Friday, December 08, 2006

Support rally in Berea tomorrow at a soldier's funeral to counter Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church.

Kentucky Equality Federation will participate in a counter protest in Berea tomorrow at the Berea Baptist Church.

The Westboro Baptist Church, ran by Fred Phelps and family will be picketing the funeral of Private First Class Theodore M. West. The Phelps "clan" own websites such as, and

The Westboro Baptist Church pickets funerals nationwide with the message "Thank God for AIDS," "Thank God for Weapons of Mass Destruction," and "Your Son is Burning in Hell."

In an email message with the Berea Baptist Church, Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer said "Phelps and his "clan" in my opinion use the word of God to spread hate and intolerance. I personally believe he will have a lot to answer for when he stands before God in Judgment. But, that is only my opinion. I'm not qualified to be his Judge because this is an act reserved by God himself.

Palmer also stated "Regardless of how Theodore M. West died, he did so in defense in the ideals the founders of our commonwealth and our republic laid before us. He died in our defense, and fought so other generations could enjoy the democracy of both the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the entire United States of America."

Palmer told Berea Baptist Church Senior Pastor Kevin Slemp that regardless of the political and spiritual differences the Berea Baptist Church and Kentucky Equality Federation may or may not have, he hoped they could agree the message the Phelps "clan" was sending was wrong.

Slemp responded to Palmer's communication by stating "I share your outrage at their protest. Personally, I would be supportive of your counter-protest. We are already expecting counter-protesters called the 'Patriot Guard Riders.' Given their planned participation, and the fact that Governor Fletcher and perhaps Congressman Chandler might also attend, we will already have quite a busy event. On Wednesday, my associate minister and myself met with officers of the Berea Police and the Kentucky State Police to prepare, and I would certainly want them to be fully informed of any additional counter-protests. My hope is that we will be able to prevent this event from having a circus-like atmosphere for the sake of the family. Thank you so much for the care and consideration you have expressed for the West family."

Kentucky Equality Federation shares the concern of the Berea Baptist Church of not turning a funeral into a "circus-like event." Federation President Palmer and Federation Alliance Manager Clarence Wallace would like to remind all members and participants that we will stand without speaking; this remains a personal funeral and we must respect the fact that family members are in mourning.

"Kentucky Equality Federation continues to coordinate details of the event with the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, the Berea Police Department, and the Kentucky State Police." stated Palmer.

Kentucky Equality Federation asks its members who wish to participate visit a local store a purchase two hand held flags; please hold the Flag of the Commonwealth in one hand, and the Flag of the United States of America in the other.

If anyone would like to convey a religious message, please use "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Anyone wishing to participate with Kentucky Equality Federation should meet us at First Christian Church in Berea, KY at 11 AM on Saturday for a briefing with the Berea Police Department. The First Christian Church is located across the street from Berea City Hall in Madison County.

Federation management scheduled to attend include:
- Jordan Palmer, President
- Brian Endicott, Vice President
- Clarence Wallace, Membership & Alliance Manager
- Nancy Couch, Secretary of the Federation
- Nick Herweck, Northern Kentucky Chapter President
- Jesse Alexander, Awareness Representative At-Large


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