Westboro Baptist Church pretends to picket Whitney's funeral by posting Photoshopped picture of protest

Mail, UK/February 20, 2012

The notorious Westboro Baptist Church promised to picket Whitney Houston's funeral, claiming that the star died because she disobeyed God.

On Saturday, the day of the ceremony, church leader Margie Phelps claimed that the protest was 'rocking the house' as she tweeted a picture which appeared to show signs saying 'God hates fags' outside the funeral in New Jersey.

But it now appears that the famously anti-gay church may not have been at the funeral at all - instead, they used Photoshop to make it seem as it they were there.

During the ceremony, she posted a picture apparently of the protest, adding: 'Did my friends @BET see these lovelies? Such fun singing to @OccupyWallSt. This picket is rocking the house!'

Occupy protestors had previously promised a counter-protest against WBC, and three of them were seen near the funeral with a sign reading: 'Occupy prays for another soul our community could not save.'

But the Star-Ledger, New Jersey's biggest newspaper, was quick to debunk the church's claim, pointing out that the area depicted in Ms Phelps's photo was blocked off by police.

The paper's reporters also said there was no sign of protests in that area.

One other Twitter account claimed to have seen the WBC protest, but it appeared to be run by a mysterious organisation which had only ever posted news about Westboro.

It seems, therefore, that instead of organising a fully-fledged protest, the church was forced to turn to Photoshop to maintain the illusion of an effective picket.

This is not the first time WBC has failed to carry out its promise to picket a funeral.

Last year the church said would launch protests at the funerals of Steve Jobs and Christina-Taylor Green, the nine-year-old girl killed in the Tucson shooting in January.

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