The tight-knit community of Newtown, Connecticut is numb in the aftermath of the heart-wrenching massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary school on Friday when a gunman killed 20 young students, all aged six and seven, in addition to six adults.
As families mourn the lives that were cut short in this unspeakable horror, an extremist group has announced they plan to congregate at the scene of the tragedy and offer praise to God for 'executing his judgement' - an unthinkable act amidst the sorrow overwhelming the quiet town.
A member from the Westboro Baptist Church, an unaffiliated religious group that self-identifies as a church, said on Saturday the group will picket the school in a so-called praise service, while the rest of the nation struggles to move forward after the tragedy.
Westboro, which has been widely described as a hate group, has often courted controversy by promoting an anti-homosexual agenda and picketing military funerals and high profile events to gain publicity.
The organization is led by Fred Phelps and is headquartered in Topeka, Kansas but representatives travel around the U.S. picketing events.
Shirley Phelps-Roper, who describes herself as a 'thankful member' of the group, wrote the words to Psalm 104:24 on her Twitter profile: 'O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.'
In a message, hours after the tragedy in Newtown she tweeted, 'Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.'
On the group's website, GodHatesFags.com, the organization states their mission is to conduct peaceful demonstrations against 'soul-damning, nation-destroying filth.'
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