As the country grieves for the families in Newtown, Connecticut, where a crazed gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday, members of Westboro Baptist Church have announced their intention to picket the funerals of the deceased.
Westboro Baptist member Shirley Phelps-Roper first reported the plan on Twitter, CBSNewYork relates.
Here is the first tweet, followed by an “explanation” of sorts in which the woman replies to a tweet of Fox News’ Bret Baier:
The woman, whose profile picture features signs reading “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “Soldiers Die 4 Fag Marriage,” writes multiple times shortly thereafter that “God Sent the Shooter” to punish Americans for various sins.
It should be noted that her language is somewhat open-ended though, and various sites are reporting that they intend to picket memorials and vigils, not just funerals.
Disgusted by Westboro Baptist’s actions, the hacker group Anonymous stepped in on Sunday.
According to msnNOW, the hackers released the private information of Westboro Baptist members online, including phone numbers, professions, birthdays, known relationships, home and email addresses, in retaliation.
Anonymous also included an accompanying video in which they excoriate the self-described church in the strongest of terms, and pledge to destroy it.
Gizmodo took a transcript of part of the video:
“Since your one-dimensional thought protocol will conform not to any modern logic, we will not debate, argue, or attempt to reason with you. Instead, we have unanimously deemed your organization to be harmful to the population of The United States of America, and have therefore decided to execute an agenda of action which will progressively dismantle your institution of deceitful pretext and extreme bias, and cease when your zealotry runs dry.
We recognize you as serious opponents, and do not expect our campaign to terminate in a short period of time. Attrition is our weapon, and we will waste no time, money, effort, and enjoyment, in tearing your resolve into pieces, and with exposing the incongruity of your distorted faith.”
Here is the full clip:
This isn’t the first time Anonymous has targeted Westboro Baptist, which made its name by picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers.
This time, though, things seem to be escalating.
Anonymous is now actively petitioning the U.S. Government to label Westboro Baptist a “hate group,” and have nearly twice the number of signatures required to elicit a response from the White House.
“Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians. They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation,” the petition, which has close to 50,000 signatures, reads.