The problem with Phelps is that he is a different kind of troll. It doesn’t matter if you ignore the WBC, they will be there anyway. When they feel they’ve been ignored for too long, they “kick it up” until they can’t be ignored.
For those who naively think they will go away if no attention is paid to them, I say, Fred and Co. are the one set of trolls that aren’t going away. They’ve been doing this for fourteen years now. And they are dangerous. While they claim to have been the targets of uncounted assaults, they have actually assaulted people themselves, such as the minister of the church I was once a member of, and a jogger that tried to go through them when they blocked the sidewalks with one of their pickets.
And the funeral picketing is nothing new, that’s a mainstay of thier “ministry”. It’s been going on for as long as they’ve been picketing, since the early nineties.
I live in Topeka, the city Fred and the WBC call home, I see them all the time. They are outside my church at least twice a month. They even recognize me, from my counter-picketing days, calling me the “church whore” I’ve been close enough to Fred to touch, when pickets and counter pickets were intermingled, before the laws enacted to restrict picketing of religious services.(Now they can do it, but have to stay a certain distance from a property line) But that doesn’t stop them from yelling across the street.
I think that the only thing that could possibly stop them is the death of Fred. The hate wouldn’t go away, but the family might, just might, break up in a fight over who will carry on his “legacy”