The only appropriate response to the Westboro Baptist Church, the Christian sect infamous for its neon-signed hate protests, is to ridicule them. Their gatherings are hollering celebrations of homophobia, transphobia, racism, and every other conceivable form of bigoted thought, displayed on cardboard signs carried by adults and children sent to picket for no reason other than to promote prejudice and enrage passersby. They feed off confrontation, making conversation or arguments a waste of time. The only way to counter their efforts is to drown them out with an equal amount of noise.
Understanding this, Lamb Of God singer Randy Blythe took to Instagram in order to plan a “counter-party” that would frustrate the Church’s protest of Danica Roem’s election in Richmond, Virginia last Monday.
“What these people want is something that looks like this,” he says in the clip before rolling footage of a shouting match between Westboro members and a man understandably disgusted by them. “But what we’re going to give them ... is gonna look like this,” Blythe says, cutting to him in a cowboy hat, purple wig, and sunglasses, buzzing enthusiastically, annoyingly, through a kazoo. The post told those interested the time and place to assemble and promised a “$200 cash prize for best costume” along with “200 kazoos to give out & various other melodic party-enhancing devices.”
As a collection of Twitter videos shows, Blythe’s plan worked. There are drums and noisemakers, there is dancing, and, last but not least, there are kazoos.
The counter-party was a success: Westboro Baptist Church cut its protest short.
According to Blabbermouth, Blythe organized the event for a number of reasons. “Well, first and foremost, Danica [Roem] is my friend,” he said. “I don’t like people who mess with my friends.”
“Second, their ‘message’ sucks—they do have the right to preach it, but we also have the right to drown it out with kazoos,” Blythe continued. “Third, it’s too good of an opportunity to pass up. Who doesn’t want to hear a few hundred people playing the Sanford And Son theme on kazoos? Only a truly godless and un-American puppy-kicking troglodyte, that’s who.”
He also mentioned the Church’s fundraising tactics as the reason for his loud, non-violent approach to shutting them down. ”Someone loses their cool and punches one of them, and then they sue the pants off of the aggressor,” Blythe said. “Or a city won’t let them protest, and then they sue the city. This has substantially increased their coffers several time.”
His counter-party follows in the grand tradition of others, from Foo Fighters and Robert Smigel to Vince Gill and Patton Oswalt, who have organized competing events or otherwise mocked Westboro as a way to ridicule and defang their cause. For more on Robert Blythe’s event, follow the insectile hum of kazoos over to Blabbermouth’s full story.
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