Posts Tagged ‘westboro baptist church’
Star power goes a long way.
Celebrities can often shed light, or make a big impact, on a cause or an issue in ways that even the best public relations campaign simply cannot.
During World War II, Hollywood stars promoted war bonds, rationing and Victory gardens. These days, they take to social media and television to get their points across on myriad issues affecting the world.
Five celebrities who made a difference this year:
Lady Gaga: The pop superstar dipped her toe into celebrity activism in 2009 when she appeared at the National Equality March in Washington. But in 2010, Lady Gaga chose full-body immersion. She took on “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” and encouraged her “Little Monster” fans to make a ruckus by calling elected officials and asking them to repeal the law. For many Millennials, Lady Gaga’s call to action was the first time they realized that they could even call a senator.
The fashion diva, who took heat from PETA for a costume made from meat, also lambasted Arizona’s immigration law and took on the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church when the hate group protested her St. Louis concert. Her solution: Embrace them with love and peace.
Expect the 25-year-old Lady Gaga to continue her fight for GLBT rights in 2011 as her third studio album will be called “Born This Way.”
Sean Penn: Academy Award-winner Sean Penn went beyond the extra charitable mile in 2010. When Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake in January, Penn didn’t just write a check to a relief agency. Instead, he started his own organization and ventured to the ravaged country.
And he decided to stay.
Penn became a camp manager for the International Organization of Migration at Petionville, one of the most complex temporary camps in Haiti. The IOM is the United Nations agency responsible for camp management and coordination. He also traveled to Washington to testify at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on rebuilding Haiti.
In December, Penn, 50, even skipped out of a fancy Dubai film festival where he was to receive a lifetime achievement award to return to Haiti because of concerns regarding the safety of his staff. He received the “Hollywood Humanitarian Award” at the Hollywood Awards for his “selfless” efforts.
Penn continues to stress the importance of medical supplies and doctors as the country battles cholera. He’s not going anywhere, he says. In fact, Penn has recently vowed to spend years in Haiti until the country is stable.
Michelle Obama: Like first ladies before her, Michelle Obama has a cause — childhood obesity. Sure, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Bill Clinton were pushing the issue long before Obama got on the scene, but she took the issue to a new level. She launched “Let’s Move,” a program to “raise a healthier generation of kids.”
She has called obesity a “national security threat” and an epidemic. Last year, she created a White House garden to show how easy it is to raise healthy food. She kicked off 2010 by speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors about the issue. This month, Obama celebrated a win when her husband signed into the law the child nutrition bill for which she strongly lobbied. The first lady isn’t above showing her hula-hooping skills or practicing with NFL teams to show kids how to exercise and get outside.
Her obesity campaign recently got Sarah Palin’s attention.
On her TLC reality television show, Palin said, “Where are the s’mores ingredients? This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert.” In fact, Obama said, “The problem is when things get out of balance, when dessert is practically a food group.”
In turn, Huckabee, a former overweight diabetic who wrote a book about his weight battle, came to Obama’s defense. Don’t expect Michelle Obama to back down on the issue. She plans to make the battle against childhood obesity her White House legacy.
Bristol Palin: She tangoed her way into the consciousness of just about every American household this year on “Dancing With The Stars.” But she also did her fair share of advocacy against teen pregnancy. Palin was 17 and unmarried when she became pregnant.
In May, Palin appeared in a public service announcement for The Candie’s Foundation, an offshoot of the clothing brand that promotes awareness of teen pregnancy. In 2009, she was named an ambassador for the foundation.
During her “DWTS” appearance, Palin filmed another PSA promoting safe sex for the foundation with Jersey Shore star and fellow DWTS contestant, The Situation. He promotes condoms, Palin promotes abstinence.
In December, Keith Olbermann called Bristol Palin “the worst person in the world” because she preaches abstinence to teens even though she was an unwed teenager when she became a mom.
Palin pulled a Lady Gaga and took to her Facebook page to defend herself. She wrote: “In order to have credibility as a spokesperson, it sometimes takes a person who has made mistakes. Parents warn their children about the mistakes they made so they are not repeated. Former gang members travel to schools to educate teenagers about the risks of gang life.”
Palin graduated out of her teens this year but is likely to continue her abstinence message into her 20s. That is unless she finds a new cause.
Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines and Patti Smith: Collectively, these four kindred spirits came together in of all places, Little Rock, Ark., to shed light on the West Memphis Three – Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.
While teenagers, the three were charged with the murders of three 8-year-old boys, whose bodies were found in 1993 naked and bound in West Memphis, Ark. For the last 17 years, the three have been trying to get the Arkansas courts to retry the case. Echols sits on Arkansas Death Row. The other two men are serving life sentences.
Vedder and Depp have long been supporters of the West Memphis Three. Only this year, however, did Depp decide to become more vocal publicly about the case. Depp appeared on “48 Hours” to plead for a new trial and pulled his friend, punk goddess Patti Smith, into the project.
In August, Vedder, along with Arkansas Take Action advocates, led the charge to organize a concert to shed light on the need for new hearings in the case. Depp, Maines and Smith appeared. Depp read poems written by Echols and also sang and played guitar. Maines, too, performed, and Smith closed the evening with her classics.
The celeb firepower may have just worked.
The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in November to allow new evidentiary hearings for the West Memphis Three.
Lady Gaga is a political force.
Don’t laugh. Just consider her activism this year. She has taken on several political hot potatoes – the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, Arizona’s immigration law, California’s same-sex marriage ban, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
For all of Lady Gaga’s outrageous costumes and catchy dance tunes, the 24-year-old singer, known as Mama Monster to her fans, has alerted the Millennial generation to issues that otherwise may have gone under their radar screens.
With a social media network larger than any politician’s, including President Barack Obama‘s or potential 2012 presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s, Lady Gaga is one of the most influential, and powerful, people in the world. Forbes Magazine ranked her seventh in its recent 2010 list of most powerful women. She didn’t even make the list in 2009.
The Native New Yorker – whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta – has 21 million Facebook fans (Obama has 15 million, Palin two million) and nearly seven million Twitter followers. The numbers increase daily. Her videos recently hit a milestone with one billion views on YouTube. Her adoring fans, also called Little Monsters, track her every move and respond eagerly to her calls for political action.
When she appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, retired gay military officers from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) escorted her down the red carpet. Her political statement: Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The SLDN received an instant public relations boost that money cannot buy. More than 100,000 people visited the group’s Web site within 72 hours. Nearly 93 percent were new visitors.
After the show, Ellen DeGeneres invited Lady Gaga to her talk show. Dressed in her now-infamous meat dress, she used the talk show to call for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to schedule a Senate vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” She also encouraged her fans to call Reid’s office. Naturally, she also tweeted, “CALL HARRY REID to Schedule Senate Vote.”
Reid returned the tweet, triggering a lovefest between the two: “@ladygaga There is a vote on #DADT next week. Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so.”
The pop goddess continued to urge her Little Monsters to call their senators and ask them to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” She then challenged Sen. John McCain and other senators who opposed the repeal in a stark black and white video, where she also showed fans how to call their senators and what to say. She even headed to Portland, Maine, for a rally to try and persuade Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to support the repeal.
When the bill failed, Lady Gaga vowed to continue her fight for gay and lesbian issues. Her next album will be called “Born This Way” – a shout-out to her LGBT fans, and she recently recorded a duet with Elton John.
Celebrity activism is nothing new. Ever since Bob Geldof’s Band-Aid in the 1980s, Bono has become a dedicated political saint, leading the charge on myriad causes, including debt relief for Africa. In the 1970s, Jane Fonda spoke out against the Vietnam War, and Marlon Brando focused on the Civil Rights Movement and Native American causes.
But Lady Gaga has harnessed the potential of 21st Century social media unlike any of her musical peers or even Washington politicians who pay consultants big money to work social media magic.
“She’s like a tribal leader,” says Gordon Coonfield, associate professor of communication at Villanova University. “Tribal leaders have their own influence and are about bringing networks together. She has her own influence and technology and a new kind of network power that traditional politics can’t really afford to ignore.”
A lot of celebrities tweet, but as Coonfield points out, Lady Gaga takes it a step beyond witty updates and relationship drama. She tweets not only about the cocktail she drank at a bar but also about serious topics.
“We are talking about issues that could change the military and fates of people,” Coonfield says.
Imagine if Lady Gaga decided to lead a march on Washington with millions of Little Monsters in tow. Unlike Glenn Beck, Lady Gaga has a colossal global following. She would shed an international light on her cause célèbre, and her crowd might very well dwarf Beck’s and Jon Stewart’s.
Lady Gaga, who made $62 million last year, likely won’t leave her music career any time soon to launch a run for office. But what if she decided to create GAGAPAC to donate to progressive candidates? One tweet would likely result in hefty donations and free publicity for the candidate of her choosing.
On another front, Lady Gaga might also give Palin’s Mama Grizzlies a run for their fur if she decided to endorse candidates and campaign – even virtually – for them. Who knows? Harry Reid might be on safer ground today if Lady Gaga had helped him in Nevada against Palin-backed Sharron Angle.
First Lady Michelle Obama may be the most powerful woman in the world, but Lady Gaga is not far behind. After all, Lady Gaga is already ahead of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who ranks No. 11. If Lady Gaga maintains her star power into 2012, she could likely unleash her Little Monsters – many who may be voting in their first election – to become a progressive, liberal tsunami in GOTV efforts. And a real worry for conservatives.
Hey, Lady Gaga, are you considering a run for office?
As Jakob Hooks, a 15-year-old in Little Rock recently told me, “Lady Gaga should be president.”
There is that pesky age problem. She’s 24. The Constitution states someone must be 35 to run for president. But the influence of Lady Gaga on pop culture, and now, the political landscape cannot be underestimated.
Lady Gaga, with her ingenious costumes, surreal videos, and burning pianos, is among the world’s biggest celebrities. She has 14 million Facebook followers to Sarah Palin’s 2 million and President Barack Obama’s 10 million. On Twitter, Lady Gaga logs 5.2 million followers to Palin’s 211,000 followers.
In June, Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, landed on Forbes Magazine’s 2010 celebrity power list. She was No. 4 behind Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce Knowles and movie producer James Cameron. Lady Gaga’s worth: $62 million. Her social and Web rank: No. 1.
On Tuesday, Lady Gaga racked up 13 MTV video music award nominations — a record that tops video music icons Michael Jackson and Madonna.
Lady Gaga may be just the social media foil the left needs to confront Palin. The two 21st-century social media stars possess startling similarities.
Palin dubs her conservative female supporters Mama Grizzlies and asks them to defend her like a mother bear would a cub. New York native Lady Gaga collects Little Monsters — fans who vehemently guard and promote Mama Monster with Twitter and Facebook posts.
Palin and Lady Gaga are devoted to their followers, keeping them updated frequently via social media tools. Within minutes of either posting, thousands have commented and retweeted.
Not to be shallow, but both women are known for their individual, striking looks and brands.
When Palin arrived on the political scene in 2008, women clamored for a pair of glasses like hers. They got their hair cut like hers. Gaga fans spend hours cultivating wigs to resemble hers and even wear dangerous contact lenses to re-create an anime look from her “Bad Romance” video.
Lady Gaga, like savvy Palin, uses her celebrity and social media platform to her advantage. On Wednesday, after a federal judge struck down California’s same-sex marriage ban, she wrote via Facebook:
“At the moments notice of PROP 8 DEATH I instantly began to write music. BUBBLE DREAMS FOREVER! FULL EQUALITY! THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING! REJOICE and CELEBRATE gay communities and straight all over the world. Our voices are being heard! Loud! SCREAM LOUD AMERICANOS!”
Last weekend, she dipped her toe — no, make that full body immersion — into Arizona’s controversial political waters, particularly its tough anti-illegal immigration law.
Before her Saturday night Monster Ball concert in Phoenix, Lady Gaga put a message on her Facebook page: “The Monster Ball is by nature a protest: A youth church experience to speak out and celebrate against all forms of discrimination + prejudice. Tonight we will continue to actively protest social and political injustices in Arizona. We will sing, we will stand up, + we will be heard.” Nearly 34,000 people like this comment, and she has created a roaring online debate about immigration.
Lady Gaga didn’t stop with a post. At her concert, she lashed out at Arizona’s immigration legislation with “Stop SB 1070″ written on her arm. SB 1070 is Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked parts of the law, including a requirement that police determine the status of those suspected of being illegal immigrants.
Controversy continues around SB 1070, and Lady Gaga seized the moment. “I got a phone call from a couple really big rock and rollers, big pop stars, big rap artists, and they said, ‘We’d like you to boycott Arizona . . . because of SB 1070,’ ” Lady Gaga said to the 14,000 Little Monsters. Several music acts — Kanye West, Rage Against the Machine and Sonic Youth — have boycotted the state.
According to The Arizona Republic, Lady Gaga said, “Do you really think that us dumb [expletive] pop stars are going to collapse the economy of Arizona?” She added, “We have to be active. We have to protest . . . I will yell and I will scream louder. I will hold you, and we will hold each other, and we will peaceably protest this state.”
Granted, they weren’t exactly the talking points of a stateswoman but when Lady Gaga speaks, her fans listen and act.
“She’s in a unique position in popular culture,” says Paul Levinson, professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University in New York City. “She is widely popular with a big segment of the population even more so than Madonna was 20 years ago. Being a celebrity with YouTube and all of the social media is more powerful than it has been in the past.”
Levinson, author of “New New Media,” says that Lady Gaga’s remarks in Arizona will have an impact.
“When you have someone like Lady Gaga speaking out on it, it may give some people reason to reconsider their position,” Levinson says. “When you had John Lennon singing give peace a chance, more people were turned against the war. A pop icon can be much more persuasive in politics than a politician. She is doing a great service to the Democratic process.”
Lady Gaga recently took on Westboro Baptist Church, the anti-gay hate group based in Kansas, when they picketed her St. Louis concert in July. She told her fans via her social media outlets to ignore the group as they entered the Monster Ball. LGBT advocates have called her a “warrior” for their issues. Last October, she addressed thousands of gay-rights activists at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. and has supported HIV/AIDS awareness.
Palin and Lady Gaga have one issue they agree on — sexual abstinence. Lady Gaga reportedly says in a September Vanity Fair interview, “I have this weird thing that if I sleep with someone, they’re going to take my creativity through my vagina. . . . I’m mostly celibate now.”
The girl power of Palin and Lady Gaga reaches and activates demographics that are not often widely tapped politically. While Palin continuously stirs chords among blue-collar women, Gaga rouses teens and 20-somethings — one of the groups least receptive to political messaging.
When the Founding Fathers spoke of a healthy democracy’s need for a “marketplace of ideas,” it’s unlikely they envisioned the debate being led by a sexy caribou slayer on one end and piano-torching songstress on the other.
FYI, President Obama. Justin Bieber has some music tips for you.
Bieber tweeted Thursday night, “Hey President Obama check out U SMILE and RUNAWAY LOVE — bet those could go in your ipod “
“U Smile” is one of the 16-year-old teen heartthrob’s biggest digital singles. It was a top 30 hit on the U.S. Hot 100, and a top 20 hit in his home country of Canada. He sang it last spring on “American Idol.”
During Obama’s appearance Thursday on ABC’s “The View,” he said he didn’t have any Bieber tunes on his iPod but that “he’s a very nice young man.”
Bieber met Obama in December when he performed at the “Christmas in Washington” concert. He also got his picture taken with Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. At that time, Bieber tweeted, “In DC preparing to sing for President OBAMA!!”
He followed that with “Yeah im nervous. if i mess up he might deport me back to Canada. Lol.”
First daughters Sasha and Malia met Bieber during the taping of the Christmas special and again during the White House Easter Egg Roll where he sung “Baby.”
Bieber tweeted from Bill Clinton’s home town, Little Rock, Ark., where he performs Thursday night. “just finished the meet and greet here in Little Rock, AR but im on vocal rest until show…we played charades. nice…2 words..sounds like..”
He also sent a Facebook message to fans, “Little Rock, AR we are gonna have some fun tonight….Im on Vocal Rest until showtime (this sucks) but we played charades at the sound check party and i broke the rules a couple times. But tonight it’s all about the music.”
On Wednesday night, Bieber was picketed by members of Westboro Baptist Church, which has also targeted Lady Gaga.
Bieber and Lady Gaga have been in an Internet war for most YouTube video hits. Last week, Bieber’s video “Baby,” featuring Ludacris, surpassed 250 million hits, knocking Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” into second place with 247.6 million.
But Lady Gaga still has more Facebook fans (14 million) than Bieber (8.3 million) or Obama (11.5 million).
Watch out, Justin Bieber, you’re a target.
The 16-year-old Canadian pop star, who teenagers either undyingly love or massively loathe, has been singled out for protest by the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, just like his top-charting rival Lady Gaga.
When Bieber plays the Sprint Center on Wednesday night in Kansas City, fans can expect to see Westboro church members holding signs and issuing taunts. The church is known for picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan with signs reading “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “God Hates Fags” — because they believe that as long as America countenances sin, American soldiers deserve to die.
Earlier this month, they protested at Lady Gaga concerts in St. Louis and Oklahoma City. They plan to picket her again at her Kansas City concert on Aug. 3.
The group certainly gets around. A few days after their Gaga gig in St. Louis, they picketed Al Gore and the hugely popular Comic-Con convention, both in San Diego. At the latter, they were greeted by an array of unique protesters — “robots,” magical anime girls, Trekkies, Jedi and even kittens. The comic book hero wannabes chanted at Westboro: “What do we want? Gay sex. When do we want it? Now!”
Neither Bieber nor his fans are a genuine threat to humanity — not to anyone’s knowledge, anyway. But Westboro strongly disagrees. Church members say they are picketing the pop star “to remind all of those in attendance that America’s destruction is imminent!”
They add via their website, “There are no jobs, homes, money or hope, but you’ll pay big bucks to attend rock concerts by the thousands.”
The church group says that Bieber “has a platform given to him by God to speak to this world; he has a duty to teach obedience by his actions and words. He refuses to do that because he knows his concert halls would be empty! So, he teaches you to sin and rebel against God’s commandments.”
Bieber is also criticized for performing last Christmas in Washington where “he got to pose with Anti-Christ Beast Obama.” The group writes, “He and Obama are of one mind and they are leading this nation to hell! Justin will answer to God!”
Before Lady Gaga’s St. Louis concert, she advised her “little monster” fans via Facebook and Twitter to avoid the protesters:
“Although I respect and do not judge anyone for their personal views on any politics or religion, this group in particular to me is violent and dangerous. I wanted to make my fans aware of my views on how to approach, or rather not approach, these kinds of hate activists.”
Westboro has targeted the pop singer because she supports gay and lesbian rights. The group has also recorded parodies of two of her songs, “Pokerface” and “Telephone.” Bieber, who will appear on the season premiere of the CBS drama “CSI” in September, has thus far escaped any such parodies.
Westboro Baptist Church, which is based in Kansas, was founded by Fred Phelps, 80, in the 1950s. The church has protested a litany of events — veterans’ funerals, Jewish synagogues, football games, political events, and even Michael Jackson’s funeral.
Earlier this year, the father of a Marine killed in action in Iraq had to pay the legal costs of Westboro after he sued them for carrying placards bearing anti-homosexual epithets at his son’s funeral. A judge ruled that the First Amendment protected their right to do so.
The group is designated as a hate group by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Heidi Beirich, director of research at the latter, says that Westboro protests such mega-events for the attention it brings them.
“The more provocative they are, the more excited they are,” she said. “They have gone after everything under the sun. They represent something terrible, but it’s better to know they are there than not know.”
So far, Bieber hasn’t addressed his 8.2 million fans via Facebook about Westboro. His latest status mentions what is on the minds of most 16-year-old boys — girls.
Lady Gaga isn’t afraid of some gay-bashing protestors. On Saturday evening, the goddess Gaga posted a note entitled “At the risk of drawing attention to a hateful organization” to her “little monster fans” via her Facebook page addressing the protest by the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. The church has protested a litany of events – veterans’ funerals, football games, political events, and even Michael Jackson’s funeral. They waved their signs outside Lady Gaga’s concert Saturday night at St. Louis’ Scottrade Center.
She wrote that “this group of protesters are hate criminals and preach using lewd and violent language and imagery that I wish I protect you all from. Their message is of hatred and divisiveness, but inside at the Monsterball we preach love and unity.”
The Westboro Baptist Church, which is based in Kansas, is designated a hate group by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. It was founded by Fred Phelps, 80, in the 1950s.
Earlier this year, the father of a Marine killed in action in Iraq had to pay the legal costs of Westboro Baptist Church. He sued them after they picketed his son’s funeral, carrying placards bearing anti-homosexual epithets.
The independent church, which is not affiliated with other Baptist churches, targeted Lady Gaga earlier this year with flyers that said, “God hates ‘Lady’ Gaga” and quoting Jeremiah 3:3-5. The flyer said Lady Gaga used art and fashion as euphemisms and guises “under which proud whore Lady Gaga teaches rebellion against God.”
On their website, Westboro says of Lady Gaga: “There appears to be little to no hope for her, but who is to say what is doing with the souls of those who may be swarming to listen to your less-than-beautiful singing program?”
Then there’s the kicker. Comparing Lady Gaga to President Barack Obama. “Keep your eye on this silly woman, as she and the Beast Obama are good examples of what you all love most about this vile nation.”
In her Saturday Facebook note, Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, wrote, “Although I respect and do not judge anyone for their personal views on any politics or religion, this group in particular to me is violent and dangerous. I wanted to make my fans aware of my views on how to approach, or rather not approach, these kinds of hate activists.”
In a Twitter post after Saturday night’s concert, Lady Gaga wrote, “Tonight love and hate met in St. Louis. And love outnumbered the hate, in poetic thousands. Hate left. But love stayed. + Together, we sang.”
She should remember that come Tuesday night. Hate is visiting her again when Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket her Oklahoma City concert. The group will be busy that day. Before the Lady Gaga concert, they plan to picket at the Oklahoma state capitol because Oklahoma wants “to kill the servants of God.” They will then take their signs to the Cox Convention Center to protest the National Association of Free Will Baptists Convention before ending the day with Lady Gaga fans.
Fans responded enthusiastically to Gaga’s message of love not war.
One fan wrote, “you don’t discriminate YET they discriminate against you, they hate you, they spit on you, call you names, put you down, and you ask us to not pay them attention. You are a strong person, and you followed your dreams, that’s a message EVERYONE should be sending.”
Other comments centered on the political nature of Westboro. “Dont know why the American Government still allow these Westboro rats to spew their vile guts on the street, they shouldve been sent to Coventry as soon as they went on about gays and soldiers.”
Lady Gaga may have been attempting trying to halt any verbal or physical escalation that might occur before or after her concert. She asked fans to “pay these hate criminals no mind. Do not interact with them, or try to fight, Do not respond to any of their provocation.”
Westboro Baptist Church has created parody videos aimed at Lady Gaga. In June, Fred Phelps’ grand-daughter recorded a song that took aim at Lady Gaga’s song “Telephone.” The parody version, called “Ever Burn” told Lady Gaga she was destined for hell and called her a “devil spawn.” It was the second such video. Earlier this year, the group recorded another song to one of Lady Gaga’s tunes, “Poker Face,” with the lyric, “You pissed off God, you’ll see what he’s got.”
In her Facebook note, Lady Gaga said that Westboro’s message was “ignorant” and that fans should “feel gratitude in your heart that you are not burdened or addicted to hate, as they are.”