You know the Westboro Baptist Church: they’re the hate church, run by Fred Phelps, so famous for picketing everyone and everything seemingly with no rhyme or reason, other than a clear adoration for publicity. They’ve staged some pretty amazing stunts; here’s an examination of the top 10 unbelievable Westboro Baptist Church protests.
10. Swedish Vacuum Cleaners
The Westboro Baptist Church picketed a local appliance store (they’re based in Topeka, KS) for selling Swedish vacuum cleaners. According to the church, God hates Sweden because Sweden prosecuted a pastor who was critical of homosexuality.
9. Lady Gaga
The over-the-top singer drew the attention of the Westboro Baptist Church with her support of gay rights. They protested a Lady Gaga concert because she is, according to the church, a “gender-confused, self-loathing, tone-deaf hand basket.”
Speaking of homosexuality, gays are the church’s #1 target, and somehow they manage to work anti-homosexuality into even the most unrelated subjects. They routinely picket funerals of gay victims of violence or AIDS, and they’ve also been known to protest Broadway shows and pop concerts as being dens of homosexuality. They famously picketed the 1998 funeral of Matthew Shepard who was beaten to death for being gay.
7. Funerals in General
The Westboro Baptist Church absolutely loves to picket funerals. Military funerals, gay funerals, suicide funerals, the funerals of house fire victims, and funerals for plane crash victims have all been targeted. Even a memorial service for the victims of a mine disaster was picketed by the church. Usually they blame the deceased for some affiliation with homosexuality, which they consider a major, major sin.
6. Coretta Scott King’s Funeral
More specifically, the Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow Coretta Scott King in 2006. The church stated:
[...] by endorsing the homosexual agenda she was bringing down the wrath of God upon herself, her family and the black civil rights movement. She is an ingrate – unthankful and unholy.
As we reported in January, the Westboro Baptist Church descended on the headquarters of the massive microblogging service providers in San Francisco. Their reason? They wanted to encourage Twitter to use their publishing powers to “serve God.”
4. Student Suicides
The church staged a protest outside a high school after five teens committed suicide, further traumatizing the already extremely effected youths. They were met with a sizable counter-protest courtesy of concerned students, parents, teachers, and other members of the community.
The Westboro Baptist Church is best known for its motto “God Hates Fags,” but coming in a close second place is “God Hates Jews.” They’ve waged a battle with Judaism for – wait for it – catering to and supporting homosexuals. And, they say, for killing Christ.
God Hates…Nerds? That’s right, the Westboro Baptist Church picketed the world-famous comic convention because they believe that comic book enthusiasts engage in idol worship with the characters they love. The church also feels time spent reading comic books could be better spent by reading the Bible.
1. Elizabeth Edwards’ Funeral
The Westboro Baptist Church’s latest stunt comes hot on the heels of Elizabeth Edwards’ death on December 7th. They plan to picket her upcoming funeral because they believe she failed to praise God enough during her battle with cancer. In a stunning example of intolerance and poor taste, the church said:
God hates Elizabeth Edwards. Flee her example.