On Phelps and Westboro

Now that Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptists have announced their intention to protest the funerals of the victims of the Tuscon shooting, once again they are in the news.

Dear media and fellow bloggers: stop it.

I live in Kansas. I’ve grown up with Phelps and crew protesting just about everything in sight. They protested my law school graduation. I’ve gone to several events that they’ve protested. And when I’m at those events, I do the same thing I advise all of you to do:


They are deliberately trying to provoke outrage with their protests, messages, and signs.

It doesn’t work if you IGNORE THEM.

Stop taking pictures of them. Stop covering them.


This is my first and last post on the matter. I’m annoyed that I’ve devoted this much digital ink to them.

FILED UNDER: Religion, US Politics, ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. Craig says:

    I’m proposing a special version of Godwin’s Law for the media: If you mention the Westboro Baptist Church at all, then you are helping them and can be automatically considered to agree with them. It needs a clever name. Anyone?

  2. Marty Beach says:

    Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about all the Palin stories….

  3. John Burgess says:

    Laughing at them is pretty good, too.