(Photo: Bryan Kerr)
Days after the death of their excommunicated founder, the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church has announced plans to picket an Oklahoma liquor store over a sign they put up recently.
On Twitter, Westboro Baptist commented that they intended to picket the Moore Liquor Marquee on Saturday, April 5.
The sign, posted Tuesday, read "Fred Phelps 1929-2014" and added at the bottom "Champagne 10% off! Not a coincidence."
Bryan Kerr, owner of Moore Liquor, told The Christian Post that Phelps was "a man whose ideas and actions spread more hate and vitriol than nearly anyone else I can think of in modern-day America."
"Although I am not normally one to speak ill of the recently departed, I felt this particular event deserved some celebration since it brings us one step closer to the Westboro Baptist Church becoming a footnote in our religious history books," said Kerr.
Kerr also told CP that the overall response to his sign was largely positive, adding that he did not expect to garner such immense compliments from across the country.
"I was unaware that the sign would move so many people to action. We've had calls, posts and emails from all over the country," said Kerr.
"Most people just wanted to say they appreciated the sentiment or that they were 'with us.' There have been a few negative comments, mostly regarding my lack of respect for a deceased person and his grieving family. But those have been few and far between," he added.
Last week, the 84-year-old Fred Phelps died in hospice care in Kansas. Unaffiliated with any Baptist denomination, Phelps' Westboro Church continues to organize protests and pickets.
Westboro has garnered a reputation for its hateful protests at funerals, high schools and major events like the Super Bowl.
Members of the church, which is mostly made up of Phelps' family, are known for showing up with signs with messages like "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates fags."
The church has also claimed that the 9-11 terrorist attacks were proof of God's judgment on the United States for allowing things like homosexuality and abortion.
Regarding the prospect of a Westboro protest outside Moore Liquor, Kerr told CP that he was "very pleased" with the their intention of paying him a visit.
"If it keeps them from spending one extra minute at a soldier's funeral, it's worth any headache they may cause at Moore Liquor," said Kerr.
"I think this particular protest will help shuffle them a bit closer to being the cartoon characters that they've been slowly becoming for years."