In response to Westboro Baptist Church’s decision to picket the funeral of First Lt. Todd William Weaver, Senator Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R- James City) issued the following statement:
“I am deeply saddened to read of the decision by members of Westboro Baptist Church to picket the funeral of First Lt. Todd William Weaver. Lt. Weaver is a hero and deserves to be treated as such. He laid his life on the line to protect this nation. He was a graduate of Bruton High School and the College of William and Mary. He was a proud husband and father, an outstanding athlete and scholar, and he will be remembered by all in our community for the countless lives that he touched.
“I am disheartened by Westboro Baptist Church’s continuous distortion of biblical principles and the message of Jesus. Their message of hate is in complete contradiction with the message of love preached by Jesus. I am continuously reminded of 1 John 4:11-12 which states, “since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
“My father landed on the beaches of Normandy, my VMI classmates died in the jungles of Vietnam and my law partners served in the deserts of Iraq. None of us will sit quietly as these repulsive protests take place. I hope that all members of our community will join me in strongly condemning the protests and in showing the Weaver family the love and support that they rightfully deserve.”