A Business Model for the Westboro Baptist Church (aka godhatesfags.com)

I’ve given up on my belief that the congregation of Westboro Baptist Church is actually a satirical performance art group highlighting intolerance.   I still believe that they are batshit insane, but I no longer believe that that they take their special brand of crazy ‘on the road’ due to the strength of their beliefs.

For the unaware Westboro Baptist Church has made a name for themselves by crashing funerals of dead soldiers and making ridiculous religious assertions such as these made at the memorial for a dead US soldier [PDF]:

God Hates America, and
God is killing our troops in His wrath.
Thank God for IEDs.

Some time ago, I started reading up on Fred Phelps and WBS.   I couldn’t understand how they could afford to travel, juggle legal bills, and maintain a church with a congregation (of less than 100 members) that is largely made up of family by either blood or marriage (~80-90%).

Then it hit me – could Westboro Baptist Church be a rainmaker for Fred Phelps REAL business – his own law firm?   It appears that 11 of his 13 children are either lawyers themselves or are married to a lawyer.   It’s easy to envision scenarios where a provocateur could incite a local government or private entity to ‘infringe’ on their ‘First Amendment Rights’, and then sue their way to the bank.

Since the freak show is due to be in town on 12/07/09, everyone would do wise to consider WBC true purpose – which incidentally is NOT spreading ‘the good news’.     I personally recommend parody and satire,   preferably for as large an audience as possible, although this is a good start.

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1 comment

  1. Benjamin J. "Joe" Browning

    Hello,

    If you truly desire to bring to a end the antics of the Westboro Baptist Church. Then please read the following:

    I have been following the WBC going on twelve plus years. I have read about, seen, and heard Pickets, Protesters, Police, Papers, Preachers, Fire Departments, Relatives, Motorcycle Clubs, Talk Show Host, Talk Radio Hosts, Television News Commentators, Various Independent Countries and their Governments, Attorneys Filing Lawsuits, Legislatures Writing and Passing New Laws, Branches of Our Military and on, and on, and on, and on, and on. All of them attempting to stop the Westboro Baptist Church from continuing with their vile and cruel action.

    HOWEVER, FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES, ALL HAVE FAILED AND WILL CONTINUE TO FAIL!! NO ACTION YOU UNDERTAKE WILL STOP THEM, EXCEPT FOR ONE!!

    The one thing that will stop them is quite simple and requires very little effort to accomplish. You need to simply “IGNORE THEM”!!! I repeat “IGNORE THEM”!!! One more time, “IGNORE THEM”!!Again “IGNORE THEM”!!

    Expounding on this. #1Do not acknowledge them #2 Do not protest. #3 Do not have the Police or Fire Department around their protests. #4 You must consider and think of them as invisible.#5 Do not have your newspapers write articles about them.#6 Do not talk to them. #7 Do not have the Patriot Guard Riders attend. #8 Do not attempt in any way to stop them! #9 Do not give them one bit of publicity, before, during or after their protests. #10 As far as you are concerned the Westboro Baptist Church does not exist.#11 Do not drive by them! #12 Do not curse or throw things at them. #13 IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOTHING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THEM!!

    The one thing Westboro Baptist Church Members need and must have is to be acknowledged. One only needs to look at the way they have changed their message in order to get more publicity! The old message of God Hates people, areas, or states, or countries was getting boring. They were not reaching the population. In order to keep at the center of attention! They changed their message. So now beside the standard “God Hates ______!(Fill in the blank.), they added “God Hates Jews!”. Thus getting more comments and more acknowledgement and more publicity.

    IF EVERYONE IGNORES THEM, THEY WILL LEAVE QUICKLY AND WILL NEVER RETURN!! IF YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THEM, THEY WILL STAY FOR LONGER PERIODS AND THEY WILL ALWAYS COME BACK!!

    Respectfully,
    Benjamin J. “Joe” Browning