When the Westboro Baptist Church rode into the small town of Bozeman, Montana — population 38,000 — on Monday to spread their message of God’s all-consuming hate for fags, they were met by a tight-knit community that wasn’t having any of it.
As we all know by now, the WBC mostly consists of the inbred Christoholics from the Phelps klan and on Monday Shirley Phelps-Roper, her
brother husband Brent and their 11th(!) child Luke set up their signs and sound system outside Montana State University. There, a crowd of some 300 high school and university students and townspeople had gathered in anticipation with signs of their own, chanting “Get your hate out of our state.”
“If God hates gays, then why are they so cute?” read one sign, “Green Coalition of Gay Loggers for Jesus” read another. When Westboro started flashing their signs to passing cars, local actress Cara Wilder crossed the street and stood next to them with her sign: “God Loves Everyone Even This A(heart, heart)hole.”
The WBC was in town because, as good ole Shirls told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, “we haven’t been here before.” The paper notes the WBC has held 51,000 protests over the past 22 years, which explains why a group of so few people tends to make so much goddamn noise. They showed up just in time too because, as Shirls puts it,”Yellowstone is poised to vomit” because “you’ve got same-sex marriage.”
Members of the Knights of Columbus Catholic men’s group brandished a large picture of the Virgin Mary to “present a message of love” as they felt “Westboro presents a message of hate.” Not so, says Shirls, who claims she and her kinfolk “don’t hate anybody,” they’re just trying to save us all from God’s eternal damnation.
When the WBC drove to Bozeman High School, the Phelps-Ropers were met with hundreds more protesters, chanting “We’re all a little gay!” Eventually, Westboro got the hint and left town in their white SUV — a chariot of the Lord — as the town of Bozeman cheered, having successfully and peacefully demonstrated against hate in their hometown.
“I think it went pretty peacefully,” said 16-year-old Bozeman High junior Kiera Studer, who was carrying a homemade sign of Jesus riding a dinosaur under a rainbow. “I’m proud of Bozeman High and MSU for not doing anything crazy…. It brought the whole community together.”
Mission accomplished, Westboro.