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. stewie

    Hey Fred Phelps how many times have you done your daughter anyway? Also how many inbred kids do you have. Burn Fred burn.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy Cracorn

      Just count the # of people in his church that are at least 15 years younger than him and you will have your answer

      June 23, 2011 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. Learn to spell!

    I know that the 'comments' area is an informal place where people can post reactionary comments to the important news stories of the day, but I often wonder why people even bother posting if they cannot contribute a properly spelled or grammatically correct sentence. I myself live in a world that assumes correct spelling and grammar as givens... the legitimacy of the content is what matters here, folks. All you are doing by demonstrating your inability to spell is providing people like me with even fewer reasons to take what you say seriously. You are also providing even more evidence of the severe deficits of the American education system. I suggest that you READ more books and write in a diary or journal to practice your written communication skills. Over time, you will find yourself equipped to demonstrate critical thinking in more than one misspelled sentence.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      You sound like a Miss Grammar plant from Westboro Baptist.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      The fact that it bothers you is quite sad. Maybe you should get help? Or talk to someone who actually might care? This is a board about the article above, not proper grammar. Get a life.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      Aww, screw you jerkfase

      June 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      While I personally agree with you, I also think that in reality, you will have all the effect of King Cnut the Great ordering the tide back from his throne on the beach.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erin

      I think it's interesting that you suggest people who can't spell to write in a journal for practice and at the same time tell them not to write in a public forum until they can spell perfectly. Certain things drive me crazy- loose instead of lose, for example, but I still think people who aren't good spellers would benefit from more writing, not less.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • martao

      don't get your knickers in a twist! relax a little, okay? we're not all so uptight about perfect spelling. in fact, the ability to spell well has no direct relationship with ones level of intelligence. just read through the errors and/or typos. it's that easy.

      (also, i didn't use caps just to stir your pot.)

      June 22, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • GoProgress

      So if you were in China and could speak fluently people shouldn't take what you say seriously? I know you are what is called a TROLL so we should ignore you but I'm not that kind of person. You are wrong, before my daughter could spell, I took her seriously – I take my doctor seriously even though he talks with a slightly broken English accent – I wouldn't judge a person's ability to form an intelligent opinion based on they grasp of geography, math, spelling or even their ability to draw which are all simply technical abilities – common sense, wisdom and opinions are thought on a far higher level.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      Indeed sir your vernacular is quite impressive, and I concur with you the importance of proper spelling. However, the statement, " a world that assumes correct spelling and grammar as givens... " is grammatically incorrect I'm afraid. "As" needs to be replaced with "are." Yes I do this for a living. 🙂 -b.

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

    Doesn't humanity prove it own stupidity enough without the help of this so called church.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Larry O

    Maybe Westboro needs to spend more time spreading the word of Jesus instead of wasting Dollars and time slamming every funeral around the world. This church is wacked.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • nolan erickson

      most agreed sir!

      June 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nolan erickson

    YOU CAN NOT CALL THEM A CHURCH!!!!!!!!!! I have spent years in the ministry and this "church" is the furthest thing away from a people that stand for the true gospel of christ

    June 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimmyjam048

      Yep.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Zac

    I kn

    June 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Phillip

    CNN, why do you keep giving these fools publicity? This is all they want. I think I'm more sickened by the attention you give them than anything else. UGH

    June 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Town 01

    Send as many parishioners as you want, but I'm pretty sure the people of West Chester are going to take offense and have a good old fashioned beat down with your delusional flock.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lindsey Graham

    This is supposed to be America where everyone has a right to their own opinion, including the Westboro Baptist Church.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      and, what's your point

      June 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ben

    Patriarch is a man, matriarch is a woman if you can possibly call any of the Phelps a woman, uh just the thought of it alone is sickening.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    I guess this guy must have had a rainbow on his car for that mental case phelps and his inbred litter of illiterate lemmings to associate him with gays. Why else would they be at his funeral?

    June 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Keith

    "Learn to spell" is as big a self rightious moron as the folks in the so called church. Can we just stop demonizing everyone else for what ever made up reason we can think of! like I just did!

    June 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bryan reed

    this isn't news! someone call cnn and get this crap taken off

    June 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. scotty501

    I GOTTA see this...its gonna be good!

    June 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. old guy

    I, for one, think that all funerals of any parishoners of the Westboro Baptist Church should be picketed and proclaimed to be glorification of the devil...

    June 22, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
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