Protect the Powell Brother’s Funeral from the Westboro Baptist Church

Josh Powell Residence after Fire
Josh Powell residence, after Powell intentionally exploded the house, killing himself and his two boys.

The Northwest Music Scene has coordinated a widely publicizedeffort to stop the Westboro Baptist Church from the funeral of the Powell Brothers. Thousands of supporters will be out in full force to help create a buffer so that the memorial may take place peacefully. All are invited, and supporters can meet at Life Center Church in Tacoma by 10 AM Saturday.

“Keep Westboro Church Away From Powell Memorial” Facebook Event

The Westboro “Baptist” Church, a notoriously anti-gay group of mostly family plans to picket Saturday’s funeral for Charlie and Braden Powell. The event will be counter-protested by Occupy Seattle.

Margie Phelps, daughter of the Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church’s founder, tweeted Wednesday night that the church will attend the boys’ memorial service. The protest is to “remind” Gov. Chris Gregoire “they died because of her rebellion,” a reference to her support of same-sex marriages.

Gregoire is expected to sign into law legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry in Washington. The measure, expected to land on her desk early next week, was approved by the state House Wednesday and by the state Senate last week.

Charlie Powell, 7, and Braden Powell, 5, were killed Sunday after their father, Josh Powell, blew up his Graham-area house in a gasoline-fueled inferno when they were dropped off for a supervised visit.

A memorial service for the boy is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Life Center Church in Tacoma.

Phelps’ tweet did not explain how picketing the funeral was a protest against same-sex marriage, but the devastating case has garnered national attention, and the boys’ service is expected to be widely attended.

In a later tweet referencing a story about Washington legalizing same-sex marriage, Phelps wrote “This is why God’s cursed you w Josh Powells blowing up kids.”

Word of Westboro’s plans spread quickly online. Northwest Music Scene’s Facebook event to buffer the protesters has received widespread regional attention, even being covered on News Tribune, and has thousands of confirmed guests, and over ten thousand in it’s list. Occupy Seattle sounded a call for its members to counter-protest the church. The group’s Facebook page said the church “has decided to capitalize on these sad events by bringing their unique brand of hate to Washington.”

Occupy Seattle said its members don’t intend to disrupt the funeral, but want to “protect it from Westboro’s abhorrent message.”

Westboro is a small, self-proclaimed church known for its extreme stance against homosexuality. Its members have gained infamy by protesting funerals of American soldiers, celebrities, and highly publicized deaths — often from tragic circumstances. They claim to believe God punishes the United States for its tolerance of sin, which they largely regard as accepting homosexuality.

Northwest Music Scene, along with thousands of Northwest area supporters, will be out in full force to help create a buffer so this memorial can take place peacefully. Please meet at Life Center Church in Tacoma by 10 AM Saturday

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