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.

Post by:
Filed under: Pennsylvania • Protest • U.S.
soundoff (798 Responses)
  1. heather

    You are right Mitch. Bush did make an order for them to a certain distance from funerals but that's where the law gets funky. Imagine how the judges that are ruling there civil cases feel about awarding them the money that they are suing for. They sure as heck don't like it but they have no choice

    June 22, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dave

    I'm pretty sure there is a little passage or two in the bible that teaches forgiveness and something about not to judge your peers. Why in gods name can't they do something more productive with their time and $$.

    Somebody pray for these fools cause I have no tolerance for this type of human!

    June 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BuddahMang

    I hope a slow painful death for anyone who lacks the common fukcin decency to let a family put there loved one to rest with peace, quiet and respect.

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

      i seriously doubt the friends, family, and crew of the 'jackss' crowd will let this go down. some people will surely be going to the hospital

      June 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Victoria Oller

    I believe in the Bible it says that we should not judge others. That church needs to go back over that section of the Bible. It sounds like they are not teaching the word of God.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    Hey, I think this is Darwinism in action as much as the next bloke, but Westboro still needs to get a damn life. They were amusing at first. Like a cow getting launched from a catapult. Lots of dumb animals screaming, onlookers laughing, and generally just a big mess. But now that carcass is starting to stink. Stop giving them attention and they'll stave, CNN.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Noah Bailey

    I just want to know one thing, how is this christian? Jesus's love is unconditional and for everyone, But i wonder what he would think about what these people are doing, how are they giving glory to god by doing this whether it is a gay person's funeral a solder's or Ryan Dunn's. If they were real Christians they would be tolerant and pray for Ryan's family that the pain of him dying will go away and that the family will move on and they would also pray for Ryan no matter were he, is but I guess I people interpret the bible in different ways but all these people do is make real Christians look bad.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jim

    What mighty fine "Christians" these people are. Funny how these people seem to believe they are doing God's work. Little do they know they will also be joining Ryan in hell.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • blake

      Don't damn people...

      June 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Don McLaughlin

    >> 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!”
    Geeze... my god is stronger and more fearsome than your god... how foolish. If people want to worship their gods, I have no problem with that, but I do think it is going rather far when they try to stuff their gods down other peoples throats.

    The Westboro Baptist Church has a god that they want to fear and that's fine with me, the Jews have their god, the Muslims have their god, and some follow spiritual paths that don't include any gods at all. There should be room for everyone...

    June 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Anthony Weiner

    Other stars of the show should spray donkey feces on these Westboro Baptist clowns.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Sadly they would then be sued for assault. Getting sued by these d**keads is not worth it.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mercfan

    This group is trying to draw attention to themselves. If the media would stop announcing where they are protesting and stop covering the protests – the protests will stop.

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

    I hope someone finally stands up and beats the living crap out of these idiots

    June 22, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |

      Yea, well, if there ever was a group of people who would...

      June 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Emily

    As a Christian and as a Southern Baptist I do not understand these people. These people do not reperesent all of the Baptists in America. I would never picket a funeral of anyone because that is just wrong and God would not want it either. These people are not right in the heads. Also who are we to judge someone like Ryan Dunn? I mean I have tattoos but that doesn't mean I am going to hell. Bottom line is there is only ONE judge and that is GOD.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jenelle Clark

    what is wrong with people? I am getting so sick of hearing about this church. They are ignorant individuals.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. gkors12

    I don't have as much of problem with this as for when they picket soldiers' funerals. While tragic and saddening, Dunn could have very well killed some innocent people.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      And bombs target only bad people?

      June 22, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • you are dead

      Yes rick.. our bombs only target guilty people.. key word is target.. sometimes we err, but innocents are not targets.. the very fact you posted this shows what a POS you are.. give me your name and address.. I think you need some re training.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ice breaker

    People do strange things in the name of god. Can you imagine the horrible things Bin Laden did while fully believing that he was doing those things for god. These people and their pastor are so blind that they would do something so obviously inappropriate and indecent - all in the name of god.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33