On July 20, 2012, James Holmes “allegedly” (apparently the definition of “allegedly” has been expanded to include “absolutely, without a doubt, did this thing”) walked into a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” and began firing. He killed 12 and injured 58 innocent movie patrons.
As one might imagine, this has made Holmes the least popular person in America. The best way to make friends does not include going on a shooting spree. He has been called many deserving names, from psycho to evil to “a rancid dog turd on the lawn of society.” (That last one was never actually written until now, but I am very proud of the image it conveys.)
It seems that no one in America is as hated as Holmes right now. While most people are in agreement that he deserves the full brunt of our hatred, there is one group that would disagree. They have worked very hard on having everyone hate them and Holmes is violating their turf.
With everyone’s hatred energy focused at a mass murderer, it seems people have forgotten to hate the Westboro Baptist Church.
Decades ago, a man named Fred Phelps opened up a Civil Rights law firm. Single handedly, Phelps brought down many Jim Crow laws, earning himself a commendation from the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Blacks in Government and the Bonner Springs, Kansas branch of the NAACP.
Then, Phelps lost his mind.
After not receiving a court transcript in a timely fashion, Phelps sued the court reporter. He placed her on the stand for a full week, calling her a slut and accusing her of being a pervert. Surprisingly, the judge did not agree that this related to her court transcript being late, ignoring the possibility that she was too busy having sex to turn in her transcript.
The next logical step for Phelps: start a “church,” the Westboro Baptist Church, that spends its time protesting funerals and other events so that everyone will know how terrible homosexuals are. You know, because God is totally all about using picket signs to spread hate.
People were not receptive to Phelps and his “church” and he was eventually deemed the “most hated man in America.” Eventually, though, his funeral shtick became old. People stopped caring about the nuttiest group of people to ever exist and, for the most part, would forget they existed. Sure, they still hated him, but it was rarely ever the topic of discussion.
So, after years of working for hate, what is a man like Phelps to do when his 15 minutes of vile fame is about to come to the end? The only option is to hitch your wagon to the latest least favorite person in America.
“We were JUST in CO & now another trip back! #Excited The #Aurora#theatershooting memorial on Sunday – here we come! #ThankGodForTheShooter” tweeted one Westboro Baptist member as they made their way to Colorado to protest the memorial service for the victims of Holmes. Not only had they aligned themselves with Holmes, they have arranged a “super protest” around him.
I do not know what constitutes a “super protest.” Perhaps each person will be holding ten or more signs. Maybe they will go crazy, protesting literally everything in the world (“God Hates Frozen Yogurt” “Death Penalty for Fluffy Bunnies” “Rainbows and Unicorns Killed Jesus”) until they circle all the way back around and begin protesting themselves. They might just scream extra-loud.
No matter what this protest entails, Westboro Baptist Church has managed to put themselves back into the conversation of most repulsive people on the planet. They have, once again, used a terrible tragedy to their own advantage. I guess Fred Phelps deserves a hearty congratulations.
Or maybe a good smack. Yeah, that sounds more accurate.
- Social Media Awesomeness vs. Westboro Baptist Church (prettyboyjim.wordpress.com)
- Westboro Baptist Church Threatens To ‘Super Picket’ Aurora Prayer Vigil For Batman Shooting Victims (huffingtonpost.com)
- Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Sage Stallone Funeral (jdjournal.com)