The Westboro Baptist Church raised $44,000 for the Gay Men's Health Crisis organization of NYC, in a manner of speaking: comedienne Lisa Lampanelli promised to donate $1,000 for every WBC protester that showed up at her performance Saturday night in Topeka, Kansas, and she counted 44.
Topeka, Kansas, of course, is the home of the Westboro Baptist Church. Lisa Lampanelli, on the other hand, is somewhat of a modern day Don Rickles. During her perfromances, the popular comic will lampoon any race, creed, color, etc. in the audience. She is often called Comedy's Lovable Queen of Mean and her performances are well known for being raunch and racy, and taking on subjects such as race and homosexuality.
Westboro Baptist Church, on the other hand, is hardly known as being lovable. Even on the right wing, and the extreme right wing, they have been disavowed by other religious organizations, despite their claim of being Christians.
The group is infamous for having picketed the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In doing so, the church said that the deaths of soldiers in those countries were a reprisal against America's liberal treatment of homosexuals. They picket funerals, regardless of the sexuality of the soldier.
In 2006, Westboro Baptist Church picketed the Westminster, Maryland, funeral of Matthew Snyder, a U.S. Marine who was killed in Iraq. They carried signs with banners saying "God hates fags" and "Thank God for dead soldiers." tRuling on a subsequent lawsuit filed by Snyder's father, Albert Snyder, the U.S. Supreme Court decided 8–1 in early March of this year that the actions of WBC constituted protected free speech.
In January 2011, after the Tucson shootings, Fred Phelps, head of the Westboro Baptist Church, posted a YouTube video in which he applauded the actions of Jared Lee Loughner, the shooter. Phelps said, "Thank God for the violent shooter, one of Your soldier heroes in Tucson. God appointed the Afghanistan veteran to avenge himself on this evil nation. However many are dead, Westboro will picket their funerals."
Subsequently, Westboro announced that they would picket the funeral of Christina Taylor Green, a 9-year-old victim of the shooting. In response, the Arizona legislature passed an emergency bill to ban protests within 300 feet of a funeral service. Tucson residents also made plans to shield the funeral from protesters.
In addition to homosexuality, Westboro Baptist Church has protested against Judaism, as well. In 1996 Phelps, led a protest at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., where he said, "Whatever righteous cause the Jewish victims of the 1930s–40s Nazi Holocaust had, (probably minuscule, compared to the Jewish Holocausts against Middle Passage Blacks, African Americans and Christians—including the bloody persecution of Westboro Baptist Church by Topeka Jews in the 1990s), has been drowned in sodomite semen. American taxpayers are financing this unholy monument to Jewish mendacity and greed and to filthy fag lust. Homosexuals and Jews dominated Nazi Germany ... The Jews now wander the earth despised, smitten with moral and spiritual blindness by a divine judicial stroke ... And God has smitten Jews with a certain unique madness ... Jews, thus perverted, out of all proportion to their numbers energize the militant sodomite agenda... Jews are the real Nazis."
These are just a sampling of the "causes" that Westboro Baptist Church deems picketable.
In terms of her performance and the hit to her wallet, Lisa Lampanelli was unconcerned about the money. In fact, she trumpeted the amount. After the show, she tweeted, "Thanks to these a-holes, $44,000 will be donated to the GMHC!!!"
Image Source: Wikipedia
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