Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas announced its plans to picket the memorial service for recently deceased metal rock star Ronnie James Dio, accusing him of worshipping Satan. Dio, age 67, recently died of stomach cancer.
The service is to be held at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA, 2pm local time.
The church website said (among other things), "Ronnie the simpleton enabled, and encouraged Sorceries: everything he was about including the little finger horn thing (he got this from his mother which is an incantation to ward off the 'evil eye') to the drugs, bloody raw meat and his fellowship with those pentagon necklace wearing freakish band members." This church has been known for its intolerance of gays and its picketing of soldiers' funerals.
Dio's wife, however, said, "Ronnie hates prejudice and violence. We need to turn the other
cheek on these people that only know how to hate someone they didn't know," said Dio's wife, Wendy, about the planned protest.
The memorial will host a donation center for Ronnie Dio's "Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund," named after one his songs.
According to the Wikipedia, "The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an Independent Baptist church and hate group known for its hatred of homosexuals and its protest activities, which include picketing funerals and desecrating the American flag. It is headed by Fred Phelps and consists mostly of members of his large family. Located in Topeka, Kansas, its first public service was held on the afternoon of Sunday, November 27, 1955."
In my opinion, it's not much of a church if it pickets soldier's funerals. A person can have whatever opinion they want on various topics, but to intrude into the grief of people who have lost a loved one is evil.