I never thought I’d hear of anything good ever coming from a protest held by the Westboro Baptist Church, otherwise known as The Church of the Latter Day Assholes (The Morons). These people brainwash their kids from the start to believe that all people are going to hell except for them, and that they have the right to protest anyone and everything they think is evil—including the funerals of gay people, people who died of AIDS, and soldiers, all of whom they believe were “punished by God.”
I always have to wonder why they think their own people die? Are they, too, punished by God, and if so, perhaps they should take a closer look at themselves. People in glass houses and all of that.
Anyhow, I was pleasantly surprised to hear about comedian and gay rights activist Lisa Lampanelli’s stunt that totally proved me wrong. Lampanelli was having a show in Topeka, Kansas, and she heard that the WBC was coming to protest her—because, you know, her activism and comedy are just so blasphemous and all that jazz.
Honestly, if there is a god, and he or she isn’t into laughing and gay rights, I don’t want anything to do with him or her. I certainly don’t want to have a thing to do with the WBC. When they came to our town, we came out to protest them in droves—not that it did much, nor did it ease the pain of the family whose son died fighting in the Middle East.
But instead of getting all outraged like most of us do, Lampanelli used the protest as an opportunity. She pledged to donate $1,000 for every protestor who showed up to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, an HIV and AIDS advocacy and support group. The thing is, she is donating the funds—all $50,000 of them—in the name of the church!
So now the WBC will be receiving a bunch of thank you letters from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, as well as ones from various other organizations (such as Ms. Magazine, where I read about the story). Due to their direct protest, this group is getting some much-needed donations—as well as visibility, thanks to the whole campaign by Lampanelli—and I’m sure that they’re all going to be royally pissed.
We should learn something from this. Every time the WBC comes to town, instead of wasting our passion on hating them, or our tax dollars on suing them (and then ultimately losing), we should organize campaigns like this to show them how ineffective their protests are. Instead, we’ll use them as counter operative guerilla activism opportunities to throw their work back into their faces.
After their actions end up raising millions for military families, gay families, and AIDS organizations, perhaps they’ll finally STFU like we want them to.
And if they don’t, well, we can always just keep using them for the effective fundraisers they will certainly turn out to be, can’t we?