT.

    These are not Americans and they do not belong to a church or religion. Extremists always seem to be referred to as representative of the religion they claim to be affiliated with.

    Does anybody see the irony here?: These morons hold signs that say God hates America....and they live God hates THEM!

  • Logitech990 posted at 1:57 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Logitech990 Posts: 1

    As a student at NIC I am deeply concerned about this group appearing on campus. It is a threat to the wellbeing and safety of students. If they end up coming onto the campus, the best thing to do would be to ignore them. They feed off of hatred. Lets just hope that this group doesn't step out of line.

  • Krisiun1 posted at 1:54 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Krisiun1 Posts: 37

    I think I'll have to go and tell these lunatics exactly what I think of them. To protest at a funeral is the lowest of the low; and now at schools? The bikers should do what they did at Arlington Cemetary; pull up and rev the engines so their hateful chants are drowned out. What an awesome counter protest that was.

  • Lunacy Watch posted at 11:01 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Lunacy Watch Posts: 176

    CDA is to nutcases, both violent and non-violent, what Mecca is to Muslims---Westboro Baptist being only the latest to make the hajj. My only criticism of Baptist is they don't hold em under long enough.

  • The Truth posted at 10:49 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    The Truth Posts: 2193

    Yet another reason why religion is the root of all evil.

  • Hardworker posted at 10:40 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Hardworker Posts: 36

    Wow, I have heard of this group and have been baffled by their thought process. I am not a churchy person, and do not regularly attend any group, but firmly believe this group is being led by the devil himself.

    To choose high school students/school? That is low. Do they know they are coming to north idaho? I hope some crazy redneck god lover/ or some neo nazi drives by them on the street during their "protest" . What exactly are they protesting other than their speech that "god hates everyone.. yadda yadda" .

  • ancientemplar posted at 8:13 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1116

    Anyone- I don't think "outsiders" can protest on school grounds. The perimeter sidewalk would probably suffice. I think only students can protest on the grounds, but I could be wrong.

  • Triumph posted at 8:13 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Triumph Posts: 539

    Lets organize a counter protest against these jerks

  • Kconner posted at 7:44 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Kconner Posts: 327

    It’s because of our soldiers that these low life pathetic “church” people have the right to do their disgusting protest. They are the lowest level of scum there is. GOD BLESS OUR SOLDIERS AND SCREW THIS SO CALLED CHURCH GROUP. To protest a high school, give me a break. How pathetic and hate filled do you have to be to be in this “Church”? But I guess when you have such a small group of sheep followers, you have to do what you can to generate publicity.

  • greyhound2 posted at 7:33 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    greyhound2 Posts: 715

    The three most dangerous groups in the western world are Jewish Zelots, Christian Fundamentalists and Muslim Extremists. Intolerance is the hallmark of all three.

  • uncle fester posted at 6:52 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    uncle fester Posts: 831

    Any security used to monitor these crazy people should be billed to this church.

  • Anyone posted at 6:49 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Anyone Posts: 1557

    There should be a law against OUTSIDERS(not the students) protesting on high school grounds during school hours.

  • local res posted at 5:28 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    local res Posts: 1162

    Is is freedom of speech when I speak with a fist into one of their faces?

  • TakeBackTheUSA posted at 3:40 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    TakeBackTheUSA Posts: 765

    These are the people who need some Islamic Justice. Hopefully the local constabulary will make sure they've dotted all their i's and crossed all their t's, after they've already lined up to do their protesting. Then, if not, apply the letter of the law. These scum don't deserve constitutional protection and need some discouragement for what they do.

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