Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest Dunn's funeral
"Jackass" star Ryan Dunn, 34, famous for his pranks and dangerous stunts, died in a car wreck in Pennsylvania on Monday.
June 22nd, 2011
05:40 PM ET

Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest Dunn's funeral

A controversial church in Topeka, Kansas, plans to send parishioners to Pennsylvania to protest the funeral of “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn, the congregation announced in a press release.

Westboro Baptist Church "will picket any public memorial/funeral held for Dunn, warning all not to make a mock of sin, & to fear and obey God!” the release said.

Westboro was started by the Rev. Fred Phelps in 1955. The church's parishioners, made up mostly of Phelps relatives, stage protests with signs that say such things as "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for dead soldiers."

The funeral director for DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home in West Chester said Wednesday afternoon that a family-only private memorial for Dunn was in progress - and there was no problem.

Because it was a private memorial, Joseph DellaVecchia said, he didn't expect any disturbances, although he'd heard of Westboro's plans.

“We can’t stop someone from coming to a public funeral, but this is private, and the police have everything under control,” DellaVecchia said.

A public funeral is planned for later in the week.

“Our department recognizes that we have an ethical and legal imperative to uphold civil rights of those who choose to lawfully assemble to protest but also of family members mourning at a funeral," West Chester Police Chief Scott Bohn said Wednesday.

Dunn was drunk and driving up to 140 mph when his 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 crashed and caught fire on a Pennsylvania highway Monday, police said Wednesday.

The red-bearded Dunn, 34, was famous for his pranks and dangerous stunts on the MTV show, which evolved into a successful film franchise.

Westboro protesters, known for picketing the funerals of U.S. soldiers, have recently been met with counter-protesters at funerals across the nation.

At Arlington National Cemetery in Washington last month, counter-protesters, some claiming to be from the Ku Klux Klan, squared off against Westboro Baptist members.

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Filed under: Pennsylvania • Protest • U.S.
soundoff (798 Responses)
  1. JR

    They have first amendment rights to express their opinion. I am not saying it's right. But if they want to picket at an idiot's funeral, let them.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • AnnMarie Campbell McClure

      An idiot!!!???? Yes, he made a horrible
      mistake but he's DEAD. Is calling him names going to change anything? Other
      than the thrill you get from being an
      ignorant ass.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • John B

      An idiot's funeral? Don't worry, they won't even know who you are. Why don't you do the world a favor and find out.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • mitch

      The church is not able to look in the hearts of people...only God is...the church is exceeding the responsibilities expected of them...getting close to blasphemy if you ask me

      June 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas F

      No it is not right. Freedom does not mean you are free to do whatever you please. There are laws to regulate society and to protest at a funeral will only cause more harm to the families. Do only that which is right! To mock a dead person is most egregious and wrong on so many levels.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      What if that "idiot" was your brother? Your son? Your best friend? Would you let them protest at the funeral? There's a line that needs to be drawn here. These jerks need to find something better to do.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brit

      I hope they protest your funeral and bash your family while they are mourning their idiot family members loss. Karma. Remember that

      June 22, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sheree

    westbroro church is full of haters and a good reason why i dont send my kid to church. theres way to much hatered and evil inside churches. haha maybe thats why they always make good scary movies about crazy church people.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rogaine

      Fred Phelps used to be a civil rights attorney, so he can't be that much of a "hater."

      June 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • CounterCrusade

      Only Protestant churches are hateful.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      You are a complete idiot. Westboro Baptist Church has nothing to do with actual churches. They don't go to church. They are a family that doesn't believe in Christianity at all. They just try to get people to hit them so they can sue them. That's how they make money. They are all lawyers. I feel sorry that your kids have such an idiot as a parent!

      June 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dcvet08

    All members from Westboro Baptist Church who protest at a funeral need a good ol' fashioned a$$ whooping. You know, a whooping that you never forget.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slam

      Nothing like posting something we've read a thousand times to make you feel good, huh?

      June 22, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • dcvet08

      Yes, I feel better. Now go away, chump.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andrew

    I hope that they do protest the funeral and that all of Mr. Dunn's co-stars kick the protesters a$$es!!!! I know that a LOT of Mr. Dunn's fan would gladly help out!

    June 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ArizonaYankee

    There is only one way to stop these Westboro idiots, and I ain't pretty. I predict that it will happen soon. People are at the breaking point with these disrespectful left wing fools.....

    June 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jodorowsky

      hahah left wing.... suuuuuuuuure

      June 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jodorowsky

    These guys are bigger press who.res than literally anyone else I can think of. Im sure they don't even know who Dunn is and just see people talking about his death on television and figure they can inject themselves into the story.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mat

    I sure hope that these freaks know that they will more than likely leave on a stretcher if they dare interfere with anything. I have a feeling a guy llike Bam could not care about going to jail for a few hours for beating the hell out of someone.

    I find it more amusing that most of the members of the church are related.....I bet there are some kids with big foreheads running around in Kansas.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BuddahMang

    i can't wait till they go to the wrong funeral and get gunned down by a distraught loved one. We should all picket there funerals whenver one of them dies.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • MS

      Oh they better bury Phelps in an unmarked grave or cremate him. Otherwise I'm p*ssing on his grave.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BuddahMang

      AHAHAH don't worry im sure he will have the greenst grave of all over his grave, a torrent of p*ss will flow over his dead carcas.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MS

    If God really wanted me to believe in him he'd do something about these Westboro idiots.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Livingontheedge

      Too true. God if you're really there...........

      June 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. American Public

    I wish God would send a massive lightning bolt down and wipe out these disgusting people who spread hate in His name. Shame on them for even calling themselves Christians.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Big Johnson

    These people are nuts and they are all related to each other, it make me wonder if they practice incest. I think these people should be sterilized so they can't contaminate the rest of the world with their religious stupidity.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Richard

    Is it a wonder that people who don't really know Jesus Christ might think he's a self-righteous pr**k. Just think where our world would be without those among us who claim to speak for God. I feel relatively confident that God will be comforting Ryan's Mother – not standing to the side, waiting to hurl the stone in his hand. Shame, shame, shame.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. J from NC

    This cult sickens me. I believe in believing whatever you want to unless it's for blind, stupid hate and that's an accurate description of this sick, twisted cult. It's going to incite violence one of these days and don't we have enough already?

    June 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JT

    You know...if everyone stops giving these nutbag Christians press they will most likely just go away. They are simply following the Bible of course but for the 99.999999% Christians who cherry pick and all the rest of us who know it's all BS, let's just ignore them.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bryttni in Washington state

    Oy, what is the world coming to? Remember when funerals didn't have protesters hanging about? And trials didn't sell tickets? Why can't they just leave the petty rants and drama to grumpy old cat ladies? Why are we holding these protestors on this media petalstool instead of shunning them? God forbid anyone famous just have a private funeral, anyway.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
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