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Westboro Baptist Church Rick Roll'd by the Foo Fighters

For a 'church group' with such famously strong convictions about one very specific topic, the Westboro Baptist Church are pretty indiscriminate with their protest targets. They've picketed pride marches, churches, courthouses and even military funerals, but perhaps most bizarrely, Foo Fighters concerts.

The first instance of this was back in 2011, when they picketed one of their gigs in Kansas City, brandishing homophobic signs. Rather than just ignoring it, the band rolled up in front of the protest in a flatbed truck, all dressed in silly outfits and preformed a song called 'Keepin' it Clean', which was replete with references to 'hot man buns' and such like. Needless to say, the band's response completely overshadowed the protest, and lead singer Dave Grohl rounded out the appearance with a speech about equality and mutual respect.

You'd think that, after that, the church would have realised they were in over their heads and back off, but lo and behold as the band returned to Kansas City last Friday, the protesters had reappeared. This time around things were a little more low-key, but hilarious nonetheless. The band clambered into the back of a pick up, initially playing 'American Idiot' through the car radio, before switching it up and blasting Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up' through an onboard soundsystem and dancing around waving signs saying 'You Got Rick Roll'd (Again)' and 'Keep it Clean'. They were accompanied by a very large man in very small, colourful pants.

Almost immediately after the band arrived, fans and onlookers massed around the truck, dancing along and completely overwhelming the perplexed protesters. In a response, the church tweeted in an attempt to appear unshaken, and then followed it up with a 'parody video', which was just a vine of still images of Westboro protesters with the song playing behind it. I'm not sure they understand what parody means. Or what Rick Rolling actually is. They produced a parody song after the 2011 counter-protest as well, which you can watch here, but fair warning, it's horrible in every possible way.

This is the exact right way to react to a situation such as this. The Westboro Baptist Church thrive on the offence caused by so much of their behaviour, it's the reason why they're so well known, their hateful antics make for prime social media fodder. By undercutting the message behind their protest and drawing attention away from them, the Foo Fighters addressed the issue without allowing the church's homophobia to travel any further.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Westboro Baptist Church Rick Roll'd by the Foo Fighters Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 Rating: 5

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