Fred Phelps, the angry self-avowed anti-gay, anti-troops, and anti-America pastor who recently commented here in favor of a fundamentalist Jewish church’s plan to pay $5,000 for killing gay people, may want to save his money. Because it seems his virulently hateful group — Westboro Baptist Church — is set to receive a $5,000 bill from Flint, Michigan for police protection, when they never showed up:
The controversial group – who say military deaths are God’s retribution for the country’s failure to condemn homosexuality – planned to demonstrate at the July 1 memorial service for fallen Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon Webb of Swartz Creek. But they didn’t show up, and now they’ll be charged more than $5,000 for the cost of providing security.
Mundy Township’s message: You don’t show up, you pay up.
Police were ready for the notorious protesters – who demonstrate at military funerals across the country, hurling insults at mourners and spitting on American flags – at Webb’s memorial service at Swartz Funeral Home. But the church members, who had told authorities they were coming in a letter dated June 28, never appeared.
Police Chief David Guigear said Westboro’s failure to show broke a verbal contract with the township for security services.
“They didn’t even give me a courtesy call to say they weren’t coming,” he said.
Of course, don’t ask Phelps to be a stand-up guy about it, as he’s laughing at the bill: “If they do anything as foolish as (sending a bill), I’ll laugh all the way to the trash can.”
To be clear, I’m not totally certain that he should have to pay, unless of course his group implicity requested police protection (it sounds as though they did). But if in fact they did and Phelps is reneging on his, I hope future cities take note and defer their police protection for the group’s hateful gathering.