Westboro Baptist Church is no stranger to controversy. The group, which is known for picketing military funerals and for its anti-gay sentiment, is increasingly turning to social media to spread its radical messaging. In the wake of Sunday's Sikh temple shooting, Fred Phelps Jr. and Margie Phelps, two of the church's members and children of Westboro's founder, Fred Phelps, sent tweets that were widely seen as offensive.
Not long after the tragedy unfolded, Margie's Twitter feed read, "God sent another shooter?" Later, she went on to write, "God doesn't hear prayers of wicked," in response to a tweet in which someone encouraged fellow Americans to be praying for the temple shooting's victims. The Huffington Post called the first tweet "horrific."
Her brother, Fred, also chimed in with some less-than-compassionate messaging. He wrote, "Beautiful work of an angry God who told Wisconsin to keep their filthy hands off his people (WBC)!," among other similar messages.
These, of course, weren't the only Westboro members to make their voices heard on social media. Fred's Twitter stream featured re-tweeted (shared) messages from others within the church, too, who seemed to be praising the deadly shooting as a show of God's alleged wrath.
Here are some of the other tweets that were sent:
Once again, Westboro is entering itself into national discussion and claiming that God purposefully allowed such a tragic crime to unfold. While it's not surprising to hear these responses (especially based on a long track-record of similar statements), the church's increasing use of social media is noteworthy.
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