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. johnmenacherjr

    Its a toss up, Palin and her brood or this group of jerks. Why do you even over this crap? In the scheme of things these two things are pretty much meaningless as far as I see it.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. Michael

    Hopefully a crowd of unruly, drunk and physically abusive men will show up and beat the WBC members to death. Then they can find out the meaning of the phrase in the Bible, judge not unless you be judged.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Dick

      You know it's sad, but I would really enjoy watching a drunken mob beating these clowns to death.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
    • mark

      i think that is exactly what they want..well, not to death..but to beat them. i read that many of the members of the church are lawyers and they make a lot of money suing people for infringing on their rights. this is starting to sound less evil and more just greedy (and evil). which..i think jesus was also against..

      June 23, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      I concur... one reason i dont go to church. let alone baptists are the biggest hypocrits on earth, they all want everyone to be asw miserable as they are... And they all twist the meanings of the bible to meet there quota's and not the actual interpretation. every baptist i know is a borderline alcoholic and thats rule number one in baptism( NO DRINKING). if i ever saw them i dont know what id do. protesting someones death is un-ethical, let alone not even close to god's intent. get a life. church should be faith, not a cult following 🙂 besides are they gonna protest Dunn is a sinner because he accidently took his own life drinking and driving???? what a joke. RIP Dunn , so many humorous memories, you will be missed.... PS how about that world ending on the 21st? Rapture???? lmao

      June 23, 2011 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
    • LeftMind

      @kyle It's not really a church, Kyle. Just a bunch of hate-mongers. Don't blame the rest of us for what this bunch of inbreds says and does. Much has been done in the name of God that he would reject. Terrorism, for example.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jon O

    Fingers crossed this is the fight they pick that they shouldn't.

    Something good may come out of a drunk driving wreck for once, the fist-and-foot induced comas of the WBC members.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. matt

    i got a message for wbc. HAIL SATAN!!!!

    June 23, 2011 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. globalblog

    lived like a moron and died as one...why bother god now?

    June 23, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      because you're so great

      June 23, 2011 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. AntiObama

    Stick it to those protesters..

    June 23, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rich

    In my opinion, Westboro Baptist Church wont last much longer. Its just a matter of time before some depressed veteran finds out he has a terminal illness, then decides to strap a bomb to his chest and walk into there Sunday service and kill them all. I'm surprised this hasn't happened already. If I had to guess,Considering the behavior of the WBC over the years, being martyred is what they are trying to accomplish.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason B.

      Won't happen. (as much as I wouldn't mind) They lock themselves away in their little compound. Then they turn around and claim that they're a "church" so all the lawyer-ing they do doesn't get charged tax. Perhaps the governmetn could go after them for tax fraud.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. angrysmell

    this is going to be far more entertaining than when they baited kevin smith.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. Herbys

    I will love to see this backfire on them. You can poke fun at the relatives of a dead soldier, but this guys friends aren't exactly balanced. There will be blood, and it is going to be Baptist blood.
    If they survive this, I want them to see escalating to the funeral of some WWF guy. I'll get tickets to see that one.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. rob

    hey church people, isn't your objective supposed to bring people to become christians? i don't think anyone is going to want to join your church after you go and disrupt a funeral. good job. you poeople are sickening. you make christians all over look bad. get your stuff right. don't be so crazy

    June 23, 2011 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. angrysmell

    the westboro baptist church makes me so sad.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Herbys

    Oh, and the day this guy dies it is going to be the most attended funeral in ages. The signs won't be nice though. I will be there with some nice things to say.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. freetime1

    If they don't get some clips for the next movie out of this they will be missing the boat!

    June 23, 2011 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. Laureth

    We need to stop giving those Satan worshippers of the WBC so much free publicity. They say they're going to show up at a funeral to picket, everyone freaks out and it keeps them in the press. Next time they say they're going to show up somewhere, we shouldn't put it in the news. We should just ignore it and them.

    Personally I hope they DO show up at this one and get the snot beat out of them. I am so sick and tired of these so called "Christians" who wear their Christianity across their chests like a banner, proclaiming to all the world "Look at me! I'm a Christian!" and yet their actions show the complete opposite. It's obvious to me the God they worship has horns and a pointed tail. The true God isn't a hater.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
    • QueenJoe1

      I cannot believe you would allow a bunch of feral minded sacks of human excrement to get you so upset. Your emotions empower them. These people are only as relevant as you make them and by railing against them as such, you are only making them smile.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Satan wouldn't have anything to do with these slimeballs, either.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jordan

    Why does CNN even bother to cover this trash?

    June 23, 2011 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      why does trash like feel the need to comment?

      June 23, 2011 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
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