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Westboro Baptist Church: Obama's Grandmothers Funeral to Be Picketed

Updated on March 4, 2013

Madelyn Payne Dunham

Every once in a while I run across something that is just so despicable it makes the back of my hair raise on end.

Today was one of those days.

Digging around in Digg, as I am known to do, I ran across an article that was claiming that the funeral of Barack Obama's grandmother Madelyn Payne Dunham was to be picketed by members of the Westboro Baptist Church. Not believing what I was reading, that people could actually be this insensitive, I decided to look into this myself.

What I found was so disturbing, so out of line that I felt commentary was necessary. I just cannot believe that breathing human beings, and calling themselves Christians at that, could even be thinking about doing something so outrageous.

Being a Christian myself, I was absolutely horrified that the teachings of Jesus could be distorted in such a way, and for the sake of Christ, I just want to set the record straight that this type of behavior is exactly the opposite of what Christs teaching was all about.

Jesus's highest call was for us to love one another. Not just to love those that agree with us, not to love someone because they did what we thought was right or wrong, not just to love those neighbors down the street that we like - but to love everyone: whether black, white, young, old, those that have done wrong and even those we don't like.

Picketing a grandmothers funeral - How could they?

Even those that are not Christians who have a sensitive heart can surely agree that picketing the funeral of Barack Obama's grandmother has got to be one of the most insensitive things imaginable!

When I lost my parents, it was one of the most devastating things I ever went through. I could not have imagined if there had been picketers there at the funeral - no one deserves that type of treatment. I hope for the sake of the Obama family that these protesters are not only locked up but have along time to sit in jail and think about what they did and how Jesus really feels about their actions.

Their actions are in direct conflict with the teachings of the Bible and of Jesus himself.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself


18 `You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Eight times in the Bible we are told to love our neighbor -- one of the Bible's most repeated commands.

Loving your neighbor is the opposite of selfishness -- the common human practice. Acting in divine love demonstrates that unselfishness is possible for a human -- showing a reality that cannot be ignored or denied.

Whether they appreciate you, or respond to your love, Jesus's command is still valid: You must show love to your neighbor in a practical way.


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  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    Horrible) As far as I understand they threatened to protest at the funeral/after a quick search of Google I don't see that they were able to carry out their threat. I would imagine there was a private ceremony and this group would have been banned from being anywhere near the family or funeral/ This group is known for it's hate and this was probably done just to get media attention.

    Sad. Very very sad because this is NOT how God wants people to act. They are not representing the true nature of God in any way, shape or form by doing awful things like this.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I know this is way after the news, but did this really happen?

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Great Hub Dorsi :0) I think everyone above has said it all!!!!

    Mike :0)

  • BDazzler profile image


    10 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

    The french had a term for this ... agent provocateur An agent provocateur (French for "inciting agent") is a person employed to act undercover to entice or provoke another person to commit an illegal act. More generally, the term may refer to a person or group that seeks to discredit or harm another by provoking them to commit a wrong or rash action.

    Very simply this is a group of provocateurs that seek to discredit Jesus by commiting wrong acts in His name. See Matthew 7:21

  • ajcor profile image


    10 years ago from NSW. Australia

    Thank you for this hub Dorsi - I have never heard of anything so outrageous and pointless! and in the name of Christianity - really odd behaviour - I am going to look at the utube link to see if I can get an inkling as to why? cheers and thanks.

  • Mighty Mom profile image

    Susan Reid 

    10 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

    I agree the Secret Service will take care of them if they even have the courage (doubtful) to show up. As with all bullies, the best thing to do is ignore them. Negative atttention just fuels the flames of their hatred.

    And yeah, no wonder Christians get a bad rap if this is the public face people are seeing!

  • Chef Jeff profile image

    Chef Jeff 

    10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

    I wrote about these creeps in my hub

    They make me sick and I'd like to bop them upside the head with a "get some sense" stick!

    Also, I do not believe that these "church members" are Christians - they just seem to play the part for the media - (my personal opinion, you understand!)

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 

    10 years ago from California Gold Country

    Thanks for verifying the story-- as you said, it just seems so unbelievable that someone would even think of doing this. So what do they hope to accomplish? Do they think that people they might have some 'reason' to disagree with should not be buried?

  • ProfoundPuns profile image


    10 years ago from Maryland, USA

    I don't think the question here is how someone can be a Christian and still condone this. The question is how can someone be a HUMAN and still intend such malice toward a fellow human being? God is not the only one whose judgment we should fear. What about our fellow man and woman?

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    10 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    TY Ralph- it is nice to see! I half expected to see someone from Westboro Church come here to defend their actions but nobody showed up!! Good thing because I don't think they would be warmly welcomed.........

  • Ralph Deeds profile image

    Ralph Deeds 

    10 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

    It's nice to see everyone agree on something! Nice job, Dorsi, as usual.

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    10 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    Rochelle, I had originally found this over at another forum, traced it back to the original PDF document from Westboro Church to make sure this was for real- and here is the Digg article on it

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 

    10 years ago from California Gold Country

    What was the source of the Digg article. I can't fnd any references to this.

  • RGraf profile image

    Rebecca Graf 

    10 years ago from Wisconsin

    It is a shame that other humans can act like that. May God show them the error of their ways.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    I just wanted to know when the funeral will be? It's strange that no one in the media has said anything.

  • profile image

    David Hartman 

    10 years ago

    I find the GLBT 'lifestyle' disgusting, perverse, and abberent, and their 'community' just as 'bigotted' 'intolerant' and 'discriminating' of those that don't embrace and support them.

    I don't agree with this group's message, nor their delivery however.

  • profile image

    Writer Rider 

    10 years ago

    Wow, sleaze at its worst. Sorry, nothing else fits the description of someone who would picket a funeral.

  • profile image

    Gloria Brown 

    10 years ago

    Jesus is watching those that are planning to protest at one of His Servanct's funeral and per the Bible, each and everyone, that would participate His child of God, Madelyn Payne Dunham, will have to answer for every word and every deed that is not of God. Why continue to heap coals upon your own heads, because of your disrespect for Mrs. Dunham's Grandson, the now President-elect? I wonder how you felt when someone protested your Grandmothers' funerals? Or how you will feel if they have not gone to glory, and then someone would protest. Each must answer for your own doings, so do whatever you are ready to stand before Jesus and answer for, because Jesus alone is still on the Throne and is the final Judge. May Jesus bless and comfort the Obama Family at this their time of great loss, and keep them safely in His arms.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    I am a Kansan, and 99.9% of Kansans wish the WBC would pack up and leave the state. They have already, by court order lost everything they own in a law suit, but with the courts the way they are, it will be years before it happens. As a member of the American Legion Riders Post 136 and the Kansas Patriot Guard, I and all the members of both units will do our part to show support for the grieving families. We served our country to keep it free, but this form of free speech and expression is beyond disrespectful, one persons freedoms end where another persons rights start, and the right to grieve and bury your loved ones should not be disrespected by anyone.

  • Glitz and Glam profile image

    Glitz and Glam 

    10 years ago

    I had no idea that ones mind could conceive such evilness. Like Jesus said on the cross "Forgive them for they know not what they do".

  • profile image

    miranda black 

    10 years ago

    Hi Dorsi, just read their leaflet now, well I must say that I m surpriseded, would really these people, travel, all the way to Hawaii, and put themselves on an airplane to get over there too, well I don t really think that they will be very welcome over there, being a resident of Hawaii myself. Besides they might not hear about the funeral, until it s over. And are they going to picket all the churches on the island, I don t think that they ll get the information, and I doubt that they have a direct-line with the Obama family, and who would let those people on an airline to Hawaii. Hopefully they ll never get there, or anywhere else either, for that matter. Hopefullly this is more talk, than planning, let s hope so for the sake of the Obama family. Somehow, they re also missguided in their believes, when they re preaching their hate, and that god hates anyone, or that he hates America, last I heard, god preaches love and respect towards others. These are truly missguided people, that missunderstood everything which the bible teaches, to love your brother, and not to harm others. They re just making a mockery out of themselves, but that doesn t mean that they re not hurting others, in the meantime, Well, Obama managed one of the best election campaigns that this country has ever seen, so maybe they ll know how to deal with these crazy people too. That is my belief, miranda

  • profile image

    miranda black 

    10 years ago

    Hi Dorsi, I really like all your hubs, but this sounds unbelievable, can people and church going people at that too, do this???? I m no favorite of the christian rights people, or republicans, for that matter either, and I know all about their lies and stories about Obama not being an American, being a terrorist an a muslim, etc etc etc, but this, to demonstrate at his dear grannies funural, how can that be.? Shouldn t they let them have their funural in peace, and mourn a dear old woman who raised her grandson, and to whom she meant so much. What can you say, it s sounds incomprehensible and cruel, and very, very sad, that people would do anything like that, but if they do, maybe they ll get a whole nation and a whole world for that matter against them, and they ll turn out to be the big loosers. I m a big Obama family fan, and it really hurts a lot to hear this. miranda black

  • helenathegreat profile image


    10 years ago from Manhattan

    The Westboro Baptist Church is a shameful excuse for an organized group of "Christians." In reality, they are just bigots terrified of anything they perceive to be threatening, and since they have no coping skills their only available response is to attack. I almost feel bad for them, if I didn't hate them so much. There is an amazing documentary on them called "America's Most Hated Family" that I highly recommend. You can see clips of it on YouTube.

  • Ashok Raj profile image

    Ashok Raj 

    10 years ago from India

    More sins are committed in the name of God, than in the name of the devil. God help them see it!

  • ripplemaker profile image

    Michelle Simtoco 

    10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    It is indeed a sad have so much anger, resentment inside..and show that "hate" to others. I was also struck by what you said in your comment Dorsi. "And yes amazingly, Jesus would ask us to pray for them too." I'd like to reflect on that one this morning. Thanks.

  • SweetiePie profile image


    10 years ago from Southern California, USA

    I agree with what you are saying Dorsi. Good points.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    I don't think it has anything to do with politics. The Westboro Church has picketed the funerals of soldiers who died in the Iraq War. They threatened to picket the funerals of the men who were killed in the Sago mine disaster here in WV a couple years ago.

    From memory, the State Police here told them they can't protect them if they do picket. I don't think they came here after that. Maybe they were afraid they would be the next mine disaster victims. I will check into it to find out more information.

    One more thing also. There have been times that God said stop praying and weeping over a certain person. king Saul was one of them. Not saying not to pray for them, but seek God first and pray if He wants you to.

  • Dorsi profile imageAUTHOR

    Dorsi Diaz 

    10 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    Thanks everybody for stopping by to read this hub, and the comments. When I first heard about this I thought it might just be an evil rumor. After looking into and realizing it was real I was just so dismayed. I know that many people are disappointed that who they voted for didn't win but the only way we can solve these problems in our country is through tolerance, and through loving one another through good times and bad. I guess I am just such an optimist, and after Obamas win, and the unity that is coming along with that, I expected something different. The only thing I can say is that these people of Westboro DO NOT represent the true teachings of Jesus. Not at all. They have distorted and twisted the real truth of the gospel.

    And yes amazingly, Jesus would ask us to pray for them too.

  • profile image

    Dora the explorer 

    10 years ago

    I was just wondering when her funeral was, but this is despictable. I cannot count myself among hypocrites, racists, and hate mongers. Jesus was about love and tolerance. SELF DISCIPLINE to reach heaven, fix your own game before coming to the table, so to speak. I guess I'll call myself a believer, but not christain. It seems that christains have caught a devil's disease

  • Amanda Severn profile image

    Amanda Severn 

    10 years ago from UK

    How thoroughly evil and despicable. Whatever happened to 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'?

  • blessedmommy profile image

    Carisa Gourley 

    10 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

    I am a Christian and this is very disturbing. Being a Christian is more than bearing the title. True Christians are "Christ-like."

    If this is true I have only 3 words to say to the Westboro Baptist Church...SHAME ON YOU!!!

  • hubby7 profile image


    10 years ago from Chicago

    Death is indeed an extremely excruciating experience! I could not fathom someone protesting at the funeral of a love one. Nor do I believe those who are planning to protest at Obama's Grandmother's funeral would want anyone to protest at their love one's funeral. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Or, to put it differently, "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you."Treat others like you would like to be treated." Listen then if you have ears! This is the SUPREME MORAL PRINCIPLE by which we should treat our fellow human beings!


  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 

    10 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    And if they do show up, I doubt they will get anywhere near the funeral. The secret service will be out in full force.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    Very well written hub. I remember when there was a chat room for that church on MSN chats for a short while. They are hate mongers and nothing more.

  • SweetiePie profile image


    10 years ago from Southern California, USA

    I read these articles around the net and was sad to hear of such a horrible event such as this, but sadly I am not surprised. There are some very mean people out there who will do anything to tear others down, but thankfully the majority can look through this and say no, this is not right. I am glad your wrote this hub to expose this issue to the public. Hopefully some will rethink picketing the funeral, but I will not hold my breath. However, I do believe everyone who speaks out on such issues will reach a few who may have been swept along into this ridiculous behavior.

  • countrywomen profile image


    10 years ago from Washington, USA

    WOW!! That's so shocking to hear. Btw welcome back susan (long time no see).

  • SusanBonfiglio profile image


    10 years ago from Woodmere, NY

    I am so sad and angry to hear this. These folks are not really "Christians" and they give the followers of Jesus a bad name.

    A funeral is such an intensely personal and private experience. To have it marred by hate mongers whose purpose it is to disrupt the grieving of someone because they don't agree with them is a new low. There are no words for these folks.

    If you don't agree with President Elect Obama, that is your right! There are plenty of ways to protest or let your feelings known. But to intrude on such a private family function is beyond tacky.

    Hot Dorkage is right that God loves all his children but quite frankly, we don't have to accept unacceptable behavior.

  • hot dorkage profile image

    hot dorkage 

    10 years ago from Oregon, USA

    God love all his children including the "fags," and, inexplicably, even those twisted sisters at the Westboro Baptist Church. Let us all just take a moment and pray for them.

  • Constant Walker profile image

    Constant Walker 

    10 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

    Dorsi- I honestly do not even have words low enough for these excuses for human beings. And believe it or not, it gets worse. Have you heard about the slack-jawed knuckle-draggers who've been picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers, yelling at the grieving family that their loved one's death was God's punishment for homosexuality?

    You know, I can't believe I'm saying this, but a "Religious Prison" needs to be built on an isolated island - please make it as miserable as possible - where these sorry "human beings" can be thrown into and kept... FOREVER!

    Wow... I feel better already!

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 

    10 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    I've noticed lately that they threaten to picket funerals but it never seems to pan out...they just want the publicity.

  • Lissie profile image

    Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

    10 years ago from New Zealand

    Dorsi I really, really hope that Obama's administration puts these bigots right out of the US politics - they are poor excuse for humans and obviously an embrassement to Americans and Christians - the website url says it all - a Christian, my mother, once told me that God is Love

  • Georgiakevin profile image


    10 years ago from Central Georgia

    These are evil people who are self rightous hypocrites. That being said they won't get with 6 miles of the funeral. The secret service agents won't be gentle with them either! Thanks for a great hub!


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