The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka KS had announced plans to protest at the funeral of a soldier killed in Afghanistan, but instead accepted an offer from WGAC-AM host Austin Rhodes to get an hour on his station.
The church has traveled throughout the US to protest at the funerals of soldiers killed in the line of duty, believing that their deaths are divine punishment for tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.
Westboro’s Shirley Phelps-Roper told The Augusta Chronicle that taking airtime in lieu of a physical protest is not unusual. She said that this is perhaps the 12th time or so it has accepted this type of trade over the years. It planned to take advantage of the offer to save travel expenses – the interview with Rhodes took place over the telephone.
WGAC is owned by Beasley.