Westboro Baptist Church Gets Owned

I've not been all that shy regarding my feelings about the Westboro Baptist Church, and it's congregation of nutjobs. This group of misguided souls has done more damage to the Gospel than just about every other televangelist---even Ernest Ainsley.

They spend most of their time picketing things while waving signs like "God Hates Fags."  They picket the funerals of soldiers who were killed in Iraq with signs that read, "God loves dead soldiers."  In their muddled brains a dead soldier is evidence of God's judgment on America for being so tolerant of gay people.  They picket Jewish events, high profile funerals---pretty much anything where they can get some press.

The pastor of this wonderful group of loving folk is a man by the name of Fred Phelps.  The church is largely made up of his rather large family.  Westboro recently won a case before the Supreme Court where their presence at high profile funerals had been challenged.  Phelps' daughter, a Harvard educated lawyer, argued the case for the church.  So basically, that just gave them even more energy to go do dumb stuff supposedly in the name of Jesus.

Jesus isn't amused, I'm thinking.

There have been lots of counter protests at these Westboro Baptist love-fests.  Lots of people have turned up to yell at them wave signs, throw stuff, you name it.  That's okay.  It's America, dang it.  If these idiots have a right to be stupid and wave around hate-filled signs, then we've got a right to protest them if we want. Right?

The only thing is, most of the counter-protests have just been hate-for-hate, violence-for-violence.

Until now.

Westboro decided to protest a Foo Fighters concert in Kansas City, MO.  Why?  Because they feel that the entertainment industry in America is evil.  As I peruse the new Fall Television shows, I think they might have a point, but I digress.

Anyway, the Foo Fighters decided to turn the tables on the Westboro protesters.  Now there might be some PG-13 moments in this video.  I apologize in advance to any PG or G-only readers I might have.  But you seriously need to watch how this went down:

I've been a Foo Fighters fan since the band began back in the mid nineties.  But I'm a serious fan now.

They owned the Westboro crowd by making us all laugh at them.

What can Christians learn from this?  Well, for starters we should have thought of it first.  People who are unChristian see these Westboro nuts and think that the reason they are the way they are is because there is something fundamentally wrong with Christianity.  All along Christians should have gently, persuasively, creatively and with good humor protested the heck out of every single Westboro event.

Now we know.  Their power to show and engender hatred is contingent upon our response.  The Foo Fighters showed that it doesn't take much to steal that from them and make them look small and foolish in front of millions of people.

Instead of running for the hills every time a fringe group claiming to be Christian does something dumb, we need to stop apologizing and start proclaiming the Good News through both our words and our deeds.

And maybe wear fake beards when we do.

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  1. It's absolutely essential that Westboro be met with counter-protests that radiate grace. This was a good un.


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