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. What?!?!

    Isn't the whole point of being a Christian to do what's morally right, forgive people of their mistakes, to not judge others because we ourselves are just as messed up as the next guy?

    While I am angry that he was driving drunk, protesting his funeral, for the obvious purpose of publicity seems just as wrong.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeIsGod

      Let them protest, it's not going to bring this drunk driving back.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      I hesitate to call them "christian"; based on the way they behave. It's certainly not biblical. And what's the point of protesting a person dying? We are all going to die sometime. Ryan Dunn or WBC: who's the real jacka$$ here?

      June 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      HeisGod is a repulsive troll Click report abuse on every post it makes until CNN kicks it off the site. Thank You

      June 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. HeIsGod

    Wow, he was driving 140 miles an hour while being drunk, no wonder he is dead and the WBC is protesting.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • FockoffHels

      Unbelievable. Aren't you supposed to be a Christian? How loving and non judgmental you are.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      HeisGod is a mentally ill hipanic female troll that actually believes she is doing God's work. You and Westboro church are both repulsive abominations and have absolutely nothing to do with Christianity or God. Please shut your mouth repulsive troll.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeIsGod

      And what am I supposed to say, poor Dunn? He has already met His Maker and now lost forever.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • FockoffHels

      How about showing some compassion for the loved ones left behind. After all, even in your judgmental little world, they did NOT make the decision to drink and drive.

      You will meet Karma one day, I promise.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jake

    This church protested a funeral of a very close friend of mine. He was a Ranger for the United States Army, and a damn good one at that. While in Afghanistan last August, he rolled over on an insurgent's hand grenade to keep his fellow soldiers and friends from all being killed. He gave his life for those standing next to him, and for all of us back home who don't have the slightest clue about how cruel war is. The sheer disrespect shown by this church is appalling, and the entire human race should shun them from society. Of course this is strictly my opinion, but at least I can label it as such, and not suffocate my fellow man with irrational and unsupportable interpretations of a "holy text". Why can't people take the good, and leave the bad? Why do many (keyword "many", not "all") Christians believe it to be their sacred duty to convert the entire world? Christians: want to make a distinct difference in the world? Step up and be responsible.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abe

      Beautifully said. I completely agree.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Irena

      I have a huge respect for our men and women in the military and can't thank them enough for protecting us. That was eloquently said.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Phil

    You can pick on the military all you want, Westboro, but you have gone too far this time.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chyrd

    Before they can pretend to know god's will, they must be able to prove he exists first. I'll wait.

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

      Even if God would have allowed us to prove His existence, you still won't believe, therefore, one way or the other, you LOSE!

      Mark 8:11-13 – 11 "The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, to test him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation."

      What you "enlightened" people fail to recognize is that you do believe in a god...you call it science. And it requires every bit as much faith to believe in as people who believe in a Divine Being must have. A shame, really, because there's nothing mutually exclusive between Science and God.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 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 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. HeIsGod

    Ahahaha, this is hilarious, I can't believe that the WBC are protesting. Anyways, they sure are becoming comedians.

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

      There is nothing funny about it repulsive troll. Please click report abuse on every comment made by HeisGod until CNN removes this trolls posts. Thank You

      June 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jesus

    Be at peace my children, be at peace.

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

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/small-mississippi-town-defeats-the-westboro-baptis .....they need to do what this town did.

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

    Just some more 'good' Christians....don't you just love them?!

    June 22, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeIsGod

      There isn't any Christians protesting at any funeral...Oh, you mean the WBC, well, you sure have been brain washed into believing that they are Christians....learn to define.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      @HeIsGod: Unless you are unaware of the meanings of those words used by georgiegirl's post, your response doesn't make sense. Perhaps you meant "differentiate," in which case I urge you to "learn to define."

      $10 says you're someone who hates non-English speaking people being in our country, too, yet you regularly devalue our language with poor grammar and regularly misuse our words.

      I eagerly await you to "refudiate" this claim of hypocrisy.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan

    Perfect match made in heaven. A group of Jacka$$'s protesting a jacka$$'s funeral. It just does not get any better than this.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Adam

    Why does the media continue to give this cult a platform? Maybe it would fade into oblivion if we would just ignore it?

    June 22, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. 69wrestling

    This is one protest I dont mind!

    June 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Name*Bucktooth

    I don't understand idiots like this? People are going to find out what is really going on in the next year! They are paying attention to the little creepy details, and this is a distraction inserted into our reality. The real deal disasters will continue in brutal force, and the bible peeps, holier than thou churchgoers will be runnin' for the hills. The Earth was here before us..it's time for it to cleanse itself and transform just as it has done thousands of years ago! There just weren't so many people here at that time!
    Pay attention to the Big Picture , and don't get distracted by small idiots like these people!

    June 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. FockoffHels

    Hels- So, you agree with what the WBC is doing, as long as it is at a "drunk drivers" funeral? Have you forgotten that Dunn leaves behind people who loved him and who are mourning. The funeral is not for the dead necessarily, it is for the people they leave behind who are suffering. The WBC's presence will not effect Dunn, it will effect his loved ones. You are very insensitive.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeIsGod

      Tell me, what are they going to get out of it? Dunn was a selfish man who didn't stop to think about the people who loved him and are not mourning this death because of his stupidity. There is not reason to die from driving while drunk or over dosing from drugs.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • FockoffHels

      Hels- Did you bother reading my post? The WBC is not going to hurt Dunn by protesting his funeral- THEY ARE GOING TO HURT HIS FAMILY. His family does not deserve that.

      Are you stupid?

      June 22, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeIsGod

      Are that much of an ignorant. There is not greater pain for his family than the one that Dunn left them! I am pretty sure they are not going to be hurt anymore by the KKK WBC as their pain is already overwhelming.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeIsGod

      Edit, are you that much of an ignorant.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      HeisGod Not only ARE YOU ignorant but your comments are repulsive and have Zero to do with God or his will. Crawl back under your rock you mentally ill abomination created by Satan.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
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