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18 Apr 2011 23:07


U.S.: Artist paints anti-gay church leader in compromising position with Satan

  • Well, this is awesome: The delightful Westboro Baptist Church, best known for protesting the funerals of soldiers and screaming “God Hates Fags” at anyone who will listen, just got a taste of its own medicine. The man pictured above is New York artist Scott LoBaido. LoBaido traveled to the church’s headquarters in Topeka, Kansas last weekend, set up shop across the street, and proceded to paint the above work of art. In case you can’t tell, it’s an image of WBC founder Fred Phelps, wearing nothing but a pair of purple underwear, lovingly embracing the Devil, as his daughter (the equally-charming Shirley Phelps-Roper) gazes on in anticipation. The police tried to stop LoBaido, but as his creation clearly qualifies as art, the anti-picketing laws afforded to the church didn’t apply. LoBaido is a traveling artist who paints patriotic imagery around the United States. He blasted Lady Gaga while making this masterpiece (which he plans to auction off for charity on eBay), earning him a police citation for violating anti-noise laws. We think it was well-worth it. source

05 Mar 2011 15:36


U.S.: How does the Westboro Baptist Church stay tax-exempt?

  • what Despite their status as being particularly offensive and their strong advocacy of various political issues, the Westboro Baptist Church has managed to stay tax-exempt, despite their 501(c)(3)/nonprofit status preventing certain kinds of advocacy.
  • whyThey know the law really well – note that the church never advocates specifically against legislation, but against groups and people it doesn’t like. So while they may not fight Prop 8’s repeal, the Phelps family advocates against homosexuality in general. source

02 Mar 2011 10:31


U.S.: Free speech wins: Supreme Court favors Westboro in funeral case

  • 8-1 the vote in favor of Westboro’s free speech rights source
  • » Sad, not surprising, but understandable: The fact of the matter is, while we would’ve loved to see Westboro blocked from picketing funerals as a political message, the First Amendment is pretty set in stone and, as much as we dislike the ramifications of this decision, it certainly was the right one. (By the way, the lone dissenter? Samuel Alito.)

20 Jan 2011 13:05


Culture: Fred Phelps will give funerals a break, protest a movie

  • the man Kevin Smith, director and tireless New Jersey promoter, who’s taking his latest work to the Sundance Film Festival.
  • the film “Red State,” about three high-schoolers in middle America who run afoul of a fundamentalist priest with murderous intent.
  • the resultFred Phelps, real-life fundamentalist and head of the hateful Westboro Baptist Church, will picket Sundance. source

12 Jan 2011 19:51


U.S.: Westboro Baptist Church gives in (a little) on funeral protests

  • good Westboro Baptist Church promised not to protest the funeral of nine-year-old Christina Green after Arizona passed a law against their protests. They made a deal with a radio host in exchange for airtime.
  • bad However, the WBC still plans to protest the other funerals in the wake of the Tucson shootings, because clearly it’s still OK to protest a random person’s funeral when they’re older than nine. source

11 Jan 2011 20:16


U.S.: Arizona legislature to Westboro: Don’t picket a kid’s funeral. Ugh.

  • 29-0 the number of votes the bill garnered in the state Senate
  • 58-0 the number of votes the bill garnered in the State House
  • duh Jan Brewer is probably going to sign this emergency bill source

11 Jan 2011 10:20


U.S.: Counter-protesters using angel wings against Westboro Baptist Church

  • 42 people plan to use “angel wings” to protect mourners from Westboro Baptist Church protesters
  • 8×10 the size of the enveloping “angel wings” (in feet) – they’ve been around since 1999 source
  • » Protesting a 9-year-old’s funeral? Too far: These giant angel wings, which are designed to protect mourners from crazy folks like Fred Phelps, are being put into action thanks to residents of Tucson and the help of Facebook. “For something like this to happen in Tucson was a really big shock to us all,” said resident Christin Gilmer. “Our nightmare happened when we saw Westboro Baptist Church was going to picket the funerals.”

11 Dec 2010 15:00


Culture: Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral: Many guests, few crazy protesters

  • 1,200 number of mourners that went to Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral today; John Edwards was in attendance
  • five number of Westboro Baptist Church protesters that showed up; why are they worth our attention again? source

06 Oct 2010 22:49


U.S.: The Supreme Court has a field day with the Westboro Baptist Church

  • This is a case about exploiting a private family’s grief.The question is: Why should the First Amendment tolerate exploiting this Marine’s family when you have so many other forums for getting across your message?
  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg • Asking the best question of the day to Westboro Baptist Church lawyer (and member) Margie J. Phelps, who represented the church in their case against the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, whose funeral they protested way back in 2006. While wanting to favor free speech as much as possible, the justices clearly struggled with this case, with many trying to find a narrow path that allowed them to limit the private-person-damaging hate speech of a group like Westboro while not affecting other kinds of speech. Fortunately, Phelps made it easy on them, suggesting that wounded soldiers shouldn’t have a cause of action if they’re being protested against by a group similar to hers. At that point, the justices jumped on her. It’ll still be a number of months before we know how this one plays out, guys.  source

29 Aug 2010 11:58


U.S.: Protip to Fred Phelps anti-protesters: Two wrongs don’t make right

  • bad A bunch of Westboro Baptist Church protesters were at a marine’s funeral in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday.
  • worse The protesters were reportedly pepper-sprayed by some dude in a Ford F-150. That dude got arrested. source