Westboro a no-show at Betty Ford funeral

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A portrait of the late Betty Ford, the wife of the late President Ford, is seen in the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids
A portrait of the late Betty Ford, the wife of the late President Gerald Ford, is seen in the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan July 9, 2011. Ford, who overcame alcohol and drug addictions and helped found a rehabilitation center that bears her name died on Friday at the age of 93.

Controversial Westboro Baptist Church was a no-show at the Betty Ford funeral on Tuesday, throwing the group's creditably further into question.

Westboro phones ran unanswered into the afternoon, while picketers were nowhere to be found at Saint Margaret Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, Calif., where the service was held.

The group had publicly announced on Monday that it would oppose the memorial saying that because Ford was divorced and espoused pre-marital sex, she is now currently in hell.

She loved to sit with tawdry muckraking reporters & blather about sex, the group said on its website. She couldn't wait to have an audience with a reporter to titter about premarital sex, and how much she loved to teach it to her daughters.

The group, run by disbarred lawyer Fred Phelps, and denounced by other Christian churches, said it would picket Tuesday at services at Saint Margaret Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, Calif, and Thursday at Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids .

The group also made high-profile statements following the death of Jackass star Ryan Dunn.

After getting into an alcohol related, fatal car accident last month, the group took to the Internet to criticize Dunn's life style, describing his acting as a disservice to the moral fabric of society.

But despite the publicity, they also failed to show up.

The church has a history of protesting high-profile burials, often calling deaths a punishment from God. The group has been denounced as radical by many Christian organizations.

The former President Gerald Ford's wife Betty Ford, 93, died of natural causes at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage last Friday. The nation started its public mourning for Ford on Monday.

Tuesday's funeral hosted a number of high profile guests, including the Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President George W. Bush, former first lady Nancy Reagan, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, Luci Baines Johnson and Julie Nixon Eisenhower.

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