Zombies ’Attack’ Westboro Baptist Church Protest
Does God hate zombies?
That's a question members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church may be asking after their latest protest was invaded by flesh-eating monsters. Well, sort of.
ABC News reported that last Friday, nearly 300 people dressed up as zombies showed up at a protest that took place outside of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which is located about 9 miles southwest of Tacoma, Wash.
The eight members of the church who showed up for the protest didn't stand a chance against the fleet of zombies, which was headed by 27-year-old Melissa Neace.
Neace spread the word about the counter protest through a Facebook page, which was titled "Zombie'ing Westboro Baptist Church AWAY from Fort Lewis!"
"We wanted to turn something negative around, into something people could laugh at and poke fun at," Neace told The News Tribune. "It was the easiest way to divert attention from something so hateful."
Soon after Neace created the website, hundreds of people joined in support. ABC notes that it was unclear what the members of the anti-gay church were protesting but an official post on the organization's website, godhatesfags.com, read: "When you goofy, unthankful, flag-worshipping fools decided that you would declare war against the Lord and against His anointed, you put yourselves in the cross-hairs of a raging mad God. We will come to tell you a few things, to wit."
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church are known for their extreme ideology, which stresses God's wrath. The group is especially opposed to homosexuality and rejoices in the deaths of U.S. troops or catastrophes as God's vengeance on the United States.
In 2006, the group held a picket with banners that read, "God hates fags" and "Thank God for dead soldiers." They often protest funerals of military members and desecrate the American flag. Even other right-wing Christians consider the church a hate group, as it has been deemed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The organization, headed by Fred Phelps, consist either mostly or (more likely) entirely of members of his extended family. In 2011, it was reported that it had about 40 members. The church's headquarters is located in Topeka, Kan.
Some zombie protesters told local media they participated in the event because they have family members who were in the military and because they are against the church's "hateful" messages.
"I come from a long line of military, including my husband. So if they're going to protest my troops, I'm going to protect my first amendment and protest them," Ashlee Nerad said.
This isn't the first time counter protesters have used humor to fight the Phelps clan. As EDGE reported at the time, in 2009, members of the frat Alpha Delta Phi wore underwear when members from the group arrived at the University of Chicago.
The frat men braved winter temperatures. Speakers from the frat house boomed out gay classics like "It's Raining Men," "I'm Coming Out," and "Tiny Dancer."
Last year, insult comedian Lisa Lampanelli vowed to donate $1,000 to Gay Men's Health Crisis for every Westboro member who showed up to protest her show in Topeka. After only 44 church members showed up, the "Queen of Mean" rounded the donation to the New York AIDS service organization to $50,000.