USC Pastafarians counter-protest of Westboro Baptist Church demonstration

Published March 26th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson

The Univeristy of South Carolina Pastafarians organized a successful counter-protest of the hate group Westboro Baptist Church’s demonstration at the South Carolina State House on Tuesday.

We’ve mentioned (and counter-protested) Westboro Baptist Church before; they’re an extremist Christian sect best known for their godhatesfags website (alluding to a Leviticus verse taken out of context) and protests of American soldiers funerals. They tour around the country spreading their message of intolerance, generally to the disgust of onlookers. It’s unclear what exactly they were trying to accomplish in SC.

Here is a picture of some Westboro demonstrators, so you can get an idea of what they’re about:

One more:

If anything good has happened as a result of these hateful small-minded people it’s that the tolerant nonsecular community has so often come together in response. The USC Pastafarians did an amazing job of staging this counter-protest of the Westboro crew.

Here are some pictures:

I think I spot a pirate. Crowd was estimated to be in the hundreds.

Amusing signs are something of a tradition in these counter-protests.

It’s true, Leviticus outlines a variety of stuff God hates. Shrimp is on the list. I think some of these are speculation (but that’s fair game in religion).

I’m told this gentleman was wearing very short shorts, for the cause.

This one took me a while.

Thomas Jefferson would have approved of this, I am confident.

I’m with God. Jenga sucks.

So many people. You can really feel the love in the air.

Pastafarians love everyone …

Even (especially) gay robots

Nice work, guys.

Gay robot love.

Pastafarians are longtime supporters of Gay Robot Rights

You guys did an amazing job and I wish I could have seen the show.

More pictures, videos, information regarding this event:

USC Pastafarians website

Facebook event page with pictures, video, etc

USC Pastafarian counter-protest event press release

Local WOLO News video coverageThere was a clash of ideals on the State House grounds Tuesday. The radical Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas came to Columbia. The group is known for protesting at soldiers’ funerals and spreading a message of hate against homosexuals and Jews. But dozens of counter-protestors outnumbered Westboro Baptist fifty to one.

MidlandsConnect local News video coverage

A final note

I want to point out that the majority of the counter-protesters were non-secular, as is often the case. It is a disturbing reality that the conservative members of a religion are often silent in response to the extremist members. This more than anything is the big evil hanging around organized religion. It’s true that most members of any religion are good people; it’s also true that those good people often remain silent when nutjob members do crazy shit.

I don’t know the solution, but I have to believe that these types of counter-protests are a step in the right direction.

Awesome work, guys.

Update 3/30/10

Dead Marine’s father ordered to pay protesters’ legal costs.

The father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church says an order to pay the protesters’ legal costs in a civil claim is nothing less than a “slap in the face.”

“By the court making this decision, they’re not only telling me that they’re taking their side, but I have to pay them money to do this to more soldiers and their families,” said Albert Snyder, whose son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, was killed in action in Iraq in 2006.

Members of the fundamentalist church based in Topeka, Kansas, appeared outside Snyder’s funeral in 2006 in Westminster, Maryland, carrying signs reading “You’re going to hell,” “God hates you” and “Thank God for dead soldiers.”

Among the teachings of the church, which was founded in 1955 by pastor Fred Phelps, is the belief that God is punishing the United States for “the sin of homosexuality” through events such as soldiers’ deaths.

More at CNN

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