Faith

Westboro Baptist Protesters at Juilliard Get 'Rickrolled' by Student Musicians

Protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church showed up to protest at The Juilliard School in New York on Thursday and were joined by counter-protesting students, who greeted them with music.

Apparently the protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church Cult have run out of dead soldiers’ funerals to disrupt, so they looked far and wide and decided that the greatest menace currently bearing down on America right now is—I am not making this up—the arts. All of them.

The church cult announced on their website last week that they would be protesting at The Juilliard School. In a press release, WBC decried the school’s dance, drama, and music programs.

Oh the vanity of it all! “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” (Gal. 6:3) Too many words to cover the awful sin of this “institution of higher learning”. Sum it up like this: You have made your children to be good for absolutely nothing except full, final and awful destruction!

In an apparent message to the students’ parents the release said, “If you had taught those children to invest 5% of the energy they use for the vanity called ‘The Arts’ America would not be leading the world in racing to destruction.”

Like most cults, the Westboro group mixes truth with error, taking Bible verses out of context to justify their hateful behavior. While the Bible does condemn some of the things WBC likes to protest, Christians should always speak the truth in love.

According to Playbill, between 60 and 100 students showed up during the hour-long protest:

The students and the protesters were kept in police pens about 50 feet apart. A smaller group of students gathered on the other side of the street. Most of the time the students held signs or watched as a group of them played songs including “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “Amazing Grace,” though a small number also shouted at the WBC protesters or tried to engage them in dialogue that sometimes grew heated. A dozen police, including one on horseback, monitored the protest.

Shirley Phelps Roper, daughter of the church’s founder, was one of the protesters. She said the group chose Juilliard, which is ranked as one of the top music academies in the world, because, “This is the heart and soul of the arts community.” She said the school’s teachers “have taught this nation proud sin. They have filled the nation with proud sodomites.”

Jessica French, a Boston Conservatory graduate who came to support Juilliard, disagreed with the wholesale condemnation of the arts. She carried a placard that read, “I [heart] Jesus and I believe He is honored when artists cultivate the talents He has entrusted them with.” Her sign also had a verse from Psalms printed on it: ”Sing a new song unto the Lord.”

The counter-protest had a theme of “God Loves Jazz,” a twist on the slogan that WBC often chants or carries on signs, “God Hates Fags.”

Student musicians played and sang a variety of selections, but the best part was when they switched from a classical number to the classic 2000s prank song, Rick Astley’s 80s hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

Take a look at the video on the next page and see how the Juilliard students kept it classy. And smooth.