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. Chuck Mills

    As a veteran, man I wanna thank the Foo Fighters for responding to these horrid little minds. We fought for you and now the Foo fight for us Too!! I iz be a poet 🙂

    September 19, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  2. Nodack

    Dumb as a post people.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • GodPot

      The Belief Blog has given new meaning to "Dumb as a post"...

      September 19, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  3. Joe Boomer

    "You know that your religion is man-made when your 'god' hates the same people as you"

    September 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Hadji

      Now that's hitting the nail on the head, or threading the eye of a needle with a camel. As profound a statement on religion as I have ever read.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  4. Terryshilo

    WBC showed up at a local funeral for a young soldier from Iraq a few years back. They were given their protesting area and the community made sure the family of the slain soldier never saw nor heard them as the funeral procession went to and from the church. A large semi was parked legally, and people lined the streets with flags. Motorcycle groups were lined with their bikes behind them and hats on chest. We're not a large community, not small either. I was proud to be there that day. I simply do not understand their vitriolic hate. I don't even want to try to. The local gay community surrounded their roped area and took the brunt of their spew. I wouldn't have known if someone had told me they were gay. If you hear they are coming to your community, they give advance notice for protest permission; pull whatever groups you or your friends are associated with an block them out as we did that day.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • skarphace

      Very nice. Thanks for the post. This is the way communities should come together. Peacefully.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Jenny

      Nicely done!

      September 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Mary Ann

      You and your town are my new heroes! Thank you for protecting a family that had already been through enough. Thank God for people like you!!!

      September 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • GodPot

      "The local gay community surrounded their roped area and took the brunt of their spew."

      I applaud you for your efforts, though you may want to phrase things a little different or someone might get the wrong idea...

      September 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Terryshilo

      It was worth a day of unplanned vacation. There were seniors, white & blue collar workers; migrant workers (he was a Hispanic soldier). The police had to protect them by law. If they were not present; while the church service was taking place, there were men (and some women) that easily could have "taken them to the woodshed". The time was handled peacefully with respect by all attendees. Saddest part is they have their children holding these signs yelling things children shouldn't understand.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • skarphace

      LOL GP.

      September 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  5. Geezer

    Imagine a world without religion. I call it heaven.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • JF

      I can only imagine.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • narutogrey

      Technically, heaven is void of religion. Religion is for when we are on earth and need guidance to salvation. Once in heaven, there is no such thing as religion.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Psiyrruss

      John Lennon did..... "It's easy if you try"

      September 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Technically, heaven is void of religion."

      Technically, heaven is void of heaven as well, since it's hard for something that has yet to be proven to exist to be able to contain anything.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • JF

      You will be very shocked to find out that you chose the wrong religion. What a surprise to find out it was Zeus all along. All those trips to Sunday school down the drain. Oh well...

      September 19, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  6. Maximus

    I'm really surprised that violence has not been brought against the Wesboro Baptist Church yet

    September 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • jay

      Thankfully most people are far above the mentality of those further down the chain of evolution.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Frek

      jay, you don't understand evoluton.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  7. Foo-lhardy

    Any statement that begins with the words "God hates..." represents the view of someone who has not read the bible, koran, torah or any other religious tract. I wouldn't presume to speak for the Almighty, but everything I've read or heard about His teachings (in all faiths) speaks to Love, not hate.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Frek

      It is very clear you have not read any of those things.
      ALL those texts contain hatred.
      You talk like someone who's never read a single holy book.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  8. Baphomet

    USA is a SATANIC LAND....just wait...soon the New world Order will be present in your life....stay in front of your TV....be stupid...and the Elite will destroy any religion and your new god will be BAPHOMET,STUPID PEOPLE.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • nostra

      Don't you have some grassy knoll to investigate?

      September 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • mikeanderson401

      i would love for religion to be destroyed its just something for people to believe who are afraid of the dark

      September 19, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • skarphace

      The pic of Baphomet looks like the devil with teats.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  9. Simi1313

    I wonder if the families of the people who died in Reno accident would like some help blocking this church from the funerals. I would be willing to volunteer if they are holding any in the Seattle area.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  10. They'llAnswer ToGod

    Those folks from that "church", imho, will surely have problems when they go to their judgment. God is not amused by their antics and they will surely have to answer to Him for perverting His word when He has said to us to Love One Another. That is not love what those 'church' people say and do and the pain they inflict on others. It is simply Hate. And hate is not from God. End of story.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • JLV

      They already got their reward. By that I mean all the people talking about them. I guess that means there's nothing left for them to get.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  11. Phil

    Nice job Dave. I'm always happy to see people counter protest these nut jobs. Keep up the good work.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  12. keith beard

    If someone i loved dies and these people showed up to ridicule my loved one. As much as i love this country, and believe in free speech. I would be well prepared to finish out my days in a cell. God bless those who have been disrespected by these people, their ability to not let their emotions get the best of them is a testament of how civilized this country is capable of being.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • c moodie

      wouldn't be great if hundreds of veteran groups and legion riders show up at their fathers to protest

      September 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  13. Newo

    Hurray for the Fighters of the Foo-lish!!!! 😀

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  14. Erik

    That's awesome! I live in KC and its about time that a big name person did something about it. Phelps and the westboro church is the shame of this community and this state.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Steve the Goat

      So man up... Take one for the team if you worry about what they do to your community. I will give you cupcakes when you are in prison.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  15. Scott P

    Dave Grohl is the shizzle. WBC are nothing but a bunch of kooks. They feed off of media exposure and unfortunately, all of the media (including CNN) feed the fire. In the end, God will know who is sincere and who is not.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  16. blf83

    Westboro freaks, aka the Phelps family, are evil personified. They have nothing to do with Christianity – just like Al Qaeda or the Taliban do not represent Islam.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Terryshilo

      blf83, couldn't have stated it better or more succinctly. I totally agree.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Frek

      Both of you are totally incorrect. Fundamentalists ALWAYS represent their religion more than more secular followers. Always.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  17. god

    Don't worry children I have a special place just for the W.B.C. lets keep it a surprise shall we hmmmm?

    September 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • God

      But since even though these people are the worst of the worst and deserve my "special place" in HeII, I won't send them there because that would make me just as evil and twisted as they are, to condemn someone for an eternity of torture because they disagree'd with me for the few brief moments they were alive on earth. You know my formula for time right? One year is as a day to me, so these WBC guys have been making me angry for like, several days now, but even then, I won't make them suffer and burn for infinity, only a sadistic b a s t a r d would do something like that.

      September 19, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  18. Pirategirl

    If these people were to ever show up at my loved ones funeral, I would go to jail that day....for what will be determined by how well they fight for their lives.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  19. ha

    Foo Fighters are actually doing something about those idiots. Kudos to the Foo Fighters!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  20. Ron

    I hope someone will step up and blow these people away

    September 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Pat

      Ron – I absolutely agree. Get these nut balls out of here. Fast.

      September 19, 2011 at 6:18 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.