The fine people at the Westboro Baptist Church are into protesting funerals, as Jesus would have wanted.
As soon as the news of Heath Ledger’s untimely death broke, the tabloids and celebrity gossip sites swelled with every take on the actor’s overdose, from the mournful to the sensational
went so far as to actually run a live feed of the NYPD carting Ledgers’s body out of his New York apartment.
Still, no coverage was quite as shocking as the press release sent out by the Westboro Baptist Church (www.godhatesfags.com), a group of Kansas religious nuts who believe that every tragedy in the world is linked to homosexuality...
Headed by Fred Phelps, a disbarred attorney whose own sons refer to him as a crazy-ass cult leader, Westboro is best known for protesting at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq with signs that read “God Hates Fags,” “Thank God for AIDS,” and “Thank God for 9-11.” (For Christmas they pull out their special “Fag Santa” posters.) For as everyone knows, Jesus was hugely into harassing the grieving.
The Westboro nuts have made several appearances in Ohio. In 2005, the church sent six of members to Brook Park to picket the memorial service of 49 local marines killed in Iraq. The group also protested Ted Strickland’s inauguration, shouting: “God hates Strickland -- He's turned Ohio over to the fags -- watch the wrath of God deal with you hags!”
The group has become such a nuisance that Ohio and 15 other states have enacted bans against the intentional disruption of funerals. Last fall, a court ordered the group to cough up $11 million in damages to the father of a fallen marine after Westboro picketed the funeral.
Now it appears that Heath Ledger is the church’s newest target.
Westboro announced that it would be protesting Ledger’s funeral. “WBC will picket this pervert’s funeral, in religious protest and warning,” the group’s press release says. “Heath Ledger thought it was great fun defying God Almighty and His plain word; to wit: God Hates Fags! & Fag-Enablers! Ergo, God hates the sordid, tacky bucket of slime seasoned with vomit known as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ – and he hates all persons having anything whatsoever to do with it.”
Judging by the release, it appears safe to assume that these guys didn’t like the movie. – Denise Grollmus