|Charlie Daniels (courtesy CMT)|
Members of a Topeka, Kansas church that normally protests at military funerals will be protesting the Charlie Daniels Band concert at the Mansion Theatre in Branson on April 28th.
Daniels has not minced words when he has spoken about the church who hold signs saying "God Hates Fags"; "Thank God For Dead Soldiers"; 'You're Going to Hell," and "God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11" where they protest.
"When you travel as much as I do, you see some pretty strange sights and tend to catalogue such things as the antics of a bunch of local kooks out to grab some headlines. Unfortunately these despicable sleaze balls are anything but local. They travel all around this nation leaving rage and pain in their wake, all the time claiming to be doing a service to God and assigning everybody but the ones in their motley group to hell."
In a recent interview with Country Weekly, Daniels said he was born a patriot and hopes to go out a patriot. He is a major supporter of the military, and has been involved in several USO tours to entertain troops.
Shirley Phelps-Roper says about a dozen church members will be involved in the protest, "Charlie Daniels knows were coming and whether he lays one eye on us on that day he's laid plenty of eyes on us. This isn't about whether or not Charlie Daniels sees us, this is about all the human beings that he is leading to hell."
The church's picket schedule says members are slated to protest Daniels because, "Charlie Daniels has made himself an enemy of God by spitting in his face when he spoke out against WBC."
Albert Snyder, the father of a marine killed in combat, filed a lawsuit against the church and it's members for the emotional pain they caused when they protested at his son Matthew's funeral. Last month the Supreme Court ruled in an 8 -1 decision that the church's protests are protected by the First Amendment of free speech. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his opinion for the court, when the protest is conducted "in a peaceful manner, in full compliance with the guidance of local officials," their First Amendment rights are protected.
Branson police chief Carroll McCullough says, "We received a letter from their [WBC] attorney advising us that they would be here. We've made all our patrol officers that are working that night aware of this. They certainly have the right to their opinions and their free speech."
|Branson Resident Tim Haynes Is Staging Peaceful Protest Against WBC|
Branson resident Tim Haynes has started a facebook page to rally a peaceful protest of his own, " I started the group on FB this morning after hearing about the WBC coming to Branson. I feel their message of hatred and division disguised as the word of God is disgusting. This group of morons does their protesting to rile up people, and I find it appalling.
"We need to show these people that they are disgusting and vile human beings and they are not welcome in Branson. This is a group full of attorneys and they are not stupid. We must be peaceful and show them that their hatred and disgusting nature is a disgrace to humanity, and to the God they claim to love."
McCullough says, "We've also talked to the protesters protesting the protesters and don't expect any problems. We're not here to take sides in this.....we will just make sure every one's rights are respected and protected."