the suzi parker files

Politics, Pop Culture and Ponderings

Lady Gaga Takes on Westboro Baptist

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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.”

Westboro Baptist ChurchThe 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.”


Written by suziparker1313

March 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm

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