The Westboro Baptist Church has been a real problem for some time now, and a few years ago Michael Moore organized a humorous counter protest against the church for his television show, The Awful Truth. He followed Phelps and his gang around the country in the “Sodomobile,” a pink bus filled with gay men and women who proceeded to do things that god is apparently not too wild about.
Michael Moore wrote of the experience at the time:
Westboro’s protests are covered by the First Amendment. That’s what we have it for. As I believe Voltaire once said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it, even if you’re a sick old man who’s probably so obsessed with gay sex because he’s secretly gay himself.” (Voltaire didn’t actually say that last part, but I think it’s implied. Nor am I referring to anyone in particular.)
Am I suggesting we just ignore this kind of hate speech? Not at all. I’m just saying that we should respond, not by shutting it down, but by using OUR First Amendment rights to ridicule it, expose it, make fun of it. For instance, here’s the segment from my old show The Awful Truth where I visited Fred Phelps with my hot pink Sodomobile, a large rock bus filled with my crack squad of gay men and women who were in the back violating numerous Kansas laws (I was the driver and the desiginated heterosexual on the bus).
We followed Fred Phelps around town, protesting his hate not with hate, but with public displays of affection, Karen Carpenter songs, and some very impressive dance moves. That’s the way we do it as free Americans. (Be sure not to miss Fred’s rockin’ sunglasses.)
Enjoy the clip below and sorry about the quality. I did an extensive search watching tons of copies and this one was the best one around.