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. QueenJoe1

    The Westboro Baptist Church has gotten old. Its no longer shocking. Just boring, stupid, uneducated and counter producitve to their cause. Whatever.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. C

    Why do these religious people believe that they are completely righteous – They should be worried for their own souls and not the ones of other people. Frankly it seems that this church and their following are headed straight for a firey hell. I guess they have forgotten the message that the bible speaks – to love one another not condemn them – you're not God.... stop trying to protray yourselves as him and quit speaking for him. Have some respect for people other than yourselves and leave everyone else one alone – including the family and friends of this person.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      From what I understand, they aren't religious, just a bunch of lawyers out to sue whoever and whatever they can.... its how they make their money.

      June 23, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. joe4312

    The WBC is the church of Satan.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dennis

    I hope someday the only churches left are like the WBC, everyone else will have a healthy understanding of mythology.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  5. G

    I wish a drunk driver would run over the westboro people.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
    • HeatherM

      So true.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. oh please

    moron is
    as moron does
    moron
    hope he hadn't already spawned a litter of rug rats to continue his bad genes

    June 23, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. matt

    Clearly, the WBC (Westboro Baptist Church) are False Christians and are wolves in "sheep" clothing. Actions speak louder than words. They give the word "Christian" a very bad name.

    Compare Those who THINK they are worship God against those who really do:
    Romans 3:11, 13-17, (Describes how the WBC acts)
    Romans 10:2,3 ;(Describes that do not have share God's view on this matter)
    T i t u s 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:5 ( Simply put, the WBC's works are incompatible with Jesus' teaching and are "wicked":i deliberately trying to causing grief and sorrow).

    Shame on them.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. brian

    the only good that may come from this is that his friends might be so extreme they finally do something to the westboro 'church' members that we've been hoping someone does for years. these are the guys that who in their movies walk up to a restaurants glass pane window and take a crap right in front of diners. i doubt they will not retaliate when someone like westboro protests their friends funeral.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Actually, they'd probably like that: various of the Phelps spawn are attorneys, who keep their "church" funded from lawsuits against towns trying to keep them out and counter-protesters who lose it and take a swing at them.

      Kudos to the Patriot Guard Riders, who simply show up and provide a physical barricade between these "Christians" and the grieving military families they've come to harass.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Aerokid

    Oh man this is going to be good. Fans of this guy aren't as timid as other people. I can't wait to see in the news Westboro members getting what they deserve.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. Qev

    They've gone too far...

    June 23, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. upatree

    WELL WE MEET ON MAY 30 IN DC AND NOW WE WILL GET TO MEET THEM AGAIN, PA CHAPTER WHITE NIGHTS, THEY MESSED UP ARE SERVICE AT THE WALL, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO YOU ARE YOU GAVE YOUR LIFE FOR THIS GREAT COUNTRY AND NOW THEY DIG DEEPER, WELL MR RYAN DUNN REST IN PEACE MY SON YOUR IN A GREAT PLACE.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. Grumpster

    A church full of jacka$$es attending a funeral of a jacka$$. Poetic.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. Righteous

    I say we all go to Phelps' funeral and protest when he finally kicks the bucket. We can hold up signs that say things like "God hates false Christians," "Phelps is Burning!", and "God loves Atheists More Than WBC!".

    June 23, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  14. Chris

    Bam and the gang will not allow this to happen. I see jail time in lawsuits in the future.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. P

    If the media would stop giving these guys a platform they'd fade away.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
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