It was announced on Sunday that the Westboro Baptist Church will be picketing vigils held for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The spokesperson for the group, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said via Twitter that the plan of the group is “to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.”
Members of the church said that the country is being punished for accepting gays and lesbians. Over the weekend, Phelps and other members of the church published tweets regarding the shooting at the school that said, “God sent the shooter.”
The announcement from the church was met with fierce opposition on the internet as Change.org created a petition that asks Connecticut officials to keep the church from protesting the funerals of those who lost their lives. Other sites, including Reddit, have discussed ways to counter-protest the church.
There was a Facebook event that asked for “counter-activity,” which would “keep any hatred from touching” the families who are grieving. The event had over 10,000 people listed on it but was canceled when a bomb threat was called into a church in Newtown on Sunday.
On Monday morning, the hacker group Anonymous said that it had infiltrated the website of the church and released personal information about members of the church. That information included email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses.