bestnom1000x50 Invades Greater Boston

For members of Westboro Baptist Church - the hardcore right-wing Topeka outfit fronted by proud bigot Fred Phelps - Greater Boston is a missionary’s Graceland. In fact, we harbor enough of Westboro’s target demographics to warrant a six-stop, two-day picket tour through our queer-and-Jew-filled landscape.

Knowing that authorities would arrange to protect their cowardly behinds, Westboro disciples gave ample warning about their coming crusade. Earlier this week press releases circulated about the planned skedaddle through such godless destinations as UMASS-Boston, the Boston University Hillel center, and the "fag-infested, prevert-run" Brookline High School.

The six Westboro soldiers in town showed up late for their dismissal-hour rally in Brookline; apparently a Jewish advocate slashed two of their tires while they were protesting the Jewish Advocate on School Street beforehand. Brookline cops were sure to avoid further complications; they protected the crew’s minivan and dutifully quarantined the protesters.

Though some students hugged each other, bracing for the hatred, their first glance of the pathetic Phelps clan got them laughing hard. “They might think they’re here just to protest the gay students, but that means they’re here to protest all of us,” one girl told me. “I bet if I run really fast past that cop right there I can snap the little kid's neck,” a jock joked to his friend.

Not surprisingly, Westboro has channeled much of its anger toward the black president. Allegedly, Obama, “The Beast,” “hates us” and “wants to sodomize our children.” That message was carried through the BU stop, where “God Hates Fags” signs were substituted with the more fitting “God Hates Jews” message.

While there’s an argument to be made that Westboro should be denied attention, their presence is terrific fodder for journalism students. The Phelps freaks also offer a refreshing departure from local gay-bashers like Kris Mineau and Senate candidate Scott Brown, who transparently couch their homophobia in defense of marriage rhetoric.

If you missed the Westboro gang and their unintentionally ironic rainbow-y signage, you can still catch the spectacle this morning at Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Union Park Street, where they’ll be picketing “the Catholic Pedophile Machine.” It’s too bad Phelps doesn’t work with child molesters; Westboro could have been a splendid ally in the church’s war against gay marriage.  

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