The outspoken homophobes of Westboro Baptist Church protested Panic! at the Disco’s Sunday night concert in Kansas City, Missouri. But the glam-rock band harnessed that hatemongering into a platform for a good cause: “Today @
WBCSays is going to picket us. For every member of WBC that actually shows up we will donate $20 to @ HRC [the Human Right Campaign],” the band wrote before the show on Twitter, using the hashtag #pride2014. Westboro responded, claiming that, besides the “myriads of angels” there in spirit, they managed to corral 13 protestors – but Panic deemed those results “weak” and decided to raise their donation amount to “an even $1,000.” (They also donated 5 percent of their merch sales from that show to HRC.)
But, unsurprisingly, the exchange wasn’t over for WBC, who continued to send hateful messages to the band after the show. A series of tweets included a Vine video of a woman driving her car on the street as protestors picket on a sidewalk. “.@PanicAtTheDisco $1000-pretty lame,” wrote the group. “How about you donate the ticket price of all your fans who cheered the woman who tried to run us over?” The group followed that up Monday morning with another message: “What is this @
PanicAtTheDisco tripe? There’ll be panic at the second coming of Christ! (Rev. 6:16),” along with a picture of Panic frontman Brendon Urie wielding a microphone and text that reads “Repent! or Perish.”
The Panic/Westboro back-and-forth started last Thursday, when the church released a parody song called “You Love Sin What a Tragedy,” a send-up of the band’s 2006 single “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” The original tune from the Vegas band defended a bride against wedding day accusations of being a “whore,” but Westboro Baptist Church twisted it into a condemnation of gay marriage, with lyrics such as, “Oh! You all say it’s okay to be gay/ The way to fag marriage has been paved/ Well this calls for some truth, now/ You’re all insane.”
Panic! at the Disco released their fourth studio album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!, last year.