There’s a least one group not taking kindly to President Barack Obama’s call for civility this week in the wake of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ): the Westboro Baptist Church.
Not surprisingly, a spokesperson from the infamous congregation (best known for protesting the funerals of soldiers killed in action with anti-gay signs) blew off Obama’s plea to bring it down a notch in a phone interview with TPM on Friday.
“I’ve got an idea, do what you want others to do. If you don’t want heated rhetoric than shut the hell up,” Shirley Phelps Roper said. “There’s no heated rhetoric coming from us, we just tell you what the word of God is.”
But, she also wasn’t a fan of an alternative response to the mass shooting in that killed six and injured 13 from the other side of the aisle.
“I say Sarah Palin is a prisoner to her fans,” Phelps said. “She’s a perfect fool for this hour. She’s a prisoner to the will of this fickle population. She’s going to do her schtick at he appropriate hour, and she’ll be off the landscape. She’ll come, she’ll go. She’s just the freak show that is Sarah Palin.”
Still, Phelps is “so glad that they focused on ‘blood libel,’ because there is blood libel all over this country. The blood libel they need to worry about is the blood of the saints and the prophets.”
Phelps also insisted that the Arizona law aimed at the preventing the church from showing up at victim’s funerals that passed this week had nothing to do with their decision to scrap their original plan.
“It had absolutely nothing to do with our picket, with our decision to make the trade… with Mike Gallerger,” Phelps said. “We traded a picket for an audience.”
“So what we think about the law is ‘yay!’ and it’s worthless,” Phelps said. “They just wasted taxpayer money.”
Phelps said that alleged gunman Jared Lee Loughner “looks crazy and he’s perfect for this nation. He looks like a crazy rebel. He looks like a guy who has absolutely no intention of obedience.”
When people see a picture of him they should think “they’re just as batshit crazy as the guy with the gun,” Phelps said.
Phelps said she found it ironic that Giffords read the First Amendment on the floor of the House last week, because Phelps doesn’t believe Giffords really supports it.
The daughter of Westboro Baptist Pastor Fred Phelps wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about the Second Amendment, which she called “blah.”
“Who cares? They’re turning this country into the wild, wild west. Did you know there was someone who shot at the shooter and missed and shot somebody?” she asked. (Not quite, actually. But a man carrying a concealed weapon did almost shoot an innocent bystander he thought was the gunman.)
“I don’t care what they do on gun control. I recommend that they obey the law of God, which is thou shall not kill,” Phelps said.
But if he’s ordered men not to kill, why did God send the shooter, as the Westboro group claims?
“That’s the way He rolls,” Phelps said. “He sent the shooter, there’s no question about who sent the shooter. God controls the hearts of men.”
Phelps was keenly aware of her church’s success in grabbing headlines (including at TPM) and the attention of politicians in the wake of the massacre, bragging that they were on the front page of MSNBC.com, CNN, Fox, USA Today and she said, “Google News, for heaven’s sake.”