When glam-rockers Panic! at the Disco performed in Kansas City, Mo., recently, they ran into a problem with the outspoken homophobes of Westboro Baptist Church.
The hate mongering group — which, by the way, has no affiliation to mainstream Baptist Churches — announced they would protest outside the concert venue where Panic! was performing.
Did the Panic! panic? Not at all. They turned WBC’s threat into something good.
Frontman Brenden Urie announced via Twitter that for every protestor from WBC that showed up at the concert, the group would donate $20 to the Human Rights Campaign.
How’s that for a clever way to wage war? The hate group was stymied by whether they would be better off in their anti-gay protest or if the money donated in their name to HRC would be counterproductive.
In the end, only 13 picketers showed up. Panic! called the protest “lame” and donated instead of the stated $260 a whopping $1,000 to help the cause for human rights.
In case you aren’t familiar with either of the principals in this column, let me explain. Panic! at the Disco is a Las Vegas, Nev., based pop-punk group which has been part of the music scene for a decade.
Knowledge such as this is just one of the perks of having teenage grandchildren. They can teach me about modern music and I can teach them about my era’s music. All that’s required from either side is an open mind.
The other side of the controversy, Westboro is the “church” widely recognized as a hate group which has a serious problem with gay people. You know, they’re the ones who protest at funerals of servicemen killed in action because the soldiers are representatives of a “godless” nation — USA.
Regardless of how you feel about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual issues, it’s really hard to stand behind anyone who would show up at a funeral and harass mourning family members.
And, just so you know, WBC doesn’t just hate gays. They also have problems with Jews, Catholics, Mormons, heavy metal artists, Barack Obama, Muslims, the Marine Corps, Eastern Orthodoxy, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Anglicans and (other) Baptists,Italians and Australians.
They have praised God for bringing on the earthquake that killed more than 70,000 “ungrateful” Chinese in 2008, and for allowing the shootings at Sandy Hook, which they call a wake-up call to parents. Westboro members have a right to their own opinions, just as I do. I pity them for their rampant hatred. I’m sure they believe they are right and righteous.
Personally, I think the Beatles said it better — “All You Need is Love” From those Liverpool songsters who urged us to “Imagine” to the clever actions of Panic! at the Disco, music has always brought out the best in us.
See you next week.
Be kind to each other.