Well, This Is One Awesome Way to Fight Back Against the Westboro Baptist Church
When the Westboro Baptist Church shows up outside your office, you have two choices: You can stay inside until they go away, or you can head down to the street and throw a party.
Huffington Post employees chose the latter option. They met the WBC protesters outside with costumes, drag queen friends and 1,000 cupcakes ("God loves cupcakes" indeed).
"We figured we would just turn it into a party," Noah Michelson, executive editor of HuffPost Gay Voices, told Mic. "We thought it was a really great way to say, No. 1, we're not afraid of you, your message is not one we find intimidating, and No. 2, we can do what you're doing even better."
The background: Michelson said that Huffington Post employees knew the WBC was coming. The church announced a "God Hates the Media" tour earlier this year, and was stopping by to jointly protest the Huffington Post, AOL and Facebook, which all occupy the same building. Before that, they hit a few other New York city locations.
The organizers wanted something small they could hand out to passersby, considering ice cream before deciding on little cupcakes. They got in touch with Baked by Melissa, which donated the 1,000 mini cupcakes, all in rainbow colors.
Michelson estimated that between 50 and 100 Huffington Post employees came down to join the fun, some in costumes and many with signs. The entire thing lasted about 25 minutes before the WBC protesters packed up and headed off to protest whomever else God hates. (Gawker, apparently.)
The reaction: The WBC members in attendance were relatively lighthearted about the whole affair. That may come as a surprise to many, but Michelson said he's interacted with the church before and expected as much.
"It's just a publicity thing for them," he said. "I don't know how seriously they take it."
Not too seriously, judging by the fact that they brought him a t-shirt from Kansas.
"It's a lot less scary that it can seem," Michelson said. "When you actually see them, it's kind of pathetic, I would say."
You can read the Huffington Post's account of their counter-protest here.