The controversial organization known as the Westboro Baptist Church spent the Golden Globes weekend protesting outside four different Southern California churches, only to find itself massively outnumbered by counter-protesters.
The Kansas-based WBC has gained infamy over the past few years for picketing military funerals and for its public use of anti-gay and anti-Semitic language. While few in number, the WBC makes up for its low membership with over-the-top, offensive publicity campaigns. However, the group's picketing attempts increasingly have been met with much larger counter-protests, as was the case at Sunday's pickets outside four churches in Glendale, Calif., reports Fox affiliate KTLA.
A human wall separated the WBC from Salem Lutheran Church before services began at 8:30 a.m. KTLA noted that things got a "bit heated" at Salem, but the services eventually began without incident.
After visiting Salem, the WBC moved on to First United Methodist Church, Glendale Presbyterian Church and Holy Family Catholic Community Church before ending up somewhere near the Golden Globes Awards show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Speaking to the Glendale News-Press, St. Matthew’s Church Pastor Keith Banwart Jr. called the WBC a "cult" that won't allow the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community "to live in peace." In contrast, he said, the counter-protesters had assembled "to show that God’s love is bigger than the hate that may be displayed here this morning."
According to a WBC press release, the group had planned to protest the Golden Globes because it believes "God hates Hollywood."
From Westboro's written statement:
The American film and television industry is full of vile and disgusting slugs of humanity who corrupt minds (2 Timothy 3:8) and are destitute of the truth supposing that gain is godliness (1 Timothy 6:5). They are the teachers of evil things: sodomy, fornication, adultery, drunkenness, covetous, idolatry, murder and so much more. They glorify and market these sins to the world like they have intrinsic virtue and value, all the while trapping men in grievous sins they will never be able to escape.
It's not clear if the group ever reached the awards show. The WBC has a history of not showing up to planned protests at the last minute.