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Mar 12 2012

Westboro Baptist Church is coming to the Reason Rally

The WBC goons plan to beg for attention, just like all the other religious parasites who will be leeching around the fringes of the Reason Rally. You know what to do.

Ignore them.

These guys are just litigious assholes. Don’t pay any attention to them at all.

125 comments

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  1. 1
    some bastard on the internet

    Dammit, now I really, really, really, really, really wanna go (it was previously at four reallys)! I would love to see these lunatics scream at the top of their lungs as people pass them by without even feigning interest.

    Someone had better post a video of it! We needz teh lulz!

  2. 2
    peterh

    The very best thing serious attendees can do is ignore them completely. The next best thing will be to pretend as well as can be managed that they are not there. Since it’s obvious they’re not all there anyway, the second should be fairly easy.

  3. 3
    d cwilson

    Actually, I’m hoping the Westboro Attention Whores will come out with their usual schtick. You know, standing on the American flag while shouting, “Thank Gawd for dead soldiers”. I hope they do that within sight of the religious righties who think Zombie Jesus was an American.

    The resulting head explosions should be hilarious. And the headlines would be priceless:

    Atheists Hold Peaceful Rally While Religious Groups Attack Each Other.

  4. 4
    sqlrob

    Is ignoring them the best thing to do?

    I think comicon did well making fun of them.

  5. 5
    shaundenney

    @dcwilson – although that would be hilarious, you know as well as I do that most of the headlines would be:
    “Riot at Athiest Rally: 20 innocent Christian bystanders injured”

  6. 6
    ibyea

    Wow, now I really want to go. Watching them will be like watching a bunch of chimps flinging poo in a zoo.

  7. 7
    wanstronian

    Surely a concerted “laugh and point” would be more fun?!

  8. 8
    Sandiseattle

    We had a victory of sorts against the WBC moronicy a little while back up this way. When a local nutter blew himself and his two kids up they were gonna protest at the kids funeral, but a local radio host talked them out of it.

  9. 9
    betelgeux

    Lately, it seems like the media’s been smartening up, and is starting to ignore these screeching whackjobs. Let’s hope they do the same with Bill-O, Hannity, Limbaugh, and all of the other crackpots who think acting like buffoons will make them money.

    Oh Cthulhu, how I wish I could go! Just for comedy value, I’d like to see what the fundies are screeching at us. I’d never try to engage in a conversation with them (for fear of a few brain cells dying in agony) but I take their oh-so-sophisticated flatworm-brained* insults as compliments.

    *I’m hoping this will replace “birdbrained” as the default description of near-mindless nutbags.

  10. 10
    timberwoof

    ComicCon had a reasoned and successful response when they were picketed: They handed out flyers to everybody explaining what WBC’s ulterior motive was (suing assaulters) and told people to not come closer than some specified distance (20 feet?). Counterprotesters held up bizarre and funny signs and got a lot more attention than WBC did. They didn’t ignore WBC, they made them look foolish without getting anywhere near them.

  11. 11
    Reginald Selkirk

    Perhaps someone will respond with the God hates figs message.

  12. 12
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    I’m gonna ignore them, all right. I’m gonna ignore them so hard that I ignore anything about them! Even this article!

    Wait.

    Actually, I plan to point them out to my son, who could use some more evidence that sometimes it’s the Real True Christian Believers who are the awful people.

  13. 13
    dougittner

    Living in Kansas I’ve encountered WBC a few times. They stay put in their own place and don’t chase after people. So if they are ignored for long enough they tend to get discouraged and leave. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them protest for longer than 2 hours.

    WBC won’t be the only Christians protesting. Just ignore them like all the other hate-filled Christians. The last thing the Rally needs is media coverage of violence. At the last Atheist rally in DC there was nearly one act of violence, a liberal Christian was about to beat the crap out of some intolerant Christians, but it was stopped by Atheists. The media would love nothing better to disparage the event so let the Christians look like the hate mongers and don’t give into the Dark Side Luke.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    The Dancing Monk

    I wonder what would happen if atheist groups threatened to attend Christian conferences with an aim of de-converting the faithful.

  16. 16
    A. R

    And I was on a two-month streak of forgetting these people existed! Damn you Poopyhead!!!!!!!

  17. 17
    Pteryxx

    What ‘Tis said. Be extremely careful, because WBC aren’t protesters – they’re a lawsuit mill trolling for “aggressors” they can sue.

  18. 18
    tehsymbol

    FYI,

    “Celebrity Atheist PZ Myers is calling for Atheists to who attend the rally to express “malice and cruelty” against Christians”

    http://www.examiner.com/messianic-jewish-in-national/atheist-to-hold-unreasonable-rally

  19. 19
    Lynna, OM

    In their PR about the upcoming protest of the Reason Rally, Westboro Baptist Church says that there is an especially hot spot reserved for Richard Dawkins in hell.

    Dawkins will be glad to hear this. Once he gets to hell he can trade the energy inherent in the temperature difference to all the engineers in hell. Dawkins will make mucho Hell Moola. And he will probably be able to air condition his portion of hell.

  20. 20
    Anthony K

    Surely a concerted “laugh and point” would be more fun?!

    That’s not how Shirley Phelps spells her name, and why are you addressing her here?

    all of the other crackpots who think acting like buffoons will make them money.

    Wait—I could be making money being me?

  21. 21
    robro

    Ah, the Irrational Rabble next door to the Reason Rally. How fitting. Perhaps they’ll have a debate over who’s sky guy is the true sky guy. It shouldn’t be hard to get that going.

  22. 22
    Jamie

    The only thing good to come out of their protests are the hilarious signs of the counter-protestors. I’m expecting some clever signs from the atheist of Reason Rally.

  23. 23
    Jamie

    *atheists

  24. 24
    ButchKitties

    The only thing good to come out of their protests are the hilarious signs of the counter-protestors.

    Don’t forget their usefulness in fundraising for LGBT charities. When they came to Naptown, they raised $7,700 for a local high school’s Gay/Straight Alliance and Indiana Youth Group. When the WBC started protesting at Lisa Lampanelli’s shows, she decided to donate $1k to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis for every protestor that showed up.

  25. 25
    Moggie

    Yeah, Comic-Con. Any counter-protest involving someone dressed as Bender and holding a “KILL ALL HUMANS” sign is automatically awesome, but I doubt the Reason Rally will reach such heights.

  26. 26
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Perfect. The Evil Atheist Conspiracy couldn’t have planned it better. Just imagine, all those christians turning up to make a scene and finding that the WBC is there to do the same thing. When you find yourself allied with the repugnant, you need to double check your thinking.

  27. 27
    Lowcifur

    Isn’t WBC attending the Reason Rally somewhat akin to staphylococcus bacteria attending a vat of antibiotics?

    I guess it’s lucky for WBC that they’ve already hermetically sealed their minds against any form of thought.

  28. 28
    Pteryxx

    In case y’all don’t already know, here’s a Southern Poverty Law Center writeup on the WBC’s activities and lawsuit-baiting, continuing up to present day:

    Fred Phelps and his small congregation provide WBC’s funding; the group neither solicits nor accepts outside donations. In addition to this income, the church makes money by winning or settling civil lawsuits involving the church. During the 1990s, the group sued Topeka multiple times for failing to provide sufficient protection during its protests. Although they lost most of their cases, WBC did win $43,000 in legal fees in 1993. According to Shirley Phelps-Roper, they also won more than $100,000 in 1995 in a lawsuit against Kansas’ Funeral Picketing Act, which they claimed violated their First Amendment rights. Because the Phelps family represents WBC in court, they can put the fees they win towards supporting the church.

    SPLC intelligence file on WBC

  29. 29
    Anthony K

    Yeah, Comic-Con. Any counter-protest involving someone dressed as Bender and holding a “KILL ALL HUMANS” sign is automatically awesome, but I doubt the Reason Rally will reach such heights.

    Such heights may not even be possible again, though the Reason Rally and its participants can try. Sometimes counters and contrasts are so well done that they cannot be improved upon.

    It’s the Problem of Peak Foil.

  30. 30
    penguinland

    I don’t understand. Why would the NAP purposely invite these trolls to our rally? I worry that people in the back of the crowd will have trouble hearing our speakers over WBC’s obnoxiousness.

    Presumably, I’ve misunderstood something. Can anyone explain?

  31. 31
    Pteryxx

    More from SPLC:

    And then there are the lawsuits. Phelps himself is a disbarred attorney who was long known for massive litigation; at one point, he personally had almost 200 lawsuits pending in federal court. Although his congregation includes only about 22 adults, at least 14 of those have law degrees.

    The church has its own law firm, Phelps Chartered, which is staffed by church members and which has repeatedly filed suit against its perceived enemies (see Halting Abusive Lawyers).

    In addition to suing the chief of police and various Kansas judges and politicians, it has sued one district attorney three times for “malicious prosecution.” Even private citizens who filed criminal complaints against the picketers found themselves embroiled in lawsuits — or, perhaps by coincidence, with roofing nails littering their driveways.

    “We should stand up and be counted against this hatred, but I can recognize a moral dilemma to being courageous,” concedes Randy Austin, former head of the Concerned Citizens of Topeka, a group established to counter WBC.

    I can hold myself up for the picketing, the lawsuits, the harassment, ” says Austin, a lawyer who manages a trust that owns shopping centers. “But what if I stand up to them and they put one of my tenants out of business? That’s not okay.”

    Source

    …Yeah, I’m worried for y’all who are going. For petes sake bring lots and lots of cameras.

  32. 32
    ChristineRose

    This is the best possible response to the Westboro clan:

    What is Every Minute Counts USA?

    You will raise money for a valuable cause (be sure to pick one Fred doesn’t like) and have lots more fun. And be sure to bring snacks for the Westboro kids. They have it hard.

  33. 33
    littlejohn

    How can he sue me if I beat him to death? Just a hypothetical question.

  34. 34
    Randomfactor

    littlejohn, anyone can sue for anything, as can their heirs. And it’s absolutely stupid to joke about violence in a public forum.

    Hypothetically speaking.

  35. 35
    DLC

    Ignore them. they’re all out of friends, and running out of money.

  36. 36
    jasonmcdonald

    Okay, I have to ask. Why the fuck where they INVITED?!

  37. 37
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Fred Phelps: real-life forum troll.

  38. 38
    Brother Yam

    Oh the joy I would get from pointing to the “nice” Christians when I would point at the WBC crowd and say, “Why should I listen? God told them to act that way, too.”

  39. 39
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    I cannot haz picture with them? :(

  40. 40
    rapiddominance

    To any christians engaged in the events surrounding the Reason Rally who might be reading this, YOU CANNOT IGNORE Westboro Baptist’s involvement and expect any respect from the atheist community.

    It was in poor taste from the beginning to show up at a party uninvited and attempt to hold your own. You made it worse by indiscriminantly broadcasting an invitation to the greater christian community. A lot of folks that you don’t know anything about heard you.

    (By the way, how often do you see atheists crashing your venues?)

    Yet, you rang the dinner bell and here come the bandits! Now, for the sake of diplomacy, you almost HAVE to show up so you can fix the problem that you started.

    If you think I’m overstating the danger that your integrity is in, I suggest you look these guys (westboro) up on the net. Find some video footage of their rallies. Hit the play arrow. Sit back! Enjoy the magic!

    They’re all yours.

  41. 41
    Pteryxx

    tangential awesome: Last September, the WBC picketed a Foo Fighters concert, so the band played in the street a song just for them:

    http://www.nme.com/news/foo-fighters/59280

  42. 42
    rogerfirth

    Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTSbfs32yCU

    I can’t imagine trying to carry on a conversation with these nutbags. Tunderf00t showed incredible restraint.

  43. 43
    Pteryxx

    Incidentally, it wasn’t the Christians who invited the WBC. From the article cited in the OP:

    Members of the Westboro Baptist Church were invited to the Reason Rally by Jim Klawon, Deputy Vice President of Administration of the National Atheist Party, via a letter sent to Pastor Fred Phelps. After receiving this letter, Megan Phelps-Roper, on Twitter, wrote, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” Ps14:1 Here’s lookin’ at you, @ReasonRally!Your [unwarranted] pride is your destruction. Dear @ReasonRally: How gracious of you! We accept your invitation & will picket your parade of fools 3/24. Love,WBC.”

  44. 44
    timberwoof

    StarStuff, stand far away and have your photographer use a long lens while you get into the “I vill krrush you vit my fingers!” pose.

  45. 45
    wholething

    How unreasonable does a person have to be to protest reason?

  46. 46
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    timberwoof @ 44:

    stand far away and have your photographer use a long lens while you get into the “I vill krrush you vit my fingers!” pose.

    … YES :D

  47. 47
    Thy Goddess

    I like that Jim Klawon guy. He brings in the clowns for the intelligent people’s entertainment.

  48. 48
    csmiller

    quoth ButchKitties @ 12 March 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Don’t forget their usefulness in fundraising for LGBT charities.

    See http://phelps-a-thon.com/ – fundraise for LGBT charities in liberal areas, American Soldiers in more conservative areas.
    Basically p-a-t collect sponsorship for said charity in the name of the WBC – say $10 per donator for the WBC turning up or $1 for every 10 minutes the WBC protest – a receipt is sent to Fred thanking him for inspiring the good people of the town to donate to the charity.

  49. 49
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    This is where the non-WBC Christians can demonstrate their reason and and their solidarity with the Rally: Stand up against the WBC if and when necessary.

  50. 50
    Randomfactor

    Point-and-laugh.

  51. 51
    mnb0

    You guys really should read the bible a little more often – just a little.

    1 Cor 14:34-36: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

    1 Tim 2:11-15: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man…..”

    If that picture is to be trusted PZ Myers is a man. So shut the f**k up, Megan Phelps-Roper, if you take your own religion seriously. Ask your husband at home.

  52. 52
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    In addition to suing the chief of police and various Kansas judges and politicians, it has sued one district attorney three times for “malicious prosecution.” Even private citizens who filed criminal complaints against the picketers found themselves embroiled in lawsuits — or, perhaps by coincidence, with roofing nails littering their driveways.

    “We should stand up and be counted against this hatred, but I can recognize a moral dilemma to being courageous,” concedes Randy Austin, former head of the Concerned Citizens of Topeka, a group established to counter WBC.

    I can hold myself up for the picketing, the lawsuits, the harassment, ” says Austin, a lawyer who manages a trust that owns shopping centers. “But what if I stand up to them and they put one of my tenants out of business? That’s not okay.”

    Would someone care to explain the purpose it serves to have a legal system in which people who abuse the law in such a contemptible fashion are not liable to imprisonment for it?

  53. 53
    Rey Fox

    WBC won’t be the only Christians protesting.

    Actually, they will. All the other Christian groups just want to rap with us, man. Open up a dialogue, share some views, all that groovy stuff.

  54. 54
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I have seen the Phelps klan in action. Nothing much to see. Just a whole lot of hateful signs but you already know what they say.

  55. 55
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    One can hope for some kook fighting.

  56. 56
    jaycubed

    If you can’t egg ‘em!

    Ignore them.

  57. 57
    Evader, the parasite-infested branch on the evolutionary tree

    Tear em a new one PZ.

    Don’t stop if they fall to the ground bleeding.

  58. 58
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    *facepalm*

  59. 59
    Cipher

    You know, I think it’s good. Keep ‘em there as long as you can. Y’all can handle them, and for every hour they’re at Reason Rally, that’s another hour that they’re not trying to disrupt someone’s funeral.

  60. 60
    Matt125

    Cassandra at #59 got it right. Better have them annoying atheists than screaming in the faces of grieving parents.

  61. 61
    SallyStrange

    Aww, does this mean I can’t stand next to them with a sign reading “WE ARE ASSHOLES”?

  62. 62
    ChristineRose

    Actually where ever the WBC goes the mainstream Christians turn out to protest. It’s one thing to believe in a contradictory and logically impossible story and quite another thing to hassle people trying to share their grief for a lost loved one. And of course the inbred losers picket Christian funerals as well.

  63. 63
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The Pullet Patrol™ is looking to see if they can launch three trebuchet loads of pullet by-products that would arrive almost simultaneously and from different directions. Preliminary results shows the timing a little off, especially if the Jet Stream interferes. Nothing would get through to the WBC more than being covered in chicken shit while being laughed at.

  64. 64
    rogerfirth

    One can hope for some kook fighting.

    I prefer Foo Fighting.

  65. 65
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    At the Seattle Slutwalk there were a few dedicated Christian young women holding signs saying “Please don’t think we are like them” along with messages about love etc in response to the WBC protestors (I should say ‘protestor’, I guess the rest of them got all worn out from protesting at the Gay Pride Picnic they day before). Everyone on the walk cheered them. It might have been a small effort but at least they made themselves known which is much more than most xians seem to do in response to the WBC assholery.

  66. 66
    Kamaka

    How about everybody just makes outrageous, silly faces at them and sticks out their tongues (a Maori insult).

    A lawsuit for the ages:

    “They stuck their tongues out like they wanted to eat us, and they gave us the *stink eye*. Surely, we are victims, Your Honor!”

  67. 67
    chigau (違う)

    Kamaka
    I’ve seen maori tongue-sticking-out and I must say it was quite threatening. (with the yelling and stamping)
    (smiley face)

  68. 68
    Kamaka

    @ chigau

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-lrE2JcO44

    m Maori

  69. 69
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I have seem plenty of WBC style protesters at various gay and lesbian events. When I have to go by them, I smile and wave at them. Besides being no where as confrontational in RL as opposed to here, these people are looking for people to express hatred and disdain towards them. It validates their self image of being martyrs and facing down evil.

    I refuse to play their little game.

  70. 70
    Alverant

    How about making a sign saying, “God is Gay!” with the subtitle “That’s why he made Adam first”?

  71. 71
    Ubi Dubium

    I might throw a handful or two of popcorn around them. They’d have a hard time suing us for assault by pigeons.

  72. 72
    sabinebalden

    I have no intention of ignoring them.

    I consider them part of the entertainment.

  73. 73
    satanaugustine

    A couple of posters have asked, but received no answer so I’ll ask again:

    Why the fuck did Jim Klawon from the National Atheist Party invite those sick WBC fucks?

    I mean, for fuck sake what the fucking fuck??!

  74. 74
    machintelligence

    Nerd @ 63 That would be a true Pullet Surprise.
    *ducks and runs away*

  75. 75
    Kamaka

    @ satanaugustine

    You choose such a nym, yet have no sense of sublety.

    Think contrast.

  76. 76
    SuckPoppet

    Yeah, fuck that passive ignore shit.

    Point and laugh and laugh and laugh …

  77. 77
    SallyStrange

    Or how about this: we organize a giant banner for people to hold, approximately 20 feet behind them (whatever the legal distance is) that says: PLEASE SUE US. WE NEED THE MONEY.

  78. 78
    SallyStrange

    Err, wait, that doesn’t work.

    WE MAKE OUR MONEY SUING PEOPLE

    WE LIVE TO SUE YOU

    Something like that.

    Honestly, their presence can only help attract media attention–since everybody hates them, the Reason Rally can only benefit by being the target of their protest. More media attention, which is exactly the point of the Rally.

  79. 79
    starsend42

    I had the luck to witness the confrontation at Comi-Con first hand. My friend and I were having lunch DIRECTLY ACROSS from where it all went down. The signs made, many of then impromptu, by the Con attendees were HI-larious. Also got to have my picture taken with Bender. Poor guy was dying in the costume (it was a hot day)! Said after he left the protest he was off for a beer. I think everyone there would have been glad to buy one for him! The Con attendees were peaceful and witty protestors. Take a lesson from them if you plan to protest at the coming event. From what I understand the barrage of mockery caused the WBC to leave earlier than they had originally planned.

  80. 80
    dexitroboper

    All someone needs is to stand next to the WBC people with a sign that says “See? THATS why you need reason”

  81. 81
    leaford

    Moggie@#25 and Starsend42 @#79 already mentioned the Bender counter-protest at Comic Con, b ut here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qRE4BJKPmg

    Even Kevin Smith has been mentioning that in his Burn in Hell Q&A video.

  82. 82
    SallyStrange

    Something absurd would work too; I was a big fan of the comic con ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD sign.

  83. 83
    chigau (違う)

    Kamaka #68
    Yeah, just like that. Thanks for the link.
    mM failed shift, no disrespect intended.

  84. 84
    Moggie

    Rev:

    One can hope for some kook fighting.

    Those cats were fast as lightning!

  85. 85
    scottjordan

    *Christian rings door bell. Atheist answers door*

    Christian: “Hello. I’m here to bring you the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

    Atheist: “Hi. Sorry, I’m not interested. I’m an atheist.”

    Christian: “You’re an atheist? The Bible says ‘The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God’.”

    Atheist: “Why did you call me a fool? The Bible also says ‘Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire’.”

    Christian: Hold on!! Wait! I didn’t call you a fool! I’m just quoting God.

    Atheist: “So, that means God is in danger of hellfire.”

    Christian: “…I’ll pray for you.”

  86. 86
    strange gods before me ॐ

    How about making a sign saying, “God is Gay!” with the subtitle “That’s why he made Adam first”?

    How about no.

    That comes off as homophobic. If gay Christians want to talk about God being gay, whatever. They like God, so it’s implicit that they also like the idea of God being gay.

    Atheists don’t like God, so the message is implicit that they don’t like gay people either. The weird punchline is no help. I am tired of my sexuality being used as a bludgeon to make homophobes uncomfortable.

  87. 87
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Think contrast.

    Yeah, no.

    My life is better when I don’t have to think about Westboro.

    Fuck that stupid fucker Jim Klawson.

  88. 88
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    How about a 5 min kiss-in just across the street from them?
    Combined with donations: 2$ for gay couples kissing (500$ if one of them is Brownian), 1$ for unmarried couples and 50ct for married couples.

  89. 89
    Louis

    Giliell, #88,

    I LOVE it! I’ll even kiss the Mrs for free! But I do want me some of that sweet, sweet Brownian action.

    Now, planes tickets, passport, unauthorised time off work…

    …things to see, people to do.

    Louis

  90. 90
    Dabu

    Ignoring the Phelps troupe is undoubtedly the wisest course of action. But it’d be fun to treat them as entertainment. Give ‘em a rotunda, microphones if they need them, and space for an audience to watch, at a safe distance. You could even have some seating, just to drive the point home.

    When they show signs of starting to pack up and leave, everyone could yell “Encore!”. That’d confuse ‘em. No rotten fruit or other projectiles, though, regardless of what artistic felonies the act presents.

  91. 91
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @80. dexitroboper :

    All someone needs is to stand next to the WBC people with a sign that says “See? THATS why you need reason”

    Best response idea yet. Winner of thread so far in my view. Cheers for the laugh.

  92. 92
    rogerfirth

    Why does the link to a YouTube video that I posted here show up as an embedded video, while YouTube links posted by other people show up as links? (Sorry if I offended anybody’s bandwidth. That was not my intent.)

  93. 93
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Knowing they’re going to be there puts another check-mark in the “I-should-go-in-a-dress-or-probably-a-skirt-and-t-shirt” box.

    Of course then I realize how exposed I’ll be to everyone else and my brain goes into that whole catatonic “omg omg omg omg I’m going to die” action. Yay anxiety!

    But still, how would they react to a strangely attractive transgender?

  94. 94
    drxym

    I wonder why any group would protest at something called a Reason Rally. Almost by definition it demonstrates they are unreasonable. They may as well paint “nutcase” on their foreheads and parade around all day for the amusement of saner people. At least if they stayed away they could pretend the event didn’t even happen.

  95. 95
    CapeTownJunk

    Why has nobody proposed a counter-protest by the Landover Baptist Church?

  96. 96
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Did you type something like [youtube = "URL"]
    instead of <a href=”URL”>video title</a>
    ?

  97. 97
    Ubi Dubium

    Thinking about it, this is really brilliant, inviting them to the Rally. Remember that other xian groups are planning to be there, supposedly to share their deep personal relationship with jeebus, or some such rubbish. In response to them, we can point at WBC and say “They believe in jeebus too. And they seem really really sincere. Do you believe the same things they do? No? Well, if you and WBC can agree on what it is we are supposed to believe, then we’ll listen. So why don’t you go over there and have a nice confab with them, and come back and talk to us once you have coem to an agreement?

    Having WBC at the rally is a really good way to embarass all the other evangelists. I’m all for it.

  98. 98
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @rogerfirth / Markita:

    I think if you just post the YouTube link itself, it embeds.

    If you put it in an HREF it doesn’t embed.

  99. 99
    ambulocetacean

    I hate those anti-smoking assholes.

  100. 100
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ ^ Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort says:

    I think if you just post the YouTube link itself, it embeds.

    I think that’s right and what usually happens when I post youtube links. Hang on a sec ..

    (Rummages around for suitable clip to experiment with here ..)

  101. 101
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Lets see :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZmHC75FDqQ

    (Link doesn’t appear in preview.)

  102. 102
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Oh – then it does & turns up as a link. (Shrug.)

    Could’ve sworn it didn’t do that before and just auto-embedded. Maybe not?

  103. 103
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Simple & cut’n’paste for the above btw.

  104. 104
    blake

    I find the feigned outrage expressed here quite interesting in light of the fact that it was the Reason Rally organizers themselves that invited the fringe unreasonable Westboro group. Perhaps they didn’t like the idea of a Christian group showing up to reason with at the Rally so invited a straw man whipping boy to come. http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2012/03/the-reason-rally-and-westboro-baptist-church/ Makes one wonder about the motives of the Reason Rally organizers.

  105. 105
    julietdefarge

    Any and all protestors will be counted in the fly-over estimation of crowd size, so come on down! Swell our atheist ranks!

  106. 106
    hexidecima

    Blake,

    Are you psychic? I wonder how you “know” the outrage here is “feigned? I don’t agree with inviting the WBC, but it does do a great job of showing how hypocritical theists, and especially Christians are. If Christians want to come crash the party, it’s great to show them that they aren’t all peace and light, and they have no more evidence that their god supports them than then WBC has. They are Christians just like you are, even if you don’t like it. There is no way to determine who the True Christians are, considering that none of you can do any of the magic promised by your supposed savior.

    Indeed, having Christians of all types at the rally underlines that your supposed god and your bible are indeed just as hateful as the WBC demonstrates. The WBC is no more strawman than any other Christian sect. They are all based on claims that have no evidence, and are only cherry picking of a hoary old book that is no different than any other religion. Each sect uses its magic decoder ring of its own hates and desires and claims that some bogeyman in the sky supports them.

  107. 107
    Q.E.D

    blake @ 104

    FWIW I don’t think inviting Westboro was a good idea. That said:

    I followed your link and found none of the reasons I came up with, instead, I found arguments full of logic fail, fallacies and tone trolling concluding with the real purpose for the article.

    Aside from the potential possibility that Richard Dawkins will offer reasons for the truth of his beliefs at the Rally, none of these have much to do with the celebration of logic and reason

    throw away ad hominem

    The interesting thing about the media coverage of the Westboro group is that any reporter who covers them as a Christian group will do so knowing that no one outside of the Westboro community thinks that Westboro represents Christianity.

    No True Scotsman with a side of pre-emptive “Journalists who compare Westboro to christians like us are liars”

    By doing so, they’ve highlighted a consistent problem for contemporary atheism: a love of ridicule. The problem with resorting to ridicule is that it cheapens and coarsens the dialogue.

    Tone trolling

    Religious people are generally like Westboro.
    Westboro is bad for our society. Therefore, to have a better society, we should be less religious.

    Straw man complete with false premise.

    To make an effort to portray 85% of Americans as being like the Westboro Baptist Church is both false and unnecessarily mean.

    Tone trolling and false premise.

    Leading to the real purpose of the article:

    If you are interested in seeing how the problems of irrationality and unreasonableness are problems that more broadly characterize the New Atheism, we just released a book on the subject.

    Now that we have you all hopped up about those unreasonable, mean New Atheists: BUY OUR BOOK!

  108. 108
    daniellavine

    I find the feigned outrage expressed here quite interesting in light of the fact that it was the Reason Rally organizers themselves that invited the fringe unreasonable Westboro group. Perhaps they didn’t like the idea of a Christian group showing up to reason with at the Rally so invited a straw man whipping boy to come. http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2012/03/the-reason-rally-and-westboro-baptist-church/ Makes one wonder about the motives of the Reason Rally organizers.

    Blake@104:

    Where do you go to church? I’d like to show up to “participate.”

  109. 109
    scorpy1

    Blaked (#104),

    I hate to burst your sanctimonious, conspiratorial bubble, but you just conflated “official RR sponsor” National Atheist Party with being an “RR organizer”.

    …which is odd since the blog post you linked to (or wrote?) didn’t make the same initial mistake, but descended into the same paranoia.

    I’m not a spokesman for either group, but if you wanted to know why the invitation was sent, I suppose you could rest on your suppositions, or y’know read the comments from someone who appears to be connected, here (which your linked blog post also linked):

    Its sort of a “pick on someone your own size” offer and we wanted to point out that though we may disagree the NAP will never dish out the hatred and ignorance that the Westboro Church does. They need to know that there is a large group of people actively fighting for people’s secular rights.

    There’s no hint of them being asked to be there as an object of ridicule or Atheistic meanness, but as a response to the WBC’s hatred.

    You see, this is a matter of one sub-group publicly challenging another sub-group on matters of principal and character…nothing of which indicates to me that this is somehow a proxy for the larger conflict of atheists vs. theists or that anybody but you thinks it is.

    Even still, if the WBC would rather deny the invitation and instead chant and sloganeer, that’s not a reflection on the NAP for not supporting reasonable discourse…they offered and it seems like it will be denied.

  110. 110
    ianm

    My impression of the Westboro folks is that they say what they say not out of a belief in what they are saying but in order to provoke people into actions which they can then litigate against. For them to be at the Reason Rally doesn’t cause me concern because in that setting they are just an object of derision. It is when they show up at funerals and intrude on people’s grief, exploiting that grief in order to profit financially, that crosses the line for me.

  111. 111
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Here are some nice posters for the reason rally:

    * You disproved evolution?

    * You pray for me and I’ll dance naked in the forest for you (or sacrifice a goat or…)

    * Don’t pray in my school and I won’t think in your church

    * I have a deep personal relationship with reality

  112. 112
    otrame

    Blake @104

    Please answer the points made in this video.

  113. 113
    ianm

    I checked out the “God hates figs” link above and its accompanying Biblical citations:

    Jeremiah 29:17
    Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

    Matthew 21:18-20
    Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.

    Mark 11:12-14
    The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

    The quote from Jeremiah is grammatically ambiguous, leaving one the impression that spoiled figs are evil and also leaving one the impression that God is visiting war famine and pestilence on people in order that they become inedible. No such ambiguity in the New Testament quotes. Jesus was hungry and since the fig tree he spotted was out of season he caused it to never bear fruit again, a role model for Christian conservatives: selfish, ignorant, and spiteful.

  114. 114
    Muse

    Katherine – do it. You know we’ve got your back.

  115. 115
    tommykey

    I hope some of the gay attendees to the Reason Rally will kiss each other in front of the WBC demonstrators just to rile them up a bit.

  116. 116
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    I promise to kiss whomever would piss off the Westboro folks most, whether it’s Muse, Brownian, or, should they arrive in time, the medicinal leeches I got my boss to order me to celebrate finally paying the last of my tuition and getting that nice piece of paper saying “Mattir, Ph.D.”

    I love working as a nature educator instead of a psychologist – hard to justify the purchase of leeches as a professional psychologist.

    Also, if Brownian shows up, I get to kiss for free. The wait in line as been way too long.

  117. 117
    AlanMac

    @scottjordan #85

    Christian: “…I’ll pray for you.”

    Atheist:“…and I’ll think for you.” (C. Hitchens)

  118. 118
    breasonable

    PZ, you’re approaching this all wrong. I think one of the speakers at the Rally should actually THANK Westboro for proving to the entire world, beyond all doubt, that religion is a simply a man-made construct that can be used to support ANY ridiculous or hateful belief (at which point the crowd could erupt in applause of gratitude).

  119. 119
    cag

    Unreason meets reason.

  120. 120
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    WE MAKE OUR MONEY SUING PEOPLE

    WE LIVE TO SUE YOU

    Something like that.

    Homo litigious stupidus

    KEEP OFF – DO NOT FEED

    Maybe with a description (habitat, diet, social habits, ect.) in smaller font.

  121. 121
    kreativekaos

    d cwilson @ #3:

    [“Thank Gawd for dead soldiers”. I hope they do that within sight of the religious righties who think Zombie Jesus was an American.

    The resulting head explosions should be hilarious. And the headlines would be priceless:

    Atheists Hold Peaceful Rally While Religious Groups Attack Each Other.]

    Wouldn’t that be an interesting tactic– getting differing segments arguing/fighting among themselves, under the same Christian umbrella.

    I know that I’ve always understood one of the best weapons
    against right-wing/religious absurdity is to COMPLETELY IGNORE them, i.e., don’t allow them any avenue for publicity, or any opportunity for a soapbox. It’s an ego-killer.

  122. 122
    kreativekaos

    rogerfirth @ 42:

    I hit the YouTube link you provided: UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE!
    Just when one thinks that it’s unlikely for humans with such a level of stupidity, delusion, mental illness to be walking around among us free and not locked-up in a padded cell is very scary for me personally and for society in general.

    I champion Thunderf00t’s efforts and empathize for him. It’s infuriating to have to watch him try to pin these morons to the wall without being able to get a word in edgewise.

    (Although,… it may be a backdoor success, since it is a tour-de-force of of their irrationality, ignorance and subterfuge.)

  123. 123
    Cosmic Teapot, not the Antichrist.

    All someone needs is to stand next to the WBC people with a sign that says “See? THATS why you need reason”

    I like it.

    My idea was when they show up, everybody hides; and then someone comes along and tells them everyone has been raptured.

  124. 124
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Ignore them. These guys are just litigious assholes. Don’t pay any attention to them at all.

    I don’t know why people have been saying this. This is America. There is no such thing as hate speech laws here. I’m not kidding; we scream curses at WBC all the fucking time. I’ve done it. It’s cathartic. The cops just stand there.

    There is no problem until someone makes a threat, tries to cross into the space which the cops have sectioned off for the WBC, or the buffer zone around that space, or if someone throws something or otherwise attempts to make physical contact.

    Most counter-WBC protests go over just fine with a crowd of hundreds yelling and chanting for two hours. There is no reason not to pay attention to them. PZ has this weird idea in his head that if you ignore them then you’re “winning” by denying them what they want.

    Yeah, well, fuck the NAP for inviting them. But now that they’re coming, who gives a shit about whether or not they get attention? They’re going to feel righteous either way; they’ve done their part. What I want is to treat them like the horrible people that they are, and if any of you want that too, then go ahead and do it. Don’t be afraid to say mean shit to them.

    Tell them we know Fred is a racist and he’s going to be remembered as a deceiver who took black clients’ money and then called them racial slurs when they left his office.

    Do not be afraid of these people. As long as you follow the instructions of the police, you will be perfectly fine and they will not get one cent of your money.

  125. 125
    Pteryxx

    ॐ : I just don’t trust the police not to invent reasons to arrest those evil atheists, since the WBC are just peacefully protesting good Christians. I admit I’ve got no experience though.

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