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. Amy

    If they are really Christians like they say they are... First they need to love their neighbor. Jesus commanded us to do that. He said those don't love their neighbor don't love me. Second, they should not judge other people. There is one one Judge and that is God, the father of Jesus. We people are witnessing their (WBC) fruits of their labor.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. vfr800cr250

    Might be an opportune moment for a prank. Just sayin'.........

    June 23, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • THX

      The surviving team behind Jack*ss SHOULD prank the 'church' if it shows up to picket. It's the least they deserve for their insistence on disrupting people's funerals for no reason.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. matt

    why does the media continue to give these idiots coverage? It's hardly newsworthy, and press is exactly what they crave.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob Dobbs

      I agree. These hateful morons are like a child trying to get attention and the media takes the bait every time. I think they would be wise not to show their faces at this funeral. They don't seem very wise though, so who knows. I wish CNN and other media outlets would stop reporting on it.

      June 23, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • gr8rytre

      YES! Media coverage is what they want. Now, would the fanatical behavior stop if the cameras stopped rolling? I think so.

      June 23, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • zhawk88

      because people need to know how to help and realize what these people do, and how it hurts alot of people. If the news didn't report what westboro did, all of the bikers, truckers, and other normal sane people would not have been able to help in the ways they have in the past.

      June 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. erik

    OH LORD WE GO AGAIN WITH THESE FANATICS. LISTEN PEOPLE DON'T EVEN START THE CHRISTIAN BASHING BECAUSE THIS CHURCH DOES NOT REPRESENT THE TRUE CHRISTIAN CHURCH SO SAVE IT!

    June 23, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • JT

      How do you know it doesn't represent the "true Christian Church"? Because you say so? Seems o me like every other Christian Church...judgmental and full of hate for others, especially gays.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. eric

    Some of the comments on here is uncalled for! Ryan Dunn was the man! Has a family and friends just like you! Like I've said before can't fix stupidity! RIP Ryan

    June 23, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • jimbojones

      Death fixes stupid 100% of the time. Guaranteed. Next.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • rick

      wow, jimbo....clever comment. death must still be working on you...of course, it probably has a lot of stupid to overcome

      June 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. FBMarky

    What's wrong with drinking and driving? Jesus was drunk all the time. Remember when he and his buddies passed out in the garden and Judas played that prank on him? That was funny!

    I mean, he was always passing out wine to people. There must have been a lot of drunk-carting deaths in biblical days. If god didn't want people to drink and drive, he wouldn't have invented cup holders. Just sayin' . . .

    June 23, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sue Dawson

    I hope and pray the cops are there to arrest their sorry asses! Wonder how they'd feel if the shoe was on the other foot? Sanctimonious idiots!!!

    June 23, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Judi

      What exactly would they arrest them for Sue, it's called freedom of speech. Are they hateful ignorant bigots? YES. Do they have the right to be there and show their ignorance? Yes. Go to a country where the government tells you what to say, do and believe in. Here in the good ole USA, idiots like that can speak out where ever and when ever they like no matter how classless they are. Karma is waiting for them and I hope the cameras are rolling then...............

      June 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jay

    The Rev Fred is an idiot, and his followers are idiots.

    June 23, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. ROBIN

    TO THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND FANS DO NOT EVEN GLANCE AT THIS SO CALLED PROTEST JUST TURN YOUR BACKS ON THEM DO NOT SAY ANYTHING AND SOON THEY WILL GO AWAY . TALKING TO OR YELLING AT THEM JUST FUELS THEIR FIRE...RIP BIG MAN AND FRIEND.

    June 23, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • rick

      better yet, hurl invective after invective at them, including the grandchildren, and draw them into a confrontation

      June 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • CHARLEY60

      And it works. Is also the best way to get rid of the shool bully. Just everyone turn there back on them. No attention no problem.

      June 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Millie Bea

    What?

    June 23, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ivan

    You're telling me even the Klan hates westboro now?

    June 23, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. Antonio

    These people are radicals, they do not represent the true gospel of Christianity. God is not hateful and, therefore would not condone such hateful activity as protesting a man's funeral.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • texray

      The do represent true Christianity, not the watered-down politically correct social groups that pass as Christianity.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. texray

    This joker was drunk and driving at 140 mph on a public road and the Westboro bunch are the bad guys? Check out how many innocent people are killed by drunks vs how many are annoyed to death by the WBC.
    The cop isn't sworn to protect the rights of the People, not the feelings of the dead drunk's family.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • rick

      they do have a right to protest. and others have a right to protest their protest

      June 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. wjbryant

    Wait until those wingnuts meet up with Bam Margera......Justice served!

    June 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. stewie

    @texray: Since when is inbreeding true Christianity? Also, what Dunn did is called vehicular homicide which is considered a lower class of murder but murder all the same.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
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