The 16-year-old Canadian pop star, who teenagers either undyingly love or massively loathe, has been singled out for protest by the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, just like his top-charting rival Lady Gaga.
When Bieber plays the Sprint Center on Wednesday night in Kansas City, fans can expect to see Westboro church members holding signs and issuing taunts. The church is known for picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan with signs reading "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "God Hates Fags" — because they believe that as long as America countenances sin, American soldiers deserve to die.
Earlier this month, they protested at Lady Gaga concerts in St. Louis and Oklahoma City. They plan to picket her again at her Kansas City concert on Aug. 3.
The group certainly gets around. A few days after their Gaga gig in St. Louis, they picketed Al Gore and the hugely popular Comic-Con convention, both in San Diego. At the latter, they were greeted by an array of unique protesters — "robots," magical anime girls, Trekkies, Jedi and even kittens. The comic book hero wannabes chanted at Westboro: "What do we want? Gay sex. When do we want it? Now!"
Neither Bieber nor his fans are a genuine threat to humanity — not to anyone’s knowledge, anyway. But Westboro strongly disagrees. Church members say they are picketing the pop star "to remind all of those in attendance that America’s destruction is imminent!"
They add via their website, "There are no jobs, homes, money or hope, but you’ll pay big bucks to attend rock concerts by the thousands."
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church protested at the funeral of Lane Bryant murder victims in February 2008.