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Church to Protest at Memorial for Joplin Tornado Victims

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(TOPEKA, Kan.) -- A controversial church group will be protesting in Joplin, Missouri Sunday, May 29 when President Obama attends a memorial for those who lost their lives in last Sunday’s tornado that devastated the city.

On its website, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas posted the headline, “Thank God for 125 dead in Joplin.”

Led by Pastor Fred Phelps, the group claims the tornado was retribution against Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who supports laws that prevent members from picketing soldiers’ funerals.

The Westboro Baptist Church says that the death of U.S. troops is God’s way of punishing the U.S. for accepting homosexuality.

Last year, the group created more controversy by demonstrating at the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former U.S. senator and presidential candidate John Edwards.´╗┐

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