To give Fred Phelps and clan a shred of attention feeds exactly into their twisted ideology and antics. The Associated Press, however, reported Bellevue, Nebraska, police arrested Shirley Phelps-Roper outside a protest of a soldier's funeral yesterday because her 10-year-old son trampled the American flag. Phelps-Roper is a lawyer. She and her family clearly know how to use the legal system to defend the right to propagate their homophobic hate speech across the country. They also know how to stage good photo-ops and to generate good sound bites for reporters. Her arrest, however, marks the first time authorities have arrested a member of the Phelps family during their protests. The charge stems from a 1977 Nebraska statute against desecration of the flag. The symbolism of the arrest marks a long overdue rebuke to their hate. Activists -- and any descent American for that matter -- will obviously continue to drown out their dribble at every turn. But the Bellevue, Nebraska, police succeeded to silence Phelps-Roper for at least one day to the applause of almost everyone.