Let’s Laugh the Westboro Baptist “Church” Out of Town

Aw, for the love of Zeus. Those candy-ass “church” carnival clowns are at it again.

For one thing, dearly beloved, they’re not a church. They’re not even a “church.” They’re a hate group.

Also, they’re ridiculous.

Let’s not let them hurt any more feelings. Okay?

I am remembering the prank caller who phoned the house a day or two after my father’s funeral. I was numb and felt like broken glass in body and spirit as I picked up the phone. “Hello?” I said. And a man’s voice said, “Hello, may I please speak to Carl Weinstein?”

I went cold. I had not yet had to deal with this and I was also still in shock. My dad had died suddenly, at 50 years old. I was 17.

As I stood there with the phone in my hand, my mouth dry and my heart thumping, thinking of what to say, how to gently break the news, the man laughed maliciously and then hung up.

I knew I had experienced evil. I put the phone down and walked to my room in a fog. Later that day, my mother intuited that something extra horrible was weighing on my soul and she got it out of me. She listened, she said nothing, and she held me while I cried.

That night I went up to the kitchen to kiss her goodnight. She murmured some words of love and comfort and as I walked out of the room and into the hall she said in the most dismissive and irritated of tones, “Honey? And poo on that idiot man who called.”

I am almost certain she used the word “poo.” If not poo, then something equally silly. In that one phrase she diminished the power of that idiot to have an existential hold over me. I never, ever forgot it. I don’t want you to forget it.

Beyond all our dreary pieties about how we’re all children of God and such, I think people are waiting to hear religious leaders and faith communities say, “Look, yes we’re all children of God, but some of us are just idiots! Don’t lose sleep tonight over them.” I believe that no one is a permanent, irredeemable idiot — that’s where faith in the power of love and the Spirit comes in, and I have seen some people reform — but some people act like idiots and shouldn’t be given the time of day in your spirit and soul. The Westboro Clown Posse is a group of idiots. I’m sorry for the hurt they cause. I’m sorry for them. I’m sorry for the Baptists who are embarrassed by the association.

Poo on the Westboro posse! If they come to town, I think we should stage a Theatre of the Absurd festival and dance around them. I think we should join them with signs and music and wonderful costumes. Someone could dress as SNL character Linda Richman and carry a sign that says,  “THE WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH IS NEITHER BAPTIST NOR A CHURCH: DISCUSS.”

Or here’s one: “BELIEVE IT OR NOT, GOD EVEN LOVES THE WESTBORO BAPTIST ‘CHURCH.'” Lots of clergy could carry that sign.

Since we’re Boston, we could do some kind of Dunkin Donuts tie-in, maybe. Like, “AMERICA RUNS ON DUNKINS! WE’D LIKE TO RUN THE WBC OUT OF TOWN!”  And lots of clowns could serve coffee.

In general, though, lots and lots of “WELCOME TO BOSTON, WBC!” would be good. Colonial garb, a bunch of Paul Reveres, John and Abigail Adams should be there, rainbow flags and drag queens galore, children of all colors riding red-white and blue bikes, men and women military uniforms, sports fans in regalia, university folk in academic gowns and clown wigs — oh my god, can you imagine how fabulous? Boston is America’s original Freedom City. The Westboro Baptist Church has a lot to thank us for. Even idiots like them have free speech because of great things that happened here.

Let’s show them how Boston does protest parties. Send in the clowns to meet the fools.

How ya DOON, WBC?

11 Replies to “Let’s Laugh the Westboro Baptist “Church” Out of Town”

  1. Look, bad children that they are, they don’t care if they get positive attention or negative attention. Westboro is a family business, not a church — and, as you point out, “Baptist” is a generic term, not something you “qualify” for. They provoke various individuals and municipalities into compromising their civil rights so they can sue. That’s their business model and the source of their income.
    Invite a whole mob of people to “mock” them, and somebody on our side is likely to lose self-control, and BINGO! Another lawsuit! Success for Westboro.
    I say: leave it to the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle club to act as a shield, and otherwise ignore them. Facing stern bikers takes the steam out of those weenies.

  2. Well said, PeaceBang! Let’s defuse the power they hold over us through the use of judiciously-applied ridicule. How about some hippy chicks putting chains of daisies around their necks?

  3. Yes–neither Baptist nor a church. My Baptist friends and relatives who do things like loving their neighbor and working for the local soup kitchen are appalled at this co-opting of the name of an institution they love.

  4. Years ago, during the Vietnam War, Nixon decided to send some officials to college campuses to talk with us. Rather than angry protests they were met with clowns etc. very much like you are suggesting. Later, serious conversations were engaged in. One man who had been having doubts, quit his post in the Nixon administration and went into civil rights work. It’s not quite the same thing, but it has some of the same spirit — and in those angry times it was a more creative way to respond. We certainly felt more human than had we been yelling angry slogans.

  5. A few years ago, on Memorial Day, the WBC picketed President Obama as he lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The television crews carefully said NOTHING about them, and the camera operators were equally careful to shoot around them. They also did not show any pictures of the KKK, who–get this!– were counter-protesting the WBC!
    If the WBC does that again, I hope the UUs and the Pagans join in. Just imagine, the UUA, assorted Pagans, and the KKK all standing shoulder to shoulder, protesting the same thing FOR THE SAME REASON! I can just hear the Divine laughter now……..

  6. I am generally in favor of laughing WBC and others like them out of town, especially when the antics will take the focus off the nasty signs and protesters. However, when they are picketing funerals, respect for the deceased and the mourners trumps everything, and in that case, I believe silent protective barriers of people, golf umbrellas or angel wings are the way to go.

    In my opinion, it is disrespectful to do anything that could be distracting, or worse, misconstrued by the mourners.

  7. I have known about this group for years. One cannot simply ignore them and think of them as a bunch of nutty fruitcakes, but a hateful and dangerous group. I am glad that people are finally taking action to put these people out of action. They have already been banned in many parts of Europe and have been labeled a “hate group” there.

    If they are not stopped, I am concerned that their actions could turn to violence. There whole MO is to make themselves so obnoxious that they are told to leave the premises and then they turn around and sue for breach of freedom of speech.

    I would also be interested in learning who else is bank rolling this group. I cannot help but wonder if there is some other force behind it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.