Catholics Angry About Obama at Notre Dame Should Beware Westboro, Britney Spears

A message to Catholic hard-liners: Beware the madness of the protest path.

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By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

To those among my fellow Catholics, who intend to march on Notre Dame for inviting the President of the United States to give the commencement address in South Bend this spring, may I offer you a glimpse of the madness lurking down that path.

Tonight, while the rest of us are making dinner, helping the kids with their homework, walking the dog or having a beer with a buddy, the members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas will be picketing Britney Spears. Not because she writes awful songs, acts boorishly or lip synchs badly.

Because she kissed Madonna on TV.

Let the church's web site speak for itself about Britney.

"Okay, so this filthy freak didn't always have the curse of God Almighty abiding on her. God blessed her with some abilities, and gave her a dwelling place in this earth. This simple, hateful, baby-feasting slut was very unthankful. She took counsel from the likes of Madonna the whore, and the very second she put her nasty lips on that nasty adulterous blasphemous mouth of Madonna in blatant defiance of the clear standard of God (NO DYKES - DUMMIES!), the curses began. YAY! That is how our God rolls. Not one person ever heard of ugly, brute K-Fed before this stupid little tart took up with him. Now God by this method has completely wasted that simple slut! Beautiful! And God is nowhere NEAR done with her. We will be outside Sprint Center to tell her about it. God Hates You; You're Going To Hell; God Hates Divorce; God Hates Fag Enablers. You are the face of DOOMED america, simple slut Spears!

The Westboro Baptists are a remarkable little hate group, best known for picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, so as to inform the grieving military families that the death of their children is God's just punishment for America's sins.

Here is a quote from their press release, saying why they will picket a Kansas appearance by Gen. David Petraeus:

They are a filthy gang of violent oppressors and murderers who could not get and keep good jobs and who must live on the taxpayers. The Military are awash with sodomy, decadence and moral depravity - from the top to the bottom. They have lifted bloody hands against the Lord's people, whom God has promised to avenge.

The Westboro church is at the epicenter of anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-everything sentiment in America. I was reminded of them yesterday when the local newspaper noted that they're coming to a neighborhood near mine—to picket a public high school named after the poet Walt Whitman, who's been dead for more than 100 years. I thought it was an April Fool's joke. Then I went on line ( and discovered that God Hates Maryland and, I guess, me. 

And here's the thing I learned about Catholics. The Westboro Baptist folks would like to roast us in the flames of torment too.

Hear what they say about another target of their picketing, a Catholic church in California, named after St. John the Baptist:

Big, HUGE TROUBLE - that is what this pedophile rape-enabling dog kennel is in. We will picket you for your lies, filth and hatred for your neighbor and God. How dare you try in any way, shape or form to rope John Baptist into your filth.

I don't mean to suggest that a Catholic who opposes Obama's decision about stem cell research, or the rules governing foreign aid, and so writes a letter of protest to Notre Dame, is an extremist on par with the folks at Westboro Baptist.

Nor do I think, however, that the university was in any way wrong in inviting Obama to speak. As someone whose family has a couple of Notre Dame degrees in its pedigree, I think it's an honor to have a president on campus, and I look forward to hearing what he has to say.

Catholics gave Audacity a good number of their votes last November and he needs to make good on his promise to try and assemble a centrist coalition that will actually reduce the number of abortions in America, like he promised.

But nudging him with sincere protests is one thing. When considering hate-filled public confrontations, boycotts and blacklists, Catholics should consider the dogs they lie down with. And beware. God might sic K-Fed on us.

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