From the Louisville Courier-Journal:
The Westboro Baptist Church will not protest at tomorrow’s funeral for 10 people who perished in a Bardstown house fire this week. Rock station WLRS, which broadcasts on 104.3 and 105.1 FM in Louisville, let one of Westboro’s members air the church’s views of an angry God from 3 to 4 p.m. today in exchange for canceling the protest.
Church members had planned to express their belief that the deaths were God’s punishment for a nation that condones homosexuality. They have protested at other funerals, including those of soldiers killed in Iraq. Bardstown Mayor Dick Heaton called the deal "good news."
"There was a lot of anxiety, a lot of disbelief … and there was a lot of anger that a group like that would choose a funeral for 10 people who died innocently in a fire," he said. As for the radio station that coordinated the deal: "We owe them a debt of thanks," Heaton said.
The WLRS disc jockey who uses only the name Mo said he called the church to offer the deal while he was driving home from work Thursday night. Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of Westboro pastor Fred Phelps said members would not renege on the deal. "We gave our word," she said a few minutes after getting off the air.
The on-air session, interspersed with a few commercials and some of the station’s usual music, was heated. One of the songs the station played in between the two portions of the conversation was Green Day's "American Idiot," a hard-charging, post-punk anthem that takes aim at Americans who buy into false ideals, hysteria and "the redneck agenda."