By Rebecca Juro
Originally published on Advocate.com August 22 2014 7:32 PM ET
In a move certainly worthy of its status as the fringiest of the far-right fringe hate groups, the Westboro Baptist Church congregation says it’s going to accept an offer by a popular Australian comedian to fly members to Iraq to protest the beheading of Christians by the Islamic terror group ISIS, Addicting Info reports.
After learning that members of the antigay church planned to protest the funeral of Robin Williams, comedian Adam Hills challenged them to really live their stated values and offered them a proposition on his television show, The Last Leg.
“If you really believe in standing up to those threatening the Christian way of life, Westboro Baptist Church, how about putting your money where your mouth is, taking a direct flight to Iraq,” he said this week, also offering to pay for first-class airfare.
Church members took Hills’s offer seriously and announced their acceptance on Twitter:
We accepted! Whence tickets? @PhilCooke: An offer to fly WBC members 2 Iraq 2 protest. Sounds like good idea to me: http://t.co/97BEusEBxH
— Westboro Baptist (@WBCSays) August 21, 2014
Hills and his team on The Last Leg are aware of the group accepting the offer and posted on Twitter:
Oh it's a deal! Full details 10pm this Friday Channel 4. RT @WBCSays: Plane tickets or hush! @TheLastLeg http://t.co/7jAllsTrDv
— Adam Hills (@adamhillscomedy) August 19, 2014
If members of the church do end up flying to Iraq to protest, they’ll be putting themselves in great personal danger. ISIS currently controls large swaths of Iraqi territory, and is known to be extremely hostile to Westerners — especially to Americans, and Christians in particular. Just this week, ISIS published video of a member beheading American journalist James Foley, and the terror group has claimed responsiblity for exiling thousands of Iraqi Christians, killing those who fail to leave.
Even if Hills and The Last Leg choose not to follow through on their offer, there may be an abundance of others willing to step up to fund the airline tickets and deliver the WBC members to their destination. The church, founded by the late Fred Phelps, has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its virulently antigay activism.
Meanwhile, the church also announced that it will picket the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the unarmed Ferguson, Mo., teenager fatally shot by police. The church blames the troubles in Ferguson partly on gay St. Louis Rams player Michael Sam.
Watch the video of Hills’s offer below: