Infamous church group coming to Atlanta for protests

One of the most controversial families in the country is heading south to protest "rebellious brats," a Jewish publication and an indie rock festival.

Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church, whose membership consists mostly of family members of its pastor, Fred Phelps, has planned nine protests around the metro Atlanta area on May 5-6. The small Kansas group, known for picketing the funerals of U.S. soldiers and its antipathy toward homosexuals,  will protest at Grady, Druid Hills and Douglass high schools, the Jewish Georgian and a Cinco de Mayo rock festival in Alpharetta, among other locations.

"These perverts have a platform God has given them to enfluence [sic] this nation," the Westboro group wrote in one of its tamer dispatches. "They should be using their position to teach obedience to God's standards, not disobedience!"

Shielded by the First Amendment, the group has withstood attempts to silence its protests.

Grady High School student Rebecca Daniels is organizing a counter-protest, via Facebook, designed to "spread the even more powerful message of love. While they yell, scream, and waste their breath on something as cruel and inhumane as what they believe, we can be doing something amazing instead."

Daniels said she will be collecting money for AID Atlanta while the Kansas group is admonishing its enemy du jour.

Westboro Baptist first attracted national attention in 1998 when members picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming college student savagely beaten in part because of his sexual orientation.

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