The Foo Fighters Outsmart Fred Phelps

Last week, the Westboro Baptist Church (which is choosing increasingly random and bizarre protest targets, including a Swedish vacuum cleaner store) decided to picket a Foo Fighters concert in Kansas City, Missouri. As is their usual strategy, they were no doubt hoping to provoke police or counterprotesters into assaulting them or otherwise violating their constitutional rights, so that they can win a legal settlement to support their continued spreading of hate.

But instead, the WBC was on the receiving end of a hilarious counterprotest. The Foo Fighters themselves came out, dressed up in hillbilly costumes, and put on an impromptu concert on the back of a flatbed truck, singing the song “Hot Buns” (sample lyrics: “Think I’m in the mood for some hot man muffins”, which is inexplicably bleeped in the video). Watch it below:

If you watch the video, pay particular attention around 1:20. I think even some of the Westboro Baptist picketers couldn’t help cracking smiles!

Like many fundamentalist groups who hunger for persecution, the WBC thrives on being hated; they’ve come to expect it and feel validated when it occurs. That’s precisely why we shouldn’t give them what they want, and should instead treat them with laughter and mockery.

That’s a response that fundamentalists can’t easily tolerate, and the Foo Fighters did the exact right thing – which is one more reason to love them. I already listen to them all the time when I’m at the gym or running, and hearing them mock Fred Phelps is just the icing on the cake. Here’s one of my favorites from their latest album Wasting Light:

You Got Your Ideology in My Atheism!
The Rebirth of Nullification in Alabama
ISIS Is Bleeding Human History
ISIS Is Bleeding Human History
About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, City of Light, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Jim Baerg

    So fundamentalists are like the devil? They cannot bear to be mocked.

  • Hieronymus Fortesque Lickspittle

    I love to see it when they fight the foo!

  • Sarah Jane Braasch-Joy

    That’s just all kinds of awesome.

  • Peter N

    A few months ago, one of the guys on the Reasonable Doubts podcast mentioned in passing that when Fred Phelps eventually dies, there will be a massive protest/party/orgy at his funeral, to “pay him back” for all the disgusting displays of hate that he and his have staged at e.g. the funerals of American soldiers killed in action in Iraq. I thought, too bad old Fred won’t be around to be offended and humiliated — and then I had a thought: why not stage a funeral for him while he’s still alive? We could start a Facebook/Twitter/blogosphere movement, à la Boobquake, to announce a date and time for a worldwide celebration of Fred’s death, complete with obituaries and funeral processions and mock burials. But we’d do it while he is alive to see it.

  • Demonhype

    American soldiers and gay people. Why does everyone seem to forget how they were protesting gay funerals before they ever dreamed of protesting soldier funerals? I don’t see any reason why only the soldiers should be remembered while gay people who were getting the same damn treatment–and with zero moral support, BTW, unlike the soldiers–were and continue to be ignored. People are people, funerals are funerals, and no group is so much better than another that their pain deserves to be held up while another group’s pain deserves to be ignored. Particularly when both of their pains were caused by the same jackass on a holy crusade.

    Just remember all the people this asshole has hurt, not just your favorite group. I may not like the military, but I don’t leave them out of the list just because of that, and I wouldn’t even if the order of harassment was reversed and only gay protests were current (before anyone tries that kind of weak excuse). Fair is fair, after all. I don’t have to like a group to believe they deserve fair treatment like anyone else.

    Sorry to go on like that, but that kind of omission continues to irritate me. My brother’s abominable wife even got infuriated when I mentioned Phelps’s gay victims and insisted outright that it never happened and military funerals were the first and only funerals Phelps targeted–because she, like a lot of people, only started to notice and care when her beloved heroes were harassed and assumed that was where it started and there was no history prior to that.

    Phelps’s current targets really are getting weirder and weirder though, but at least the most current targets aren’t groups of humans like gays or soldiers who can be hurt so much as corporations, businesses, comic cons, and rock concerts, where they’ll be less likely to cause pain to vulnerable people and more likely to get laughed at in a very public way. I have to wonder if he’s desperate or if he’s losing it all together.

  • Alex Weaver


    I’m rather fond of the idea someone floated at the San Francisco meetup of having people at Fred Phelps’ funeral with signs saying “We’re sorry for your loss.” You know, like actual human beings. >.>

    Orgies elsewhere would be a nice counterpoint. :3

  • TEP

    A few months ago, one of the guys on the Reasonable Doubts podcast mentioned in passing that when Fred Phelps eventually dies, there will be a massive protest/party/orgy at his funeral, to “pay him back” for all the disgusting displays of hate that he and his have staged at e.g. the funerals of American soldiers killed in action in Iraq.

    That’s probably exactly what Fred Phelps would want. One thing that is clear about this guy is that he loves the notoriety, and loves being hated. To his twisted mind, a funeral protest would probably be his idea of an ‘perfect sendoff’ confirming just how ‘important’ he is. Doing a mock funeral when he’s alive would only pander to his ego and narcissism.

  • Katherine Lorraine

    I love the Foo Fighters

  • Ebonmuse

    Just to note, BTW, I’ve heard that Fred Phelps himself is getting old and no longer actively participates in most of the protests. His daughter Shirley is apparently the de facto leader of WBC now.

  • OMGF

    Does this mean that they will next be making signs that say, “God Hates Females in Authority?”

  • Rowen

    I don’t get why so many places beep out EVERYTHING. Like, the song Super Bass came on the other day and they beeped out every other word. Why even bother? I feel like I first heard this nonsense when the word “ovulating” was beeped out of Shady’s Back. I even called the radio station to complain, and they basically said their hands were tied. But, who’s making these decisions?

  • Nes

    “Ovulating”, really? And I thought it was bad when Jack FM bleeped “ass” and “drug” in that Nickelback song… (Wow, even the official video on youtube has those bleeped.)

  • Eurekus

    I think you guys have just made me a Foo Fighters fan. I’ve never heard of their music before, but I now like it and I like their style.

  • Nes

    Surely you’ve heard Everlong, Monkey Wrench, My Hero, Learn To Fly, The Pretender, Best Of You, Times Like These, or All My Life?

    If not, welcome to just some of their popular songs :-)