Satanists Perform 'Gay Ritual' at Westboro Gravesite
A group of satanists say they've given the controversial Westboro Baptist Church a taste of its own medicine, performing a same-sex ritual at the grave of the mother of the church's founder.
Members of the Satanist Temple performed on Sunday what its spokesman describes as a "pink mass" an admittedly made-up ritual, celebrating gay love, at the grave in Meridian, Miss.
Spokesman Lucien Greaves doffed a headdress made of horns as two male couples, and a female couple recited scripture, lit candles and made out over the grave.
Members then posthumously declared Catherine Johnston, the mother of Westboro's founder Fred Phelps, a lesbian.
The ritual was designed to get a rise of the WBC, the satanists said, an organization that's earned a national reputation for getting a rise out of others.
Phelps is the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, a fundamentalist congregation infamous for picketing at the funerals of celebrities, victims of disaster and terrorism, and U.S. soldiers killed in combat.
The church, located in Topeka, Kan., believes that the whole of the United States is in a state of sin because of gays. Members often protest at funerals carrying signs that read "God hates fags."
The idea to stage a counter-protest by the New York based Satanist Temple after WBC members threatened to picket at funerals for those killed in the Boston Marathon bombings, Greaves told ABCNews.com.
The ritual took place at Magnolia Cemetery near a busy road, but Greaves said no one bothered the group of Satanists.
"Our right to believe that Fred Phelps now must believe that his mother is gay is inviolable," said Greaves. "No one can question our beliefs," he said, mocking a Westboro talking point that was recently at the heart of Supreme Court case, which the church won.
A spokesman for Westboro, which has never shirked from publicity, told ABC that the "pink mass" only gave the church another moment to preach against gay people.
"I don't care whether you're dancing on a grave, in a hot air balloon, or standing on Mt. Kiliminjaro, homosexuality is a sin. And the punishment fixed for that sin is the death penalty," said Westboro spokesman Steve Drain.