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. jb

    Are they seriously going to keep doing this?? What happened to not judging others? I'm sure not one of those Westboro members could cast the first stone.....

    June 22, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      I got a great idea. we get a list of the parishioners at this church. And when one them dies, we protest their funeral with a sign that says "God hates religious nuts" and stupid signs like these morons. Only take it a step further and, after the funeral, we break out a twelve pack and takes turns pi**ing on thier grave. Hows that for retribution of reap what you sow?

      June 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. heather

    I met Dunn at a nightclub one time. What a nice down to earth guy. I hope all the boys of Jack@ss take care of this. One of these times someone who is grieving is going to show these people a taste of their own medicine. And when I hear about it I actually would be happy. Sad to say because I don't like violence but you don't do that. God would not want anyone to do that. He made a stupid mistake but do we not know anyone who has picked keys up and has driven under the influence whether anything has happend to them or not?

    June 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    Must have omitted from their bible 1 Cor 13: 4-8 Love suffers long, and is kind; love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not puff up; does not behave rudely; does not seek its own way is not provoked; thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Protesting someone’s funeral while those who loved them is grieving is behaving rudely!

    June 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Al

    I guess I have been told the wrong thing all my life: two wrongs DO make a right.......

    June 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. freakme

    ru kidding me? I am a "born again" Christian (Jesus Freak, radical, terrorist) whatever you want to call me - and I hate the way this kind of nonsense gives us a bad name...
    1. Ryan Dunn's chances of getting to meet our creator are about 2000% greater than those who intend to protest at his funeral.
    2. God loves us all; HOWEVER: God/Jesus had/has favorites (e.g., Moses, The Apostle John – read the bible if you wish to contend) - He probably LIKES Ryan much better than all of those hypocrites from that god-forsaken church.
    3. It is no wonder so many are sickened by Christianity... but there is a pure form, that very few follow, and sadly, even fewer are aware of.
    4. The best way to spread the true Gospel is to live the way Jesus told us to – and - ONLY IF YOU NEED TO - use words!
    This article make me want to cry... 🙁

    June 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      I doubt that "god" has a lot of love for a guy that stuck cars in his ass... Oh, and he murdered the passenger in the car he was driving while drunk, so he will probably wind up in 'hell' but that doesn't make protesting his, or anybody else's funeral alright.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pat

    in the eyes of god your not known you wackos... god doesn't know you and if he did you would be labeled blasphemous wolfs in sheeps clothing, someone burn that place down like wacko please... god these nuts make Americas freedoms look bad!

    June 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. OfraHaza

    Well, w.b.c...... Just go for it!, I'm so sure that's EXACTLY what Jesus would do! Right?
    You are sad deluded "people". We don't have enough heartbreak, grief or sadness on this earth, so, uh thanks for making more for us, mmm K?

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

    Why is every irritating move these people make reported on? I have a feeling that a large part of what they do is a result of the attention. They haven't even gone yet and we know they have intentions to go, it is a little excessive.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. lagtat

    Why hasn't anyone executed these people yet?

    June 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tony

    I would love to be standing there when the jack a$$ crew sees these cult members protesting thier dead freind. I can just see them doing some very nasty things to them!

    June 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dea2

    Please God, send a tornado or some lightning to get these horrible people out of our lives forever.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. just stop covering them!!!

    Quit giving them the megaphone! Stop covering their stupid press releases. You have the power to ignore them!

    June 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. heather

    These people need to leave it alone. They are just a cult and they want publicity. I read this article and was immediatly mad. God doesn't like gay God doesn't like this that. Soooo wronggggg!

    June 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Justin

    Leave it to fundamentalist Christo-facists to tarnish and mock the teachings of the man they revere as their savior and lord.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Javan

    I really hope that someday something real nasty becomes public knowledge about Rev. Phelps and his crew. This kind of crap goes on all the time. You would think that they would have enough to worry about in their own hometown.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
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