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. Cami

    Thank God for common sense, and thank God for the Foo Fighters! Rock on!

    September 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  2. dbla

    I love the Westboro Baptist Church. They are one of the best things to every happen for atheism!

    September 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • leeroyjenkins

      Not really kiddo – anyone with half a brain knows they don't represent Christianity.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting

      There is No True Scotsman. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/No_True_Scotsman

      September 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      I just want to point out that you have decided to comment on this where 98% of the comments are against this organization.....don't get upset when we argue with you. In case you are not aware...these people are damaging and belong behind bars.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Tammy N

      Amen brother! (or sister)

      September 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Ghotistyx

      I agree Leroy, the problem is, most Christians don't have the half a brain required.

      September 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • funny

      its funny how all of you took dbla out of context, it was a joke, he/ she was saying that its been great for atheism because its a ridiculous and psychotic form of Christianity (yaya argue that they are not Christians, but in their mind they are...) , therefore (in his mind) solidifying atheism

      September 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  3. DamianKnight

    Westboro Baptist Church: Bringing athiests and believes together in revulsion.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So true.

      Just see the eyes of the mothers of the fallen, and then tell me you can support him.

      Anyone with an ounce of decency rejects this man, if for no ther reason than the mothers and children of our dead servicemen

      September 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Tammy N

      TruDat!!! LOL!!

      September 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Newo


      September 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  4. Dark Poet

    LOL The WBC is a joke... they purposely incite riots just to sue the states and fund their cult. They don't believe in GOD. They believe in the ALL MIGHTY DOLLAR! Look at the family, the ones they didn't dis-own, a bunch of lawyers. They survive by suing over their over-inflated 1st ad rights being oppressed while they oppress the rights of others. Personally if you look at their track record you will see time and time again where they support someone financially behind closed doors to further what they are protesting against but in the open protest against it. Nothing but a cult who found a way to scam the system and they should be punished as such.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Quincey9

      Not that I would ever advocate the action, but I fear that the church may bring all sorts of social and ideological retribution upon itself with their actions. Things like people filling out magazine subscription cards with their address

      Westboro Baptist Church
      Attn: Fred Phelps
      3701 SW 12th St
      Topeka, KS 66604

      And checking "Bill me later". I'd hate to see that. I know that I'd never do it.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  5. keith

    They feel they can protest whomever they want, but I can guarantee if someone protested the funeral of someone high level they would pitch a fit

    September 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  6. Jesusstolemybike

    So what you Morons are saying at this church is that your freedom of speech is important but everyone else should stfu and listen to god. I hope that someday I get to meet some of you so I can punch you in the face. Pushing your religion on anyone and everyone makes you look like a fool, and you are all foolish to think that your very small group of hate breeders have any type of sway on any topic. Why dont you all get a job and stop living off my tax dollars to spread your message of intolerance to everyone and everything. I use my freedom of speech to tell all of you to ESAD tahnk you and F*** you!!

    September 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • JakeDog

      I'm right there with you brother..WBC..SMD..MF's..ESAD

      September 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • hmmwaitasec

      So, what you're trying to say is...

      September 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Roger. Out. Also, on a side note – I knew that b@stard jesus was up to no good when I saw him riding that nifty bike. He rode away to fast for me to catch him. Sorry about that bro.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Jay Nelson

      These idiots need to remember that SERVICEMEN & SERVICEWOMEN gave them the right to spew their garbage. That being said, I'd love nothing more that to hammer their words down their collective throats(preferably with a Louisville Slugger)!!! Just because you CAN do something, doesn't necessarily mean that you SHOULD!!!

      September 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  7. I Hate William Demuth

    I hate William Demuth! His anger runs through me!!

    What an a$$.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • duh©

      LMAO! So you've joined the atheist side now. YeeHaw!

      September 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • duh©

      Above responder is retarded. His name says it all. The real one is here, duh!!

      September 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • I hate William Demuth Too

      Me too!

      September 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • duh©

      "The real one is here, duh!!"

      This duh doesn't even know where here is, DUH!

      September 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Don't hate me bc im clearly so much smarter then everyone here. Ive proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that im smarter and don't need anyone or anything to look up to. I am who I say I am and will not obey anybody, for I will do what I want and nobody can change my mind.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • William Demuth

      William Demuth

      SO refreshing to see a NEW generation of Born Agains behaving as patheticly as the last one.

      I gues frreedom means letting your children go threw the throes of puberty on the internet!

      September 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  8. Foo Fighter Lover

    I love the Foo Fighters and anyone who fights fires. Remember, only you can prevent forest fires but anyone can love the Foo fighters.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  9. Matthew

    Hmm, one of the daughters attended Law School at Harvard... If I was Harvard, I would be checking records with a high level of scrutiny attempting to find any reason to revoke their degree just to avoid the association!

    September 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  10. hippypoet

    peter, go back to your church...WBC... they miss you

    September 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  11. Leighton

    Foo Fighters need to re-enact Alice Coopers Devil's Food Cake for this ilk. print out scripts to your friends in public spaces invite them along to act it out in costumes. I applaud your efforts Thanks for standing up for our soldiers who bear the brunt of pain in this country and help turn the table on these blathering

    September 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  12. William Demuth

    @Duh – Does he have it copyrighted? Are people not ever allowed to have the same name? If it was copyrighted, yes it would be stealing. In an open forum, I can name myself whatever. Are you going to scroll through and write the same thing on every John? or Mike? or duh?

    September 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Observer

      This is a matter of integrity. Looks like it has been resolved.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Sharon

      Typical excuses to justify a behaviour of the emotionally immature.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Observer

      "This is a matter of integrity. Looks like it has been resolved."

      Are you sure about that?

      September 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Observer

      Yes, it has. It's obvious which child has none.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  13. RIckRoll

    Marketing Genius! Take a negative and make it positive use it to your advantage. Way to go.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  14. Mike

    This should NOT be filed under Christianity. These people have nothing to do with it.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Diane Fitzpatrick

      Just FYI – this happened in Kansas City, Missouri, not Kansas City, Kansas.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Busted

      That is not true, this is what christianity represents in the USA. There is no difference between Westboro and Robertson or Liberty College. But you are right in the sense, they have nothing to do w/Jesus Christ, but neither does Robertson, Liberty College or most christian sects in the USA.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  15. glenn

    "The church's membership is small and mainly made of Phelps family members" <--lulz

    September 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  16. Duane

    Smart move on their part, glad the Foo Fighters stood up to these idiots

    September 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  17. Brad76

    The more you hate Westboro Baptist Church, the more self righteous they become. Just ignore them.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • me

      For the people who are burying a dead loved one who died serving our country, they're sorta hard to ignore. I'm surprised nobody has gone nuts on these WBC idiots and shot them up or blown them to pieces.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  18. Amy

    I am a christian and DO NOT agree with this group. Love your neighbor as yourself, this group preaches hate, I believe in love! In the end God is the only Judge not WBC!

    September 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Busted

      That's great to hear @Amy, but unfortunately you represent a small minority. The majority of christians and christian sects in the US preach hatred towards the gay community, or even to the science community. We need more real christians like yourself who promote the new testment and what Jesus represented, but the majority of christians in this country put the old testament before Jesus himself, which is why the majority of christians are similar to Westboro

      September 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • funny

      there are dozens of bible quotes that say that the old testament should not be ignored http://www.evilbible.com/do_not_ignore_ot.htm

      September 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  19. Duh

    Yes, we can see that from all your posts.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  20. Observer

    Just another example of the danger of radical religious groups. Why can't everyone PRACTICE the Golden Rule instead of so many believers just preaching it?

    September 19, 2011 at 3:22 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.