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. oh please

    his daughter is a psychotic, watch her on video she gets off when she talks, watch her body language and how HIGH she gets- talk about a psychotic.....she fits the very definition.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • David, CA

      Her hatred is her aphrodisiac. It's a drug and they're hooked and too pig-ignorant to realize it.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  2. Al

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

    Phelps is an idiot but he is right about the Bible's God being full of hate.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm |


    September 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • ha


      September 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  4. rtbrno65

    If God is really what these Westboro types claim he is, then he is an evil, insane being that needs to be defeated, not worshipped.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |


    September 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  6. Azhitman

    "One of Phelps' daughters, a Harvard Law-trained attorney, represented the family before the court."

    This is something unexpected. Well kinda, Obama went there, and I only know that because his racist professor "Gates" was arrested and there was a beer summit at the White House.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  7. DonkeyStar

    For the love of god people....please just ignore these idiots. You can't reason with people like this. The only option is to ignore them or kill them.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  8. Fred

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

    So why does the media keep feeding this beast? Is CNN going to make news out of every crazy family that has crazy ideas and makes signs about them? This isn't even about religion, it's about fanning the flames of controversy. They have a Harvard Law graduated daughter? So, apparently they aren't poor either. They can thank CNN for that too I bet.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  9. Tinkerbell78

    These kind of people make a mockery of what Christianity is. God does not hate people.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • ha

      No, eternal damnation for innocent mistakes and innocent ignorance means love. Riiiight.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      Actually, God makes a mockery of God.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  10. Ghotistyx

    That reaction is epic. Good for the Fighters of Foo.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  11. thedirector

    I wasn't even a fan of the Foo Fighters......until today!

    September 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  12. sonic10158

    should be Earth vs Westboro Baptist Church

    September 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  13. Sarge

    My previous comment aimed only at the members of this cult ... not true believers.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • ha

      There is no such thing as a "true believer" when there is no way to prove any of it, not even if the person really believes or not.
      Any con-artist can fool the congregation into thinking they've got the "spirit" or "grace" or whathaveyou.
      That's why religion draws the con-artists and frauds like flies on shi.t..

      September 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  14. Bobert

    OK. Wait. What? They're going to protest at the funerals of the 9 people killed over the weekend at an air show???? These people are freakin nuts! What did the 9 people who died do wrong to deserve such assenine treatment? They were watching airplanes fly around, the airplane crashes, they're dead. What am I missing?????

    September 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Jennyjeans

      They promised to protest the funerals of the children that died in the shooting at an Amish school several years back. The only reason they did not follow through with it is because a radio personality on a talk show in New York promised to give them air time if they promised to not protest the funerals. It is all about publicity with these people. Plain and simple.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  15. Esther David

    The Bible that we handle and read is a HEBREW BIBLE written by the Jews; for the Jews; to the Jews; and about the Jews. The Faith of the Bible is JEWISH!!! There is no Baptist Faith in the Bible and no other denomination on the Earth's faith in in the Bible..it is all JEWISH. Salvation is of the JEWS. All other faiths are Man-made and Man-oriented. We are all God's children by Creation, but not by BIRTH. You must be born into the Family of God through Repentance and Water Baptism in Jesus' Name according to Acts 2:38, you then become a spiritual Jew. Remember God chose Abraham and made Him a Father of Faith, and we come into Abraham's inheritance through Jesus Christ, who is Abraham's seed through Isaac and Jacob, who was called Israel and Jesus is from his son, Judah, where King David is also Jesus' predecessor. This is where we get the Jewish heritage in Jesus Christ. Everyone must be an heir of Jesus Christ, spiritually (all Gentiles).

    September 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • sonic10158

      the first half of the Bible IS the Jews' Torah, but the second half is not.

      September 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • nostra

      The Bible isn't the Hebrew Bible, it is part of the Hebrew Bible along with a bunch of other stuff written much later.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  16. Jazzy Randy

    Love the Foo Fighters.

    Oh yeah, Green Day isn't an American band. I think they're Canadian.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Uuuuh

      Unless I missed something and California is in Canada, Green Day is 100% an American Band. Nice try though

      September 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Faramir

      Actually Green Day is from Oakland, in the Bay Area.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Boromir

      One does not simply cowbell into Canada

      September 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Jazzy Randy

      Oops. That's what I get for not being a Rock fan.

      September 19, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  17. spiralbrain

    Dave Grohl is awesome.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  18. Peter Q Wolfe

    I've been to their website of the West Borrough Baptist Church and it is quite revealing how ignorant organized religion can be towards the disabled. Have they ever thought intead of God or other supernatural intedy that it could be genetics and evolution? I'm legally blind and don't attend church as I equate it with illiteracy and extremism no matter what ethnicity without reason or provication to main us somehow. Religious nuits have given us up for dead before like the nazis, greeks, romans, Potts, Mao, Statlin, and name all societies in this picture cause of ilrationality. Time to restart by eliminating tax exemptions immediately! Conservatives are prolife in name only with anti-abortion and love of war.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Tinkerbell78

      I respect your opinion, but not everyone is a "religious nut". This is a very small group of people that are the crazies. Not every "conservative" feels this way.

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

      Though I agree with you that WBC is insane I"m not exactly sure how a blind person can surf the web since braille won't show up on computer screens lol

      September 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  19. Lyn

    Personally, I don't like what the Foo Fighters did. The worst thing one can do with those idiots from the WBC is give them the publicity they so desperately want. I have stood near them dozens of times with the Patriot Guard Riders and we turn our backs on them and ignore them.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • spiralbrain

      They get publicity by being in the public eye. Best thing to do is to ridicule their backward, idiotic beliefs.

      September 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  20. Chilean Misfit

    Gotta love those Fighters of Foo, best American Rock band. (Yes, they're better than Green Day)
    Also the coolest.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • lawls

      I don't think anyone reading this believes Green Day is a good band

      September 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Rusty Shackleford

      Thats like comparing crap to diarrhea. Both are whiny boy bands, mostly Green Day.

      September 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • ha

      I guess Rusty is not a fan of these guys. Foo Fighters are not a whiny band. They rock. Green Day is a little whiny, tho.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:11 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.