This is PBJ, and I have things to say about the power of social media against extremist ‘Christians’, the Westboro Baptist Church!
The shootings in Aurora, Colorado shocked the world just a few days ago. Anyone with a shred of human feeling mourns with the families of victims, and so does my heart go out to them.
From over our shoulders we hear, “You’re gonna eat your babies!**” It’s the Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kansas coming to picket the funerals of those massacred.
Pictured here is Shirley Phelps, church matriarch and alleged human being. Shirley travels the country with the WBC to picket funerals for soldiers, celebrities, gay Americans, and pretty much any funeral that will afford them much-craved attention. I’ve had a recent obsession via YouTube with these people.
WBC recently threatened to picket two funerals for fallen soldiers in Missouri and Texas. Both times they were met by ‘human walls’ to shield the funerals and families from hateful messages. Most recently they threatened to ‘super-picket’ the Aurora massacre funeral[s]. Fred Phelps Jr. and Marige Phelps did so via Twitter [the extended Phelps family makes up most of this sad little congregation].
And the masses they did gather! Then there is/are the ‘super-picket[s]’. #Walloflove for the win! This campaign again was organised via Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. Big props to Texas A&M and the Denver Comic Con crews for calling on their followers!
What I love is the irony of WBC’s social media efforts on both sides of the coin, as well as the media coverage that has made WBC famous.
Margie Phelps has nearly 6k followers on Twitter! Why? So people can Tweet to her what an evil jellyfish she is and occasionally make threats. This falls on deaf ears. The more followers she gathers, the more famous WBC becomes, which spurs them on to spread their message [which after much research I still don’t fully understand]. As well, major media outlets make a story every time the WBC’s smell flows downwind.
On the flip side, Margie and the rest of the klan [which is an insult to the KKK, as they hate the WBC too] broadcast their plans to the world, which backfires with each human wall.
My point: Ignore them! Which I realize also makes this post highly ironic. To their Twitter followers: un-follow Margie and all the WBC Twitter pages. To major media: stop interviewing and hosting these people on your shows, they see it as an opportunity to ‘spread the word’.
I understand that this poses a problem: without this publicity, how would people know to get the word out to counter-protest? But trust me: someone will always be on the lookout. The rest of us should get on with our lives without breeding more hate, even if it is towards them.
It’s like in middle school when I was told to ‘just ignore’ the kid who screamed insults in my face and to the world at large. One day I clocked him, square in the face. But this is different, we can’t do that to Margie parge and the WBC because it’s illegal and complicated etc. What we can do is take away their power by taking away their relevance.
Watch Louis Theroux’s fascinating doco on the Westboro Baptist Church:
And if you are so inclined, the WBC’s highly offensive website, which includes all the reasons why God hates New Zealand: http://www.godhatesfags.com/
Thanks for reading!
Images and articles courtesy of far too many sources to list.