Inauguration Day #1

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Westboro.jpgMaking my way to the mall this morning I happened to come across a small clutch of protesters, cordoned off on the north side of Constitution. They proved to be 14 members of Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church, the congregation that has managed to irritate just about everybody they come in contact with, most of all by seeking to picket the funerals of military personnel who die in action. They display the flag upside-down and believe God hates America because of the country permits abortions and homosexual behavior.
They’ve picketed the last couple of inaugurations, but Barack Obama has sent them onto a new level of apocalyptic denunciation. There were signs proclaiming Obama as the Antichrist–or more precisely, as one of their signs put it, “Anti-Christ-in-Chief.” According to Katherine Huskenbarger, a young woman who said she’d been in the church all her life, he meets all the biblical criteria. “This is a huge opportunity for us to preach to the world,” she said.