Update: Brainstorming continued here: http://innermostparts.org/2010/11/20/westboro-baptist-party-update/

This is going to be fun.

The Westboro Baptist “Church” is a bona fide hate group, according to the Anti Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. They’re also quite small – basically this guy Fred Phelps and his large extended family rove around the country throwing absurd protests that no one supports.

They’re coming to Brandeis on December 3.

Why?

“remind these Jews that they bear the curse of their forefather’s murder of Christ. Further these college students of doomed america live for the devil himself, spending their energies on drunkeness, lust, sloth and greed rather than serving the Lord Almighty.”

How are we going to respond?

I’m thinking, if these loonies are going to get me up at 8:45 in a morning for the inevitable counter-protest, it’s going to be for something that doesn’t just respond to them, but instead affirmatively builds something positive here. Something to make us feel more like a community.

It’s easy to make fun of these guys, but how can we take this and turn it into something positive?

I propose some sort of party.

I asked the reddit hivemind. Some answers have been:

  • Invite your local LGBT groups to have a KISSATHON for charity right next to them. Raise money for a good cause with some very pleasant in-your-face affection!
  • The biggest, most visible sign – I’d even say the only one – should just be a truthful explanation: WBC PROVOKES PEOPLE TO VIOLENCE, THEN SUES. IT’S ALL ABOUT MONEY.
    You can also stage a fundraiser: http://www.phelps-a-thon.com/Home.html
    Don’t stage a circus. That’s what they want. It attracts people who might flip out and throw a punch, which is THEIR fundraising strategy.
  • Greet them with milk and cookies, and repeatedly tell them what you want for christmas

What do you think we should do?

I am willing to spend money on making this happen gloriously.
Facebook group here.

29 comments on “Westboro Baptist PARTY! Brainstorming”

  1. Sahar Says:

    Free Kippas and Rainbow flags?

    They’re also going to annoy a Mosque, public school, and library(? I think) nearby. Should we follow them? I think that’d be a good idea.

  2. Rachel Says:

    Their website says that they are coming to Hillel. Think that they realize that our Hillel is just a room in Usdan? Probably not, so I wonder where on campus they are actually going to go.

    Anyway, they’re coming to Chanukah to remind us about how we’re all Christ-killers. I vote for sufganiot (donuts) and dreidels and Chanukah songs all around.

  3. Jourdan Says:

    A group in Boston often does “Phelps-a-thons” where they raise money for LGBTQ youth for every minute that the WBC protests. People can either pledge to donate by the minute, or just a lump sum. I don’t know if it would work here, but its an idea.

  4. Sahar Says:

    That sounds great, Rachel.
    Student Activities/Events should totally throw that. Let’s ask them!

  5. Sahar Says:

    If not, the Justice League does have some emergency funds stocked away

  6. Lisa Says:

    Flamethrower Party?

  7. Felege Says:

    I’m speaking on behalf of a student studying abroad in China who wishes he could be here. He suggests (and I quote):

    “If we get enough people I’d also like to embark on a never-ending Hora large enough to surround their entire delegation, swapping out people for those who get tired. Just non-stop Hora.
    We’d call the event Hora for Haters.”

  8. Lev Says:

    We should produce a song-and-dance routine based on some popular song – this is a tactic that the church themselves are very fond of.

    See:
    Yesterday by the Beatles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fhx1eS9nzvc
    Bad by Michael Jackson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29QGD-SXZ2o
    Poker face by Lady Gaga http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veNQwzW8ays

    There are a shit-ton more of these on Youtube.

  9. Nicole Dettling Says:

    Why give them any attention at all? By doing so we stoop to their level.

  10. Missy Says:

    I love the milk and cookies idea. Professor Gordie Fellman might call this “opening the framework of Adversarialism.” Let’s “kill them with kindness” and not offer them an ounce of violence that they might be looking to evoke.

  11. Art Says:

    We may or may not be staging the worlds largest rickroll.

  12. Liza Says:

    I support the \kissathon\ idea! Even better, let’s ave obscene sex and nudity all around them (Yes, it’s old. whhatever). I’m serious, this is a great opportunity to reclaim this campus for the sexually liberated.

  13. Dan Tassone Says:

    I love the idea of using this opportunity to fundraise for LGBTQ groups. A regular noisy counterprotest doesn’t accomplish much, but if we use their presence to raise money for groups that they oppose and we support then we can turn this negative event into a very positive one. Here’s a cool video of a successful fundraising WBC event:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7Of_2ykZpQ

  14. Lev Says:

    Yes really, I am all in favor of a campus-wide queer make-out session/dance party/with partial nudity in front of the WBC folks.

  15. Dev Singer Says:

    My girlfriend suggests shooting glitter at them…. I’m all for the kippot and rainbow flags!

  16. Allie Morse Says:

    I have always wanted to do huge angel wings a la laramie project and sing hava nagila, rent, the internet is for porn, etc.. Perfect opportunity?

  17. Rachel Says:

    The Rickroll is dead. Long live the Rickroll!

    I’m all for a Kissathon, but disrobing in New England winter just seems like a good way to get frostbite.

    Just remember, don’t feed the trolls. I vote for the Kill ‘Em With Kindness technique, the “Every Minute You’re Here We Give Money To AIDS Research” maneuver, the Kissathon, and a huge party.

    I think I’ve waited my entire life for this.

  18. TJ Says:

    I’m ALL for dancing the Hora around them for their entire visit and an LGBTQ make-out session right next to them!

  19. Iyvon Says:

    I’m all for the killing them with kindness and fundraising. We’ll look and be the bigger persons in the end and it’ll piss them off.
    Yelling at them isn’t going to do anything. They’re very ignorant people and thats not going to change their minds.

    I also am all for the Open sexual liberty idea…now that will really piss them off!

  20. Rachel Says:

    I like the non-stop Hora idea, but where will the WBC actually be staging their protest? I doubt they’ll risk setting foot on Brandeis property, so my best guess is that they’ll set up across the street. Not prime Hora-ing territory.

  21. Becca Says:

    Let’s make it really positive! Let’s make it about what a great place Brandeis is, and not about WBC at all! We should do charity donations and channuka songs, like people mentioned!

    Maybe we could have our protest somewhere on campus, like in the Hillel room, and far away from them, so we really make it about how awesome Brandeis is, and not about all their negativity.

  22. Hillary Says:

    Kill them with kindness is a great idea. Whatever we do we just need to be happy, smiling, and loving the whole time. That being said, I also like the fundraiser idea. Because it would infuriate them that their very presence was giving money to what they are opposing.

    Non-stop Hora sounds rad as well.

  23. Westboro Baptist PARTY UPDATE | Innermost Parts Says:

    […] is every idea from the comments and facebook event so […]

  24. Emily Says:

    I agree with a fundraiser like the guy from U-Illinois Chicago ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7Of_2ykZpQ&feature=related ) which someone had previously posted.

  25. Betsy Says:

    I am liking the Hora and kill them with kindness. Hand out coffee/hot chocolate, donuts.

  26. Joseph Says:

    These ideas are all great. We should take advantage of this imbecile coming to us, and make it big. Really, we should have one huge queer/Jewish acceptance fest–glitter, rainbows, dreidels, lox and bagels, etc etc. I’ve waited a long time to have the “opportunity” to say something to the Idiot. Clearly, we should avoid anger and retaliation, that’s what they want.

  27. Zack Says:

    I think we should form a human fence around them. And then outside the fence, enjoy ourselves. Bagels and lox sound delicious to me.

  28. Dani B. Says:

    I’d like to see some “God Hates Slytherins” signs at the counter protest. I think that’d be hilarious.

    p.s. yes I reposted this but I figured it’s better to have it on the official brainstorm thread.

  29. Anon Says:

    One of the more successful counters was at Comic-con, where a bunch of people turned out to support human-robot marriage, the destruction of humanity, the glory of hypno-toad, joining the borg collective, the (Trekkie) position that “God Hates Jedi,” the position that “God Hates Sentries,” the worship of Odin, et al. This was all in costume. Google “comic-con counter protest.” Hopefully, this will become a thing.

    Also, rainbow kippas. Lots and lots of rainbow kippas.