Hundreds Stand Up Against Westboro Baptist Church at Marine's Funeral

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POSTED: Monday, October 10, 2011 - 6:12pm

UPDATED: Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 10:51am

EL PASO – Hundreds of supporters lined the streets outside of a funeral for a fallen Marine to protect his family from protesters who said they would be there Monday morning.

Word quickly spread on Facebook that the Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas planned to protest outside the funeral for Sgt. Christopher Diaz, who was killed last month in Afghanistan.

In the end the protesters didn't show up, but the crowd of supporters said they were ready in case that happened. Hundreds of military members, veterans, Army wives, and Patriot Guard Riders lined the streets outside of St. Mark's Church and Ft. Bliss National Cemetery.

"Right now I have goose bumps on my arms,” said Darryl Bucher, a veteran who served in the military for 25 years. “This is amazing. This shows that people care about their country."

Most of the supporters carried an American Flag, others held signs in support of our troops. Some broke down in tears as the hearse carrying Diaz's body passed by and drove into the cemetery.

“I can't imagine if my husband was the one in there,” said Adrianne Teats. Her husband is deployed in Afghanistan. “I would want people to come out like this and support him.”

There were rumors that some members of the Westboro Church were spotted in a park down the street from St. Mark's Church where the funeral was held. NewsChannel 9 didn't see any at the church or the cemetery.

“I think they got scared,” said Salita Hudson, who showed up to support Diaz's family. “They were here in 2007 and we scared them off then and they haven't shown their faces yet.”

The Westboro Baptist Church organizes protests at military funerals across the country holding signs that say things like “God hates fags” and “Thank God for IEDs.”

"They're cowards. They're afraid of what would happen if they see all these people supporting the troops. It would have gotten ugly,” said Teats, who was thankful the protesters didn't show up at the funeral.

Sgt. Diaz was from Albuquerque. His family lives in El Paso.

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A week or so ago a cable network (Discovery?) had a documentary on the Westboro church called "The Most Hated Family in America". Listening to these people and their attitudes and what they teach their children is the most disturbing thing I've seen in a long, long time. If you're involved in standing against them you need to see it, although I do warn you - deeply disturbing viewing.

It was heartwarming to see so many people show up in support of Sgt. Diaz and his family so they could mourn his ultimate sacrifice in defense of the United States of America. I hope that Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas gets the message that even though Sgt. Diaz died in defense of their right to protest, Sgt. Diaz also has the right to rest in peace and his family has the right to mourn in peace and not have Sgt. Diaz funeral interrupted by (in my opinion) extremist views. God Bless America

OK....HERE IS A MESSAGE FOR THE FREAKS OF WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH. I AM A RESIDENT OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN....MY SON IS CURRENTLY OVER IN IRAQ ON HIS SECOND TOUR OF DUTY. HIS JOB? IS TO SEARCH FOR THOSE DEADLY IED'S...AND THEY ACTUALLY HAVE SIGNS POSTED THAT SAY ....'THANK GOD FOR IED'S.

HERE IS A MESSAGE TO YOU WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH..YOU BETTER KEEP A CLOSE WATCH ON YOUR CHURCH. 'HELL HATH NO FURY GREATER THAN A PISSED OFF MOTHER OF A SOILDER!

The Westboro Baptist Church Hatemongers actually hold up signs that say "Thank God for IEDs"? If that's the case then these cowards don't know first hand what it's like to have served our nation, and haven't had anyone of their own serve in our armed forces. I hope they feel the pain they inflict with their protests when one of their loved one's passes away; callous bastards!

Great show for our hero. I stand behind you. I have been to a few where Wesrboro was suppose to show-up..We,as you, showed so strong they knew we would never let them near our heros and their loved families. Great patriotism El Paso.. Stay strong..God bless you all..USA..

My condolences to Sgt. Diaz's family. My son is currently in Marine Boot Camp. He has taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.... just as Sgt. Christopher Diaz (no relation) did.

Sgt. Diaz defended our country and should be honored!!! He made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us Americans. He and all our fallen soldiers serve as a reminder that "freedom is not free" ....

MAY WE ALWAYS HONOR OUR HEROES AND NEVER FORGET THEM.....

Does God hate homosexuals? No. Does God approve of homosexuality? Absolutely not.(1 Corinthians 6:9). The "God hates fags" ministry fails miserably in the message it proclaims. Ephesians 4:15 instructs us to "speak the truth...in love." First Peter 3:15 teaches us to proclaim the truth, but to do so with "gentleness and respect.

The Bible does not describe homosexuality as a greater sin that any other. All sin is offensive to God. Homosexuality is just one of the many things listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that will keep a person from the kingdom of God. According to the Bible, God’s forgiveness is just as available to a homosexual as it is to an adulterer, idol worshipper, murderer, thief, etc. God also promises the strength for victory over sin, including homosexuality, to all those who will believe in Him.

Would you please relay this message to Tom Brown, please?

I was at St. Marks and I'm so happy so many people were there! Not in our city! No room for ignorance, hatred and bigots.

BTW for all you who hate the Westboro Church, I encourage you to join the "Can't wait for Fred Phelps to die so we can picket his funeral" page on facebook.

When we stoop to sign facebook pages like the kind you are advocating, we are stooping to the level of Westboro. We are to forgive 70x70, regardless the sin. Wouldn't it be better to sign a facebook page in support of our veterans or their families? People like the ones at Westboro are no different from the rest of us when it comes to being judged by the heavenly Father. You do not have to respond with hate to hate.

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