How can America’s fight for equality be taken seriously? A shock report out tells how a US law enforcement agent confirms members of the Westboro Baptist Church, the most hateful ‘church’ in the world well known for it’s hate of gay people, it controversial practice of picketing military funerals in sickening ways, have participated in training for FBI officials at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia.
The report says these highly charged sessions have been discontinued earlier this year after Tom Browne, assistant director for the FBI, became a little loud in his opposition about bringing the group to a military facility. He didn’t care about the lies, the hate, the atrocious way they attack and hijack funerals, nope, that’s all ok, he just doesn’t want then on military property!
We are told that the people from Westboro were "respectful" whilst at the base, that they did not cause any disruption – "It wasn’t the purpose to give them another outlet to vent their views. It was more academic."
The story about these staff training sessions between the FBI and Westboro Baptist Church members first broke this week when NPR News reported it, some information coming from the church itself.
It’s also reported that many other outrageous and controversial groups hold similar training sessions with the FBI. Groups including the Ku Klux Klan and Islamic Jihadists with the purpose,"to expose law enforcement to these groups, see what they are about, and understand their perspective." so said the official. "We are not endorsing these groups at all," he added, "The reality is there are groups out there who are making presence known who the police have to encounter."
Law enforcement have been told to be more agreeable to these groups "They still have First Amendment protections just like anyone else,"
The Westboro Baptist Church members are banned from the UK along with a handful of other European countries, where equality, protection from hate and discrimination is taken seriously. According to the official, it is crucial for the FBI and law enforcement to maintain relationships with these groups and and understand and accept what they believe. "It is an effort to engage in open dialogue in a setting that is more academic, rather than having to do it on a street in a peacekeeping kind of scenario."
FBI and law enforcement officials participated in three sessions at Quantico between 2008 and spring of 2011. There was a fourth session at a facility in Manassas, Virginia, before they stopped, however a spokeswoman for Westboro who refused to give her name, said that other sessions are planned, which will be held at a different and non military location.