Protest Mandela's funeral you say? Who in their right mind would ever do such a thing? Ever heard of the Westboro Bapist Church or WBC? Few of you may have but those of you who do know exactly what kind of fundamentalist nut jobs these people are.
A day after Mandela's death, the WBC posted on their twitter page and I quote "THANK GOD for Nelson Mandela being dropped into hell! Westboro Baptist Church booking flight to South Africa (not banned) to picket funeral!"
But who are these people? What does it matter what they think? The church (or i'm just going to call it a cult) was founded by a previous civil rights activist, (the irony of which does not escape me) Fred Phelps, in the town of Topeka, Kansas USA. Basing there ideologies on the premise that God has chosen them as some kind of twisted group of crusaders against the tyranny of homosexuals, Jews, and pretty much any other ethnic group who have infiltrated and destroyed the world.
But that's not quite where it ends. Rather than keep their dogmatic views to themselves, these insane individuals have done the one thing that has earned them almost international infamy. That, of course, is the spreading of their controversy through picketing. These people are well known for their colourful placards and posters reading things like "God Hates Fags" to "Thank God for 9/11". They even enjoy bringing their kids as young as 8 years old along to these rallies where they protest from places on the street to funerals.
Yes you heard me. Funerals. The logic behind this superb branch of reasoning is of course homosexuality. America, of course, is doomed because it allows homosexuality and everything from tornadoes to terrorist attacks are all endorsed by God himself because of "fags". Their ire for homosexuality goes so far beyond the measure of morality that they would even protest the funerals of gay soldiers that died in Iraq. Why? Because God hates them of course.
They have even started up their own website, Facebook page and YouTube Channel to help spread their religious tirades that would actually seem laughable and harmless had it not been for the fact that they pretty much cause mass grief to people they actually spew hatred towards.
Here's a link to their website. I must warn you, as ridiculous as it looks, this group is serious.
They have many affiliated pages too.
But how in the world does the American government simply sit back and condone such backward thinking? Well it all boiled down to a loophole in the whole freedom of speech clause as well as the protection churches get from American laws. An example of which was seen when one family of dead soldier was so devastated by this cults picketing of their son's funeral that they sued the WBC for defamation, invasion of privacy and distress. They won the lawsuit against them and the WBC was forced to pay damages of $2.1 million. This, however was, a Pyrrhic Victory due to the fact that after an appeal by the WBC the court ruled in their favour stating that their rants weren't classified as hate speech since homosexuality is considered a point of public discussion and concern. The family was forced to repay the damages and the WBC legal fees on top of that. Seems fair...
This of course brings me to the meaty bit of my concern for these people's mental state because one cannot spread God's message without publicity right? so lets just branch out and picket as many famous people's funerals as possible. It started with Paul Walker's and then of course to our own Nelson Mandela.
Yes, These guys believe that they would still enjoy the same freedoms they do in the United States over here, in a country that idolizes Mandela, and seek to disrupt what would be known as one of the greatest state funerals in history. The reasoning behind this is explained in a rather long winded YouTube post made by one of their members. You can view it here.
Come over here, you say? I hope you know its a one way trip, I say.
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