Members of Pastor Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church claim to have discovered the underlying purpose of the Internet: using it “to tell this nation & this world that your destruction draws nigh.”
While it was unclear what they thought of other priceless online frivolities, such as lolcats or Something Awful, but there’s one online entity in particular has tweaked the “God Hates Fags” people, and they made their feelings clear in a media advisory posted to their website.
“GOD HATES FAGS & LOUSY ‘HACKERS!’” they declared, apparently responding to a missive from protest group “Anonymous,” which was well known for becoming a persistent antagonist to another group of religious fanatics: the Church of Scientology.
“The only reason the Internet exists is for Westboro Baptist Church to tell this nation & this world that your destruction draws nigh.”
Phelps’s bizarre press release was issued in response to a letter published to AnonNews.org, an unofficial, uncensored channel for members to post details relevant to their forthcoming actions.
“Cease & desist your protest campaign in the year 2011, return to your homes in Kansas, & close your public Web sites,” the first “Anonymous” letter demanded. ”Should you ignore this warning, you will meet with the vicious retaliatory arm of ANONYMOUS: We will target your public Websites, and the propaganda & detestable doctrine that you promote will be eradicated; the damage incurred will be irreversible, and neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover.”
In their response, the arch-conservative church acknowledged that “Anonymous” had seen some success in attacking governments and financial institutions, but that they were no match for “servants of the Living God.”
“Bad miscalculation, girls!” they jeered.
This was all a bit much for the cyber-dissidents, who fired off another open letter to their “WBC Phriends.”
“You thought you could play with Anonymous,” they wrote. “You observed our rising notoriety and thought you would exploit our paradigm for your own gain. And then, you thought you could lure some idiots into a honeypot for more IPs to sue.
“This is not so foreign to us; as you may have heard, we trade in Lulz. You just do not have enough to offer right now.
“While Anonymous thanks you for your interest, and would certainly like to take a break and have some fun with you guys, we have more pressing matters to deal with at the moment.”
The group further warned other members to not engage in attacks on the Westboro website, for fear that it may be a trap. They added that if Phelps and crew would just stick around, “we’ll come back to play another day.”
The protest group recently stunned global observers by successfully taking MasterCard Worldwide off the Internet for a day, in response to their decision to cut off all business ties with secrets website WikiLeaks. They also succeeded in toppling the web operations of Sarah Palin, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT), the government of Egypt, the government of Tunisia and others.
Members of “Anonymous” also played roles in smuggling US diplomatic cables into middle eastern nations even as leaders clamped down on the Internet to prevent a wave of protests from overturning their regimes.
The Westborough Baptist Church has been a persistent presence among US hate groups, making a point to picket the funerals of soldiers who’ve died in the terror wars, among other targets of their Bible-based rage.
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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