Skeptic News: How Westboro Baptist Church Accidentally Raised $75,000 for LGBT Youth

images (3)From: In these times

The Westboro Baptist Church is not known for loving its neighbor.

Based in Topeka, Kan., Westboro has made a name for itself by publicizing its flagrant hatred of gays, Jews, atheists, liberals, Muslims, pro-choice advocates and countless other “Godless” groups. It was founded in 1955 by Pastor Fred Phelps, who, now 83, runs the church with his family.

Unaffiliated with any church but calling themselves “primitive Baptist,” the church is most famous for picketing at purportedly liberal schools, various places of worship with whose philosophies they disagree, and high-profile funerals of supposed heathens, including American soldiers

The Westboro Baptist Church releases its picketing schedule online well ahead of protest dates, most likely to make sure there will be police enforcement on the scene to protect them. Their upcoming protest schedule includes a stop at liberal Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. on February 28. Calling the school an “Ivy League whorehouse,” Westboro says it must warn the people of the wrath of God, especially those who “fancy themselves the leading thinkers of our generation.”

A Vassar alumnus on February 11 proposed a fundraising counter-protest, hosted on the fundraising site Crowdrise.com, to raise $100 for every minute of the Westboro protest for The Trevor Project, a leading suicide prevention organization that specifically focuses on LGBT youth. Students and alumni met their goal of $4,500 within seven hours. As of February 15, the Vassar community had raised more than $75,000—more than fifteen times their original goal. That means, in effect, Westboro helped raise seventy-five grand for the well-being of gay teenagers. Without even stepping foot onto Vassar’s campus, the world’s worst church already did some good.

Well done to the Vassar students and alumnus. We wouldn’t normally cover the Westboro Baptists goings on but this tickled our funny bones.

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