Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church apparently has no shame whatsoever. It’s pathetic enough that they’ve announced plans to picket Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman’s funeral (just like they did Ronnie James Dio’s), but the way in which they intend on doing it is even worse. Via their Twitter account, they proudly proclaimed “WBC to #picket funeral of Jeff Hanneman, singing our #CrazyTrain parody at full voice.” So yeah, that’s it. They’re going to sing an incredibly lame parody of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” that features lyrics from founder Fred Phelps’ daughters. Not to mention, this “parody,” which includes the lyrics “you’re going straight to hell on your crazy train,” is something they’ve done in the past, leading Ozzy himself to state “I am sickened and disgusted by the use of ‘Crazy Train’ to promoted messages of hate and evil by a ‘church.'”
The only thing that the Westboro Baptist Church will get out of this is publicity. And I guess they operate by the “all publicity is good publicity” platform, since they’re being universally condemned for everything they do. It’s hard to imagine them even getting the money to travel around the country to protest funerals (which their Wikipedia page says is $200,000 annually). Either way, they’re taking what should be a solemn ceremony and turning it into a circus. There are many Slayer fans that say they’ll turn up tomorrow just to beat up the Westboro Baptist Church. Honestly, the church (whose members number only about 40) doesn’t even deserve to have that much energy expended on them. Slayer write a lot about the dark side and hypocrisy of religion, which is really part of what Westboro’s message is. Shirley Phelps-Roper said in a documentary that the money spent to travel to funerals is money spend to spread “God’s hate.” The lyrics to “Hate Worldwide” include “I deny, defy and spread a little hate worldwide.” What exactly then is the WBC protesting? Regardless, they may have bitten off more than they can chew.