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. Zach

    The media needs to stop giving Westboro Baptist so much attention. Every event that they protest at is on their website. There is no need aiding them any more. The press and media already focus the majority of their attention on negative things anyways. Why keep feeding Westboro the attention they want. They are going to keep doing this the more press time they receive. Almost every week or two, I see them on the news. It's old. Pick a new story. There's so many out there and all the press, especially CNN can focus on is what a group of no good people from Kansas do with their lives.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • CF

      i'm hoping this is all another practical joke at the expense of Westboro.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nic

      You couldn't be more right. Before I read your comment, I said the exact same thing. They protest high-profile funerals just to get attention. CNN, stop giving it to them!

      June 22, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zart

      Aren't they just going there to pray for him?

      June 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. angelpoo12

    How is protesting going to help? As a church we are suppose to be a witness. You could use this tragedy & witness to the family on how to be saved at the funeral. Even when one doesn't agree with the person's lifestyle we still have to show the love of Christ.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • chattycat

      What? How about minding your own business and not shoving YOUR beliefs down someone else's throats, especially at a time like this?

      June 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Krolik

      Unthinking tool....

      June 22, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nope

    This should encourage more "public" memorials... bleed Westboro dry or make 'em look like flakes for not showing. For that matter, make 2 or 3 simultaneous memorials, and send the fam to secret 4th.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Karl

    These people need a new leader. Where is Jim Jones when you need him?

    June 22, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hey Zeus

      Amen brother.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. buckup

    American Christian radio and Westboro Baptist church should merge corporations.
    Their self righteousness is all consuming.
    They are both hypocritical, intolerant, and have extremely perverted Christian views and beliefs.
    Most importantly, they are irrelevant to making the world a better place.
    Together, they can attract far more mindless-sheeple who can't morally think for themselves.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • HenryO

      I don't condone what that church is doing either, but by grouping all followers together in such a negative way makes you look childish and simple-minded.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John

    Someone needs to teach Westboro about marketing. Protesting a b movie star? C'mon, what's next? You going to protest the Sham Wow guys funeral?? You can't saturate the market with crazy all at once and it has to be really offensive, like you used to do so well. When we see "Westboro Baptist Church" sponsored by KFC, we're doomed. I give Westboro a big thumb up Satan's butt-hole and y'all jumped the shark.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. koinu

    westboro church is just asking for a bomb in the mail. A grenade at the funeral would be disrespectful

    June 22, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. God hates HATE

    Hello, I'm Johnny Knoxville and this is the "Westboro Beat-down!"

    Welcome to Jack@ss WBC.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBC= lame

      I think the whole congregation at WBC has been living with a matchbox car up their @ss for too long.

      Somebody, please, pull it out already...!

      June 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBC'tards

      Wow. WBC is such a great catalyst for LGBT and Jewish fundraisers/donations!

      Westboro Baptist Church, how does it feel to be the hemorrhoids on GOD's @ss?..

      June 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rick1948

    Westboro is not a church at all and only has one idiology. They are a bunch of lawyers who try to temp people or municipalities to stop them so they can sue and get richer. And, their best friends are the media who keep giving them headlines.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chris

    Please, may what ever God or being is out there...if you care for mankind in the slightest...please strike down Fred Phelps.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. killallthewhiteman

    I hope Knoxville runs them all over with a giant shopping cart,

    June 22, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. joel

    Honestly, both sides in this argument are sinners....and believe me when i state that im no angel....i jsut wonder why are people taking sides in this story when they are both so deranged that it can be used as a life lesson from outside looking in.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Spidey-Man

    whut... they got no press in the last few months? i wanna take a flamethrower to this so called church. and I'm an atheist. these kinds of so called people kinda changed my mind about the whole god thing.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. HeIsGod

    Ahahaha, this is hilarious. I couldn't help but to laugh! Wow, those WBC people are becoming comedians.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mike

    Can't see anything good coming out of this for the Westboro crazies. Picketing the funeral of a guy that makes tons of money pulling crazy pranks doesn't sound like a great idea to me. These crazies better account for Bam, Knoxville, and Steve-O among others before they start. I just have a feeling we might see something awesome happen.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:53 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