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September 19th, 2011
12:34 PM ET

Foo Fighters protest Westboro Baptist Church

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– Rock stars the Foo Fighters played an impromptu show for a group of protesters from Westboro Baptist Church who had come to protest outside the band's show Friday night in Kansas City, Missouri.

Band members jumped onto a flatbed truck, sporting costumes they wore in a recent video parody, parked across the street from the protest, and sang "Hot Buns," CNN affiliate KSHB reported.

The lyrics to the song: "Driving all night, got a hankering for something/Think I'm in the mood for some hot-man muffins/Mmmm, sounds so fine, yes indeed" made pointed response to the church's protest.

As they often do, the protesters held up brightly colored signs that read, "God Hates Fags," and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers."

Dave Grohl, the frontman for the Foo Fighters, ended the song with a patriotic message: "Ladies and gentlemen, God bless America! Land of the free, home of the brave," KSHB reported.

In a news release, dated August 30, 2011, the church said it would protest the Foo Fighters concert because "The entertainment industry is a microcosm of the people of this doomed nation: hard-hearted, Hell-bound, and hedonistic to the max. Every person with a platform should be using it to encourage obedience to God; instead, you teach all things contrary to Him: fornication, adultery, idols, fags."

Westboro Baptist Church has been greeted in a variety of ways at protests in the recent past.

This summer, Mars Hill, a multisite church in the Seattle area, welcomed protesters with coffee and doughnuts.

"They need Jesus, too, maybe as bad as anyone on the Earth. As a church, we're called to love people. They're people, so they make the list," Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll told CNN in June.

The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro was started by Fred Phelps in 1955 and is best known for protesting soldiers' funerals, with protesters carrying their controversial signs.

The church says on its website that it is an "Old School (or, Primitive) Baptist Church," though it has no known ties to any broader national Baptist denomination.

Phelps told CNN in 2006, "You can't preach the Bible without preaching the hatred of God."

The church's membership is small and mainly made of Phelps family members.

The church is regularly sued for defamation but often wins those cases. Last year, one such case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where the justices upheld members' right to free speech. One of Phelps' daughters, a Harvard Law-trained attorney, represented the family before the court.

The protest and response generated substantial publicity and attention for the band and the church.

The Foo Fighters performance went viral over the weekend.  The band posted a behind-the-scenes video on YouTube of preparations play on the street in front of the church that has racked up nearly a half a million hits.

A representative for the Foo Fighters told CNN, "The band is leaving that video/performance as their only comment on the matter."

The band is on tour promoting a new record.  The church is perpetually on tour promoting its brand of hellfire and brimstone, protesting military funerals, churches and, as announced this weekend, the funerals of the nine people killed in an air show accident in Reno, Nevada.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • United States • Westboro Bapitst Church

soundoff (1,058 Responses)
  1. trichocereus peruvianus

    It's actually a nice and useful piece of information. I'm happy that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  2. Bourneclone

    You know how in movies, you see that creepy cult-mindset zealot family of incestuous murderers that live in the mountains? I see distinct similarities between them and Westboro. anyone else?

    March 7, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  3. God

    I hate the Westboro baptist church more than anyone!

    October 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  4. Mozard

    Members of the Westboro Baptiist Church (if you want to call it a 'church') are BRAINWASHED - no brain at all. None at all. Sickos

    October 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  5. whiskeycan

    I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at a Foo Fighters concert right after the release of their second album. Dave Grohl stopped the concert and ordered me to make out with a guy next to me. I've never spoke of it until now, but the fine folks at the Westboro Baptist Church have inspired me to come forward. Damn you Dave Grohl and the rest of you Hollywood heathens for trying to make us all gay.

    October 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  6. C

    "Hard-hearted"...Takes one to know one.

    October 7, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  7. Paul

    Hate the sin, Love the sinner

    October 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  8. Wanda

    "The church's membership is small and mainly made of Phelps family members."

    So why are all the main stream media giving publicity to this insane stupid family?????

    WAKE UP CNN YOU ARE PART OF THIS PROBLEM!!!!!!!!

    October 4, 2011 at 8:36 am |
    • Jesse

      CNN is not the problem. They are bringing light to this organization so people know what the problem is and they can avoid it. I bet you diddnt think to hard on your post. It was probaly a written in haist and not much thought put into it

      October 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  9. First to hell? WBC, of course!!!

    See my name.....

    September 30, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  10. the first man

    LOL, RELIGION

    September 27, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • chadem311

      LOL, RELIGION

      October 7, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  11. GauisJulius

    The WBC gets the publicity from the media that uses them to try to trick people into thinking this is how Christianity really is. Outlets like CNN that badger Christianity continuously use this to try to influence peoples' perceptions. Outlets like CNN put this WBC on the map, and are proud of it. They don't understand that Christianity is everywhere, and no one thinks this church is representative of the whole...except for the few that are bigotted towards Christianity in the first place. But these people are easy to spot. They usually call Christians bigots and then call Christianity evil. They are hypocrites...just like WBC. one and the same, just different on the spectrum

    September 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  12. Scott

    These people do not represent the Christian faith or doctrine in the slightest way. God does hate sin, but he loves all sinners...that includes every person reading and commenting on this article, as well as the members of this "church" and the Foo Fighters.

    September 27, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Creator

      Why does God hate sin? Didn't he create it? He created everything, right? If he's all-powerful, then isn't it strange that he created a world that has 5+ billion people going to hell? He made the world, the rules, etc. Would you kill all of your children except one just so their love for you would be even stronger? Think about what you believe in...

      September 28, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Mitchr43

      God and the bible are nothing but fairy tales.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Michelle

      The problem is, they think they do, and they're using scripture to prove it. I'd suggest that Christians follow the mandate set forth for Muslims after 9/11 – in other words, prove you're good Christians by weeding out the crazy and violent ones among your numbers.

      October 10, 2011 at 1:39 am |
  13. Anon

    Foo Fighters vs WBC.

    Foo Fighters Win.

    September 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  14. Shannon

    Someone needs to do some fact checking. I don't think any of Phelps' daughters went to Harvard for their law degrees.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  15. No.

    Comparing a bunch of idiot "Baptists" carrying signs to Muslim extremists taking down buildings and killing thousands around the world isn't a good comparison.

    At least Christians extremists can force their religion on others around the world in a peaceful way – they are known as "missionaries"...a far comparison to Jihadists who murder to get their message across.

    September 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Skipper

      Are you kidding?????? You are ignorant to history and blind to the more recent. Fool.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • Gort01

      there is nothing PEACEFUL about christianity.....

      September 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Michelle

      In a peaceful way???? So you've never read a history book in your life, eh?

      October 10, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Bob

      Troll or idiot?? Only a blind fool (or a troll) would call Christianity peaceful. Read your history, look for words like "crusade" or "inquisition" - think about Salem, Mass or Jonestown, and then let's talk about your use of the word "peaceful."

      October 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  16. My Left Nut

    We talked about these knobs in our new (Irish) Podcast – http://soundcloud.com/myleftnut/my-left-nut-episode-1

    September 22, 2011 at 7:35 am |
  17. MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

    Maybe now Christians can learn the folly of hating all muslims based on the acts of extremists.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • james

      I'm not very religious, but why can't people just leave others alone? This people are like Christian extremists. And while they are annoying, I guess they really aren't hurting anyone. But protesting a soldiers funeral? Protesting innocent civilians who died at an air show? What the hell is wrong with phelps and his little brain washed?

      September 22, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  18. GRS

    I hope these are just extremists and don't represent their Church as a whole.

    Religious people need to understand not everyone is of the same religion and this country was found on the freedom from religious persecution. Helloooo!!!

    September 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • newsanalyst

      Represent the church as a whole? These whack-jobs are the whole church.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  19. Sandy

    Why would they protest the funerals of people who died at the airshow? That's not exactly a political forum. These people are ridiculous.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • The First Tool of the Fladaboscan Church

      Ridiculous is the wrong word. These people are jerks.

      September 22, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • First to hell? WBC, of course!!!

      Airshows are inherently evil and anyone attending them obviously deserves certain death. It says so in Revelations.....

      September 30, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  20. Older Sista

    The church's membership is small and mainly made of Phelps family members.
    Yes, inbreeding does have it's problems.

    September 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.