The news cycle is a funny thing. Amidst the NSA and Edward Snowden scandals, the Trayvon Martin case, and Wendy Davis's pink shoes and rocking filibuster, and all the articles that follow these stories (that is, if they end) usually lead you right to one of the greatest gems of journalism: your classic WTF story. Remember the Westboro Baptist Church? Yes, unfortunately they're still a thing, probably very close to pulling the country's longest prank, and yes, naturally, they still have enemies. However, what's different about this case, unlike every other time when the Westboro Church goes elsewhere to share their ... strong ... opinions, is this time, they're the ones being trolled. Because, I don't know, there aren't enough trolls in the world already?
The New York-based Satanic Temple took their Sunday this week to travel to the grave site of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps's mother's grave so that they could, what any normal person in this situation would do, perform same-sex marriage ceremonies at the grave site. Photos are available on the website www.westboro-baptists.com, not to be confused with actual Westboro Church website, www.godhatesfags.com. The ceremony was performed by a spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves, and the Temple claims that the mass was conducted as an affirmation of the Temple's values of freedom and the pursuit of happiness for all people. The Satanists also claim that their actions weren't that of hate, but were meant to convey a message of love. (While disrespecting the grave of their enemy's mother.)
The Temple encourages all their members to make a pilgrimage to the site of the grave and perform a "Pink Mass." The idea came after the Boston Marathon bombings, when the WBC threatened to protest the funerals of the bombing victims. What better way to out-troll the trolls than to perform a same-sex marriage celebration at the grave-site of Fred Phelps's mother while wearing a hat that definitely would have trumped whatever Princess Beatrice wore to her cousin's wedding? The Temple even includes directions to the grave site and encourages members to perform their own Pink Mass, and don't forget the pictures please and thank you.
While the Satanic Temple states their mission as being one of encouraging benevolence and empathy, they also claim to believe it is their role to "lead with example" and to "actively provide outreach," which I hate to say, isn't done through the Pink Mass ceremony. Of course, while I'd personally love to be the person driving by the cemetery on the day when two people are crouching over a grave to perform the most awkward kiss of all time, I don't see a message of love in what they're doing.They're stopping right at the level of the WBC, with their pickets of fallen heroes, tragic deaths, One Direction, and pretty much anything else under the Sun.
And stooping to their level is just what WBC wants you to do. They want to engage you in epic rage-stroke battles. They're not just aiming to be jerks, but to garner attention for what they do. This ceremony is just giving them what they want. By all means, perform a same-sex ceremony; but if the Satanic Temple is going to claim to have a message of love, it shouldn't be reduced to yelling "neener neener neener, look what I did to your mother." Leave the hate out of the ceremony.