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. Southern Diva

    This is not the place nor the time for them to do this. This is not just about Ryan Dunn's funeral but all the funerals that they do these protests at. Are they a real church or just a bunch of freaking crazy people? This may just be the public funeral that they get what they deserve for doing this to all of these grieving families. Its just not right and I don't think that this will be pretty either. This will get ugly and fast if they do protest.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBC blows

      WBC consists of fewer than 100 people, mainly from the Phelps family.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bronx

    This so called church is SH** its a KKK rather than a church they will all burn in he** if they go through with this...God hates fa*s are you kidding me! these people of this church are DISGUSTING pigs!!!

    Rest in HEAVEN Ryan Dunn ♥

    June 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quincey9

      actually the KKK went on the news against these people.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBC blows

      The one thing about WBC to know is that they're very aware of laws, and the Phelps have their own legal firm. They WANT altercations because WBC makes money by suing people for violating their rights. They made $200,000 from Walmart, and if anyone physically confronts them, they'll be suing those people as well. It's a game they're very familiar with, so hopefully people don't fall for it.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fed Up

    One of these days this "so called church" is going to pick the wrong funeral to do their protesting and some grieving family member is going to pull a gun and there will be blood shed. Unfortunately it will only grant martyr status ti these freaks. Equally unfortunate, is the fact that there are many more of these self righteous freaks to take their places.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • HoneyBunn

      Since most of the Phelps group is his own relatives, if someone did 'go postal' on them, it would probably take care of this problem for good.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      It's even money that someone WILL pop them. This funeral is in a rather affluent area.
      An area where they can afford to pay for the Pinkerton men. 😉

      June 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth832

      I am a Christian myself, and I do agree with you that one day, these clowns are going to mess with the wrong people and that's when I hope they will learn their lesson... God hates no one...

      June 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBC blows

      The leaders of the church won't be out their protesting. Some of "the family" and their kids will be. The fact that this is an affluent area is all the more reason they'll be protesting. They sue people who violate their civil rights, and they win. That's how the WBC makes money.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. normal folks

    These "church people" are attention-seeking domestic terrorists and should be in jail.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      The Supreme Court disagrees with you. A deceased military member's father sued them over protesting at the burial site.
      The Supreme Court said they have a right to disrupt funerals. OK, they didn't say disrupt, but I know that they DID disrupt one of my buddie's funeral, LITERALLY at the graveside.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brent

    Perfect way to show Christian faith as ignorance.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBC blows

      This church is fewer than 100 people mainly from one family. You can't condemn all Christians based on the words and actions of these loons.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth832

      Brent,
      Not every Christian resembles these animals.... I'm a Christian and I don't behave like these "Pharisees" because the God I serve does not hate anyone and commands us to LOVE one another... These people are not Christians, they are sent straight from hell and that's where they are going to burn for the rest of their disgraceful lives...

      June 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jokey Smurf

    Hopefully Knoxville will have a fecal cannon to welcome the westboro cult.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • hahahaha

      Those guys are millionairs with lots of time on their hands and their about to put a dear friend of theirs in the ground. I think a jack@zz/ westboro church war is inevitable! And I hope they crap all over that so called "church"!

      June 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      That area is far from being noted for poverty. So, it could turn into old money wealthy vs Westboro law firm wealthy.
      Old money normally win, they utilize ANY means to remove that which they object to.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBC blows

      They are NOT millionaires. Most of these morons don't even have jobs, but they have the church's tax status to help. Definitely not millionaires though. The church's main source of income isn't donations either. It's from suing people for violating the church members' civil rights. What you're talking about would end up as more cash for WBC. They're very smart about their legal rights, which is why they're still around, and why they win the law suits they file.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. James Galliher

    The people who will attend Dunn's funeral will not take this as easy as someone who is attending one of our soldiers funeral. I hope the cast of Jacka__ stuff's toy cars up their rears, puts them in an oversized shopping cart and rolls them down a big hill. Wait...that is the start of the next Jacka__.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      More likely, there will be armed private security present. That area is quite wealthy.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      Two words...taser party. It'd be awesome.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ricolee

    How sad! Its times like this that it embarasses me to be a Christian and see people who are supposed to be nonjudgemental and forgiving act like this. Last time I knew there was no one that has walked this earth that was perfect except for Jesus Christ himself. Luckily He went to the cross and died for my sins so I could have eternal life. Now I am not saying that excessive drinking and driving while intoxicated is right but to go so far as to send people to the funeral to protest during a familys most sacred time is absurd and embarrassing to me as a Christian. How about praying for his family and talking to them about the Lord rather than rubbing salt in the wounds. How dare you.....you should be ashamed of yourselves!

    June 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth832

      Couldn't have said it better myself ricolee... but if WBC doesn't change their ways, they will have a rude awakening once they die and wake up in a place that is not heaven...

      June 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. hahahaha

    I really dont think the church wants to do this.......do they know who they're intendind to screw with?

    June 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      I don't think they do, but they will find out the hard way

      June 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBC blows

      They know exactly. WBC makes money by using their legal firm to sue people who violate their civil rights. Believe me, they want a confrontation and if there is one, they'll win the lawsuit. They know what they're doing.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Diamonte

    Honestly why bother to give publicity to these morons...? They protest at every funeral under the sun that gets them headlines and why? Because they're stuck in the 20th century with their wacko beliefs. Enough of them already; the majority of the public doesn't care about these (Westboro Baptist Chruch) people

    June 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tired

    CNN, please stop giving these guys exactly what they want.....air time!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Iamrightyouarewrong

    Oh let me guess if MADD shows up that's all good right.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      MADD doesn't protest people's funerals. Not even funerals for drunk drivers.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBC blows

      WBC isn't showing up to protest Ryan Dunn or drinking and driving. They're showing up to protest gays, which as far as I know has nothing to do with Ryan Dunn. WBC chooses opportunities like this for all the free publicity.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Auth

      There is also the issue of female on male tdemsoic violence and how that is the dealt with by both the police and victim support organisations. Or not as the case is. In Midlothian anyway.

      March 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Russ

    It's a cult, not a church

    June 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBC blows

      It's a crazy inbred hillbilly family with church status, a legal firm, support in the Kansas state and local governments and on the Topeka police force.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Scott

    Just arrest them if they go anywhere near that funeral and make a few dollars for the town in the process. So easy, even a cave man can do it. Once they are in jail. ignore them. It will be fun.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Every town that did that lost a LOT of their budget money. A their pastor owns a law firm that specializes in legal action against towns and people who interfere with them. That's HOW he became so wealthy.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • WBC blows

      Absolutely correct. The WBC makes money by suing people for violating their rights. They know their rights very well and actually want a confrontation.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. micca

    fck Westboro Baptist Church

    June 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
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