Santa Claus Will Take You To Hell

The Grinches that comprise the family/membership of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas have a knack for turning stomachs. Whether they’re brandishing signs at gay pride parades condemning gays and lesbians to hell or protesting the funerals of U.S. soldiers, they seem to be spreading rage and distaste wherever they appear.

Now, the WBC folks are on the warpath in Washington State against the big guy himself – Santa Claus.

Westboro Baptist Church has jumped into the fray over the atheist sign at Washington’s Capitol building by requesting its own sign announcing that “Santa Claus will take you to hell.”

In a letter faxed today to Gov. Chris Gregoire and state legislative officials, the church asked that its sign be placed next to the nativity display and the sign posted by atheist group Freedom From Religion.

Westboro’s sign rewrites the lyrics to popular holiday tune “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” to proclaim instead that belief in Santa Claus is responsible for the faltering economy and soldiers’ deaths.

If you haven’t had a meal recently, you might

take a gander at some of the lyrics the creative brain trust at Westboro has cooked up, like:

Don’t leave your kids with this red fright

Just like the priests, he’ll rape ’em at night

Oh, Santa Claus will take you to hell

Mel White, a former ghostwriter for the likes of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson (until he came out and founded Soulforce years later), tells the story of riding in a limo with Falwell and coming up on some protestors. Falwell laughed at them and remarked how they helped his cause. “If they weren’t here,” White quotes him, “we’d have to hire some.”

The Westboro crowd is so beyond the pale I can’t help but believe they are simply an over-the-top parody group of hate groups. Even their Web site at looks like a deft parody of hate sites. In fact, compare WBC’s Santa attack to a similar piece over at Landover Baptist, an openly stated religious parody site.

If WBC’s goal is to turn America against gays and lesbians, Iraq veterans and now Santa, they have been woefully incompetent. However, they do tend to foster more tolerance, and even some acceptance. Ask even the most virulently anti-gay Christian about Phelps and his clan and they’ll soundly condemn them and their tactics. Which is fine with WBC – they’ve condemned many right wing leaders, like Falwell, for not being Christian enough.

We’ve been reading WBC and its antics all wrong over the years. They’re not a hate group, merely a parody of a hate group. So, the next time you see WBC out picketing, stop by, laugh at their display to show you appreciation then thank them for their work creating more tolerance in the world. Yes, they will call you names and shout at you but don’t take it personally. They just don’t want to blow their cover.