The Westboro Baptist Church has threatened to picket the funeral of Robin Williams, according to reports from the group themselves. The organization took to Twitter to confirm the rumors that they intended on going through with the picketing of the late actor’s funeral. The group instigated the initial claims by way of an extremely upsetting tweet describing their curiosity regarding the details surrounding the actor’s funeral, calling it a “carcass worship fest.” The tweet ended with the hashtag #mustpicket, and was followed by an Instagram link to a photo that has since been removed from the social media platform’s server. The next morning, the group used Twitter to confirm a news site’s posting regarding the possible funeral picketing, informing the poster that the story was indeed true.
In terms of the reasoning behind why the Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket the funeral, they have voiced their opinion that Williams acted against God in his lifetime and, in their own words, used his talent to glorify sin. The group feels that the comedy Williams performed openly mocked God, and did not show a proper respect to religion in their minds. They went on to express their view that Williams was now in Hell, and that the Lord that they deify is full of contempt for the late actor.
Regarding the actual likelihood of the group picketing Williams’ funeral, sources state that details surrounding the actor’s memorial service are extremely hard to come by, and that this is most likely just an empty threat. The threats are more of an act as demonstrated by some of the previous similar threats the Westboro Baptist Church has gained a name for. In the past, they have promised to picket other celebrity filled events such as the funeral of Michael Jackson, the Goo-Goo Dolls concert, and the upcoming events of the person they call the “adulteress” country star Miranda Lambert.
Many have stated that, although Westboro Baptist Church claims to hate the media, they grab attention from the public by threatening to get involved in media fueled events. Indeed, just last month the group became involved in a Twitter feud with Panic! At The Disco front-man Brendon Urie over threats to picket the group’s next concert due to Urie’s past relationships with men. The battle ended in Urie donating money to the Human Rights Campaign for every Westboro member that showed up to the picketing. Although a dozen or so members did show up to picket the group’s performance, the initial number of attendees dropped to a staggering low in comparison to what might have been had Urie not offered to make the aforementioned donation. The move not only thwarted the plans of the religious based group, but also gained Urie and his bandmates an inordinate amount of respect amongst gay rights activists and the public alike. The success of the band’s show also led to Human Rights Campaign associated merchandise hitting the band’s web store shortly after.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Westboro Baptist Church will come through on their threat to picket the funeral of the late Robin Williams. A statement regarding the matter has yet to be given by Williams’ representatives.
by Rebecca Grace