People who are fed up with the Westboro Baptist Church's anti-gay hate speech have been known to go to great lengths to denounce the Topeka, Kansas organization, but a group of satanists recently took WBC counter-protesting to a whole new level.
On July 14, members of the New York-based Satanic Temple traveled to the grave site of the mother of WBC founder Fred Phelps in order to posthumously turn her into a lesbian.
In order to transform the straight spirit of Catherine Idalette Johnston into a homo one, the satanist group staged "a formal ceremony celebrating same-sex unions" known as a "Pink Mass." According to a tongue-in-cheek press release by the Satanic Temple, the ceremony was "meant to convey a message of love in the face of hate."
Two Pink Masses were performed, the first with two women and the second with two men. Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the Satanic Temple, officiated the bizarre proceedings while wearing a horned headgear.
"Upon completion of the pink mass ceremony, Catherine Johnston is now gay in the afterlife," declares the Satanic Temple's website, which has the ironic URL, www.westboro-baptist.com.
The site invites other gay couples to visit the Phelps family graveyard in Mississippi to make out on Johnston's grave. It states that "after a Pink Mass has been performed, every time a same-sex couple kisses over a grave site, the now-gay deceased is pleasured in the afterlife."
As Greaves told Vice, "Fred Phelps is obligated to believe that his mother is now gay ... [and] if beliefs are inviolable rights, nobody has the right to challenge our right to believe that Fred Phelps believes that his mother is now gay."
The Westboro Baptist Church has sparked the hatred of the American public with its controversial "God Hates Fags" slogan and sheer disrespect in the face of tragedy. Two hours after the explosion of the first bomb at the Boston Marathon in April, the church tweeted, “Westboro Baptist Church to picket funerals of those dead by Boston Bombs! GOD SENT THE BOMBS IN FURY OVER FAG MARRIAGE! #PraiseGod."
Recently, the group announced plans to picket the funeral of Cory Monteith, declaring that the former star of Glee "taught millions to sin."
Despite the WBC's deplorable behavior, I question whether it was really necessary for the Satanic Temple to stoop to the church's level. Protesting the WBC by desecrating the grave of its founder's mother is like fighting fire with fire. Then again, these are people who worship the devil, so they're probably not afraid of burning in hell.
And if a picture of a satanist tea-bagging a bigot's dead mother's gravestone isn't weird enough for you, the Satanic Temple also has an Adopt-A-Highway campaign. Apparently, these satanists just want to keep our public spaces "clean, safe, and enjoyable for all people."
Gabe Grand is an editorialist for PolicyMic.