As much as I dislike the Westboro Baptist Church, I have to agree with this. Fundamentalist Christians are their own worst enemy and they do more to turn people away from religion than they do to recruit for their god. I say let people see what their religion really looks like. It's ugly but that's what you are supporting with all of your god speak.
I do think that there should be counter protests whenever and wherever they show up. There was one group whose name escapes me that prevented the WBC from disrupting a funeral. They made angel wings and formed a line holding the wings up so that people couldn't see the picket signs. They didn't say anything to the members of the group. Just turned their backs on them, held up the wings and let the people attending the funeral have some peace.
If people start peacefully blocking their efforts on a consistent basis eventually they will give up because they won't be able to get the attention they desperately need to stay relevant to their fringe believers.
They make me sick, too....which is why I counter-protest with them when I can.
While it is true that they will not go away no matter what opposition they recieve, I think they are a valuable tool to the Atheist community. They an opportunity to spotlight what religion is and who it is that stands on the side of God. They are a lightning bolt for publicity. I think we can go one step further than making them look ridiculous, and that would be to make ALL religion look ridiculous.
I don't think we need to slience them at all, but instead deprive them of all sorts of attention(including this) that they thrive on and can't do without. Then their family, which the church consists mostly of, would collapse on itself from inner conflicts and cease to exist.
I was watching videos of WBC on youtube and people in the comments were asking for them to be killed because they defamed christianity and completely overlooked the element of irony there. Their spokeswoman Shirly Phelps' been interviewed by Fox news only to be yelled at for showing Christianity for its true colors, and Fox anchors basically shouting that their interpretation of the bible is the right one not hers.
And I just hope they won't wind up like David Koresh the proclaimed massiah of the Branch Davidian sect who was allegedly accused of molesting children of his own in the compound he resided in Texas, which he and the children among other members were found dead in after the FBI put them on fire.
This is the best yet interview I've seen of Shirley Phelps who claims that a hacktivist group called Anonymous is involved in blocking and putting down their websites, they disclaim that but then put a message up on the churchs' website during the interview after she tells him that he's probably going to hell.