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. blinky

    At least the rock band is helping to turn Westboro into a sideshow like itself.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  2. FooFoo

    Funny, but it just plays right into Phelps hands. I'm sure they appreciate any attention they get. The best way to defeat them is ignore them.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Sharon

      "I'm sure they appreciate any attention they get. "

      Well if anything it's uniting the atheist and christians in defeating this moron. Plus it's great in one way, it's showing the christians what not to be like by the poor behaviour of this group as human beings.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • FooFoo

      Def. a good example of what not to be.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • FooFoo

      And a good example of how fear of what you do not understand can turn to hate.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • ready

      The opposite can be said too, the Foo Fighters are getting free publicity as well. Good publicity. Turning this baptists church into a free commercial event for them, excellent play Dave.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Peter

      "he Foo Fighters are getting free publicity "

      That's true I had never heard of them till now.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • ready

      Don't be an idiot.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  3. American_Fury

    If the whole westboro congergation was blown to peices I wouldn't feel bad for any of them. They are asking for trouble.
    At some point one of the grieving family members is going to go off on them. It's just a matter of time before those inbred attention seeking retards get whats coming to them.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • J.W

      The reason that that does not happen is because they would look like martyrs. They would say "we were just standing up for what we believe, and they used violence against us"

      September 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Lesieie

      If they were, I sure wouldn't be protesting at their funerals.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • LMD

      "Religion of peace," eh?

      September 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  4. Tom

    Kansas City Kansas is a city but Kansas City MO is the bigger city and where the show took place.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  5. J.W

    They should make a music video of this that somehow makes all the Westboro Baptist Church members look gay.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • J.W

      Or better yet there should be a concert right next to the church and it could feature Frankie goes to Hollywood and Katy Perry could sing her famous song.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  6. huxley

    I don't mind so much that Westboro wants to stage their anti-gay, anti-military protests, but they should have more respect than protesting a funeral. They have a right to free speech, but the families should have certain rights to hold a respectful funeral and memorial service also. Just hold your protests outside City Hall or on a busy street corner, like everyone else does.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • FooFoo

      Agreed, but hate respects no person. They have no respect for themselves, no respect for others, and (if you believe in it) no respect for god.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  7. RAZOR


    September 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  8. Steve

    Drop Dead Fred – LOL Really, this I wouldn't mind happening – suppose it's just a matter of time before someone becomes 'unglued' & does something 'bad' to these idiots, oh well, too bad so sad!!!!

    September 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  9. Leighton

    There is a difference between Style and tolerence. TeaPary Style. Write about those feelings. I mean it takes a while for people with differences to build clarity of terms in their mind to share it to an audience. My entire family is Evangelicals and they stomp on a difference as soon as it is mentioned. No They Don't Like Me Much. I have not spoken to my pastor brother in law in 15 years. He does not respect any conversation I find interesting. Even coming to a compromise is not possible with this ilk. It would be nice to ignore but there are interesting positions that can be passed by writing that can never see the air time of TV or permission through a Church Dyed in the Wool Stamp and Stump Religion Factory. They preselect out a very small narrow kind of person and give that ilk a badge.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  10. Z

    These people, well, phelps and his family are certifiable!!! How can anyone justify protesting at a dead soldiers funeral. They tried this in Florida, again at a soldiers funeral, and we promptly met by some Hell's Angels relative of the soldier. That protest didnt last very long!!!

    September 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  11. Jose

    Let me first say that I am extremely respectful of people's beliefs and advocate acceptance of all religion as long as that religion is not causing harm of any sort to others.

    That being said, I find it extremely interesting that the commentators are so willing to remove comments that are hateful towards Christianity, but not those that are hateful towards atheists. Interesting dichotomy...

    September 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Jose

      Sorry – I meant moderators, not commentators.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Daniel

      If you think anti-Christian commentary doesn't have a strong presence on the CNN comments section, you're not looking very hard.

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

      It's actually just a matter of who gets mad enough to hit the 'report abuse' button enough times.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • William Demuth

      It is a computer program, not a person.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • THIS

      There are no moderators. Only clueless people hitting the "report abuse" button. After a certain number of hits, the automatic script deletes the "offending" post no matter how nice or loving it may be.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  12. Always

    Too bad Jesus isn't real...there has NEVER been any proof for his existence. ALL records were burned by the church that affiliated them with astrotheological connections...what a crass bunch of ignorants...ruling the world with smoke, mirrors and lies. Know your history and DO the research before you go about evangelizing you muffin sniffers!!!

    September 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      "muffin sniffers"?
      And what do you think this means?

      September 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • lolwhat

      Now now, you save that Nyquil for the night time from now on.

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

      And how horrible the world would be if they all listened and practiced the teachings of the man you claim isn't real: love your neighbor, forgive others of their errors, live for charity, put others before yourself, love your family. How terrible.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • EEEEEeeeeeee


      September 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • 3210

      My friend uses Always for her period. Is that why you are angry?

      September 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  13. hippypoet

    you want would be great at this time is world history, some more idol worship... i could go for some perfectly sweet golden caf right now... but alas... no cow of gold to be found... saddness has befallen me... tears now run from my face... where is my church of the golden caf!!!

    September 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I believe the calf is now on the dollar menu.

      Two Holy Calf patties, special sauce lettuce, cheese , pickles and onions, all on a sesame seed bun.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  14. Ali

    These people are do not deserve to Call themselves a Baptisit Church. They have no heart or soul and I cannot wait for them to get what is coming to them in their end 🙂 .

    September 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  15. The Selfish Gene ...Simmons

    In the meantime ziiiiiP! Foo Fighter catalog sales spike up and go through the roof!

    September 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  16. Fish

    Reminds me of something Church Lady would say.... Hmmm isn't THAT special! There's only one that judges me and He's sure not human, but these "Christians" sure don't seem to have a problem with it... Hypocrites! Go Foo Fighters! Always been a fan, but I ove you even more now!

    September 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  17. kite005

    There's no talking any sense to those people but I guess it won't hurt to try.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  18. Bob

    News will surface that Phelps has had his share of man muffins....

    September 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Gwen


      September 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  19. Joe here in Colorado

    I love Foo Fighters.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  20. Alex

    The one thing that bothers me the most is that the Westboro Baptist Church protests soldiers and is glad when they are killed, yet if it wasn't for them they would have no protection. If they are so against the soldiers let them go on the front line and protect themselves. Disgusting how selfish they are.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • wes


      September 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Jose

      I'm pretty sure that's the one thing all of don't like about them Alex...

      September 19, 2011 at 4:12 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.