Westboro’s Planned David Bowie Protest Hilariously Backfires

Duncan Jones and David Bowie at the premiere of Moon.jpg

A Hilarious and Powerful Way  to Counter Westboro Baptist Church While Honoring David Bowie

It didn’t take the infamous Westboro Baptist Church long to attempt to exploit the death of legendary rocker David Bowie earlier this week.

Two days after Bowie’s death, the noted hate group posted their intentions:

The even posted a parody video “Shame” based on Bowie’s 1975 hit “Fame.”

However, this quickly turned for the worst for the planned Westboro Hate-Fest. As Huffington Post reports: “In response, Planting Peace, the organization behind The Equality House, which is painted the colors of the rainbow and sits across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church, announced a fundraiser for children living with cancer as a form of counter-protest.”

Planting Peace set up the fundraiser on Crowdrise and plan to donate the money raised to the St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Bowie’s memory.

The Crowdrise page offers the following background on the campaign:

Our neighbors at the Westboro Baptist Church have announced their intention to protest the funeral of David Bowie. They have also tweeted horrible, hurtful messages to his wife Iman in her time of grief, condemning him to hell and telling her she needs to “repent”. In keeping with our philosophy of addressing acts of hate and intolerance with compassion and love, we are inviting the public to show their respect and support of a man who was not only a brilliant, transcendent artist and entertainer, but a man who lived his life as a role model for individual expression and authenticity. He let the world know that being different is not only ok, it can be beautiful. Like many others, David was taken from us way too soon due to cancer. To honor David, please join Planting Peace in counteracting the WBC’s message of hate through a fundraising event to benefit children living with cancer. Through this fundraiser, Planting Peace will make a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Mr. Bowie’s memory.

Aaron Jackson, the president of Planting Peace, spoke with Huffington Post, telling them:

David Bowie inspired generations of people who loved him for his music, his artistry, and his larger than life personas. He was a role model when it came to transcending any social norms or boundaries with his individuality and personal expression. He taught us all that being different was something to embrace and celebrate. This is a small gesture to honor his legacy and the difference he made to so many. When the WBC began tweeting hateful messages to Mr. Bowie’s family and targeting various memorials for picketing, we felt like launching a fundraiser and providing a positive outlet for support that will help children and families battling cancer would be the perfect way to honor Mr. Bowie and show that acts of love and compassion speak louder than messages of hate.

This isn’t the first time Planting Peace successfully countered a planned Westboro protest with a fundraiser. Back in 2014 they ran a similar campaign when Westboro threatened to protest during comedian Robin William’s funeral and Planting Peace ended up raising over $110,000 for St. Jude’s Hospital.

As Huffington Post reports: “The Equality House, which was first painted the colors of the rainbow flag in March 2013, has also played host to a child’s lemonade stand for peace, a gay weddinga drag show and a fictional wedding between Dumbledore and Gandalf — all essentially right on the anti-gay church’s front lawn.”

You can click here if you are interested in making a donation to the current David Bowie fundraiser.

Featured Image: “Duncan Jones and David Bowie at the premiere of Moon” by David ShankboneDavid Shankbone. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons.

Samuel Warde
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