The Westboro Baptist Church said Wednesday that it would picket the funeral of Grammy-winning singer Whitney Houston because she engaged "in sorceries."
The 48-year-old singer, daughter of gospel legend Cissy Houston, had struggled in recent years to repair a once squeaky-clean image sullied by public battles with drugs and alcohol, erratic behavior, and botched performances, as well as by a rocky and sometimes violent marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown.
She was found unconscious in her bathtub on Saturday afternoon at the Beverly Hilton hotel.
The Westboro Baptist Church believes that God is punishing the United States because of America’s acceptance of homosexuality and has gained infamy for picketing the funerals of public figures and military members.
"God gave Whitney Houston a beautiful singing voice and a world-wide platform, which she should have used to encourage obedience to His Word and warn the wicked that their rebellion brings destruction from the hand of God," the church said.
A private funeral for Houston will be held February 12 at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark.
Whether the church will actually protest remains unknown. Recently, they have failed to show up to funeral services numerous times after announcing they planned to do so. The Westboro Baptist Church, which only has a few dozen members, is typically drowned out by counter protesters.
With prior reporting by David Ferguson