Westboro Baptist Church members will be staying in Topeka, Kansas this Sunday to stage what they are calling their most important protest to date. They are going to be protesting themselves.
A statement issued by Westboro leader Fred Phelps claims that the congregation is running out of funds to protest funerals across America, and the church is therefore re-thinking their strategy. In addition, he claims they came to the conclusion that “the gay thing” might be hitting a little too close to home, but would not elaborate.
The revelation came after much soul-searching during a late-night, last minute meeting in the Westboro Baptist Church basement. Elders had originally come together to determine which funeral they would be protesting this weekend when they realized they only had $73 and change in the church coffers, a far cry from the $2,500 they would need for a planned trip to a funeral in San Francisco.
Not wanting to let attention on the church wane, the elders finally came up with a solution to the problem by organizing a protest against themselves, which the treasurer figured would only cost around $30, if they stuck to serving a baloney and Kool-aid lunch to the protesters. It was Phelps himself who decided this was their only solution to the money problem.
“The theme of our protest is God H8s Westboro Baptist Church,” said Phelps.
“By hating ourselves and denying our presence, we are, in actuality, making our boldest statement so far against gays.”
Phelps would not elaborate further on this statement, leading some to believe recent rumors may be true that Phelps himself enjoys the occasional naked swim at the YMCA with male members of his group.
One member of the Westboro Baptist Church has refused to join in the protest saying it goes way beyond what he signed up for, and, in addition, would not confirm that he is a member of the Topeka YMCA.
Buddy Phelps, Fred’s cousin, claims that he is always ready to bash the gays and the USA whenever asked, but bashing himself is another story.
“I’ve already got low self-esteem issues, not to mention an ongoing problem with depression, and my psychiatrist is gently prodding me to abstain from this particular protest on Sunday,” said Buddy Phelps.
Upon hearing his cousin’s words, Fred Phelps assured the news media that there is not now, nor has there ever been any prodding within his fold. He did, however, agree that abstinence was okay in certain circumstances.
Other local Topeka religious leaders are weighing in on the news of the protest. One particularly vocal leader claims the protest is a very good thing and long overdue.
“The protest is almost Zen-like in its premise,” claims Punja Makwari, a Tibetan Buddhist leader of the Kansas Buddhist Center, who has come out several times to announce services of peace and healing following each of Westboro’s hateful protests.
“By allowing themselves to admit that God hates them, they are, in fact, allowing God to come into their hearts to do whatever is necessary to allow them to see that there are balances in life and that fish swim in the same stream as the mighty hippopotamus.”
Makwari was asked if he felt any animosity toward Phelps particularly since Phelps once held a protest in front of Makwari’s religious center a few months ago to protest the color saffron as gay.
“We have spent much spiritual energy counteracting the hatred spewed from this particular religious group, and quite frankly, we are pleased to have a day off to attend to more pressing matters such as world peace,” said the high holy leader, refusing to elaborate further on the color saffron.
No one is expected to show up to protest the protest on Sunday, which will be another first for the Westboro Baptist Church. Many memorial services for fallen soldiers instead will be held across the country to take advantage of the fact that Phelps will be too self-absorbed in his own personal gay bashing to attend any protests of the services held outside Topeka.
In related news, rumors that Westboro is saving its pennies to plan a huge protest for Pope Benedict as soon as he passes are largely unsubstantiated.