The most revolting hate-group in the world.


Imagine a group who protests at the funerals of children. And soldiers. Meet the Westboro Baptist Church,  a small yet shockingly awful group of people. They use the American “freedom of speech”excuse to do things you could not even imagine. But there are some extraordinary people going to great lengths to stand up to these haters in ways that are pretty moving.

So who are the Westboro Baptist Church and what is their problem?

The Westboro team are made up of about 71 members, most of them extended family members of the church’s founder Pastor Fred Phelps who created the organisation in 1955. Since then they have performed about 50,000 protests on all manner of subjects which, to the rest of us, might seem frankly absurd (see below).

Most controversially (and disgustingly), they stage protests at the funerals of American soldiers who have been killed in overseas conflicts. And all their protests are based on this: they hate gay people.

In fact, they claim it to be their mission. God’s mission, in fact.

The group  has no problems creating signs that say ‘Thank God for 9/11’ or ‘God Hates Fags’ and protesting at funerals of any soldier – gay and straight. Their twisted thinking is that God is angry about homosexuality so he is punishing the world by killing soldiers. Got it?

And nobody can stop them because they have the inalienable (in America) right to free speech.

Its annual travel fees alone are $200,000 as they criss-cross the country in protest. When they’re not protesting too far from home, they’re protesting around home with several a day. Up to 16 on Sundays. Hating has never been such hard work.


But there are groups who try to keep the hate away from grieving families. Like the Patriot Guard motorcycle riders. They help shield the funerals from the hateful protestors of the Westboro extremists. This video will make your heart sing:

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Just a few days ago an entire town banded together to stop the Westboro Church from protesting outside a soldier’s funeral. They parked their pick-up trucks behind any car with a Kansas number plate (where the Westboro folk are from) and then even the police confected interviews relating to a crime which required the protestors to be taken to the station for questioning.

They do this because it’s the only thing they can do. Not even the supreme court has settled on a way to stop them because the First Amendment is so unswervingly upheld as a right for all. Even hate groups.

Only one Justice, Samuel Alito, voted against the group’s right to say whatever they pleased in a decision relating to the Church’s picketing of a soldier’s funeral. He said: “Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.”

Even by conservative standards this group is extreme. They’re on the fringe and hated by just about everybody from both sides of politics and most organised religions. Hundreds of churches and denominations have joined the growing list of bodies that want it placed firmly on the record the Westboro ‘congregation’ do not represent them.

So, just what kind of shenanigans does a tax exempt hate group get up to?

Here are some of the worst (and/or most ridiculous) protests:


1. Protesting a local hardware store that sells Swedish vacuum cleaners.

Oh no they didn’t! It must be hard coming up with local protests sometimes. With only so many other churches in town to picket, eventually you’re going to have to start hating on some timber store that sells domestic appliances because they’re made in Sweden which legalised homosexuality in 1944 and therefore is a ‘fag enabler’ country. I know, I’m sure it made sense to them at the time.

2. Protesting against the ‘evil’ Obama’s daughters

They believe Obama is the AntiChrist. Something about being a fag enabler. Are you sensing a theme here? Put it this way: they won’t be toe tapping to any Liberace concert numbers anytime soon. So, of course, Obama’s daughters are ‘Satanic Spawn’ and should be aware of this fact. Interestingly, the protest posters included pictures of frogs on them. I thought it might be a tenuous biological link to the term ‘spawn’ but I don’t think they put that much thought into it.

















3. Protesting against nerds!


Outside of Dungeons and Dragons, I’m not quite sure what nerds did specifically wrong to get on the radar of the Westboro Baptist Church. They say it’s something about spending too much time reading comic books and not enough time reading the Bible. Still, painting signs that say ‘God Hates Nerds’ seems a little harsh. Especially when nerds need all the friends they can get. I can say this, because I am one.

4. The World

God Hates the World. I assumed this might have been a more efficient catch-all for, you know, every protest. It might have saved them registering the other Internet domains like God Hates Fags, God Hates America and God Hates Sweden. They actually recorded a ‘pop song’ (which sounded more like a cat being eaten by a lawnmower) called God Hates the World, a rather dirge-like number which was supposed to be a parody of Michael Jackson’s hit ‘We Are The World’. Yawn.

5. Michael Jackson (and other celebrity) funerals.

Sometimes they do, sometimes they threaten to, but rest assured: the Westboro don’t much like the ‘fag enabler’ celebs. Especially Elizabeth Taylor (she was a massive AIDs campaigner) and Michael Jackson, because they believed he was gay.

















6. The funerals of American soldiers

American soldiers are defending America’s interests overseas. No matter what you think of war itself, these are people who are dying. But, according to the Westboro Baptist Church, they’re soldiers defending a country that has embraced…you guessed it…homosexuality. And so they stand close to the funeral processions of American soldiers with signs like ‘Thank God for Improvised Explosive Devices’ and ‘Soldier Fags’. Charming.

7. Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Theatre goers, Muslims and so and on so forth.

Look, there’s actually too many to list. The Westboro folk are so busy hating on things they need to get up four hours before they go to bed just to fit it all in.

But there’s some good news in all this. The Church is so universally reviled that even Fox News (I know!) have taken them to task. Check this out (the interview with the Westboro rep starts at 3:52):

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Australia doesn’t have a bill of rights, and therefore no protection of free speech equivalent to the first amendment. We have it to a large degree, because Australia signed a UN convention that gives individuals the ‘freedom of expression’ but this has not been mirrored by an Act of Parliament. Which means it isn’t signed into law. There is no ‘entrenched’ right, like in the USA.

So the question is, are we lucky? Or is free speech so important that even groups like the Westboro Baptist Church should be allowed to say what they feel? Where do you draw the line?