Controversial church announces plans to protest outside Ronnie James Dio's memorial service, thanks God for his death

Westboro-Baptist-church-dioImage Credit: Larry Marano/Retna Ltd; Scott Olson/Getty ImagesThe highly controversial Westboro Baptist Church has announced plans to picket this Sunday’s memorial service for ex-Black Sabbath singer Ronnie James Dio in Los Angeles.

“This rebel had a God-given platform – for decades – which he should have utilized to publish the truth of God,” the WBC declared in a press release. “Instead, he used that platform – for decades – to teach rebellion against God, in the form glorifying atheism, promoting the devil horn hand sign & other such idolatries. Now he has been cut off by an Angry God & cast into hell.” The release also thanked God for “the dead brute Dio.” The Church, which is based in Topeka, Kansas, and in large part consists of single family, is infamous for picketing funerals to protest America’s tolerance of homosexuality.

On Saturday, Ronnie James Dio’s wife Wendy responded to the proposed picket with the following statement on her late husband’s website: “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. We only know how to love someone we know!”

And who could disagree with that? Well, the Westboro Baptist Church, obviously. At this point, there’s a lot more I could write about an organization who thinks it’s doing the Almighty’s work by turning up to funerals with homophobic signage. But instead I would urge you to check out a documentary about the Church which was made a few years back by British journalist Louis Theroux. The film is a terrific example of giving people enough rope to do you-know-what with. You’ll find the first part after the jump.

What do you think about the Church’s decision to picket Dio’s memorial service? And about Wendy Dio’s response?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More on Ronnie James Dio:
Ronnie James Dio: An Appreciation

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Comments (272 total) Add your comment
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  • Vicki

    These people are NOT Christian. They are a deluded sect who do not follow the teachings of Christ. I hope the family can get a restraining order to keep them at a distance. Please keep in mind that they are not representing Christ. They are sad and twisted people. The less publicity they are given the better.

    • whatevs

      Seriously. I feel bad for real Christians who have to put up with hatred and judgment because of lunatics like these who slap a label on themselves as “Christian” when in reality they’re a cult.

    • Jerry

      Amen, Vicki.

    • dave brady

      That is NO church, and she is a NUT JOB, Let them them come and hear Black Sabbeth, and meet the fans..maybe satan will show up..

      • Sabbeth?

        Is that really how the group spells it? Because that’s not even the correct spelling of the word Sabbath.

    • WWP

      I agree. Whatever these people may say, they are not in any way. or especially deed, christian or any other religion that believes that there is a a life beyond this one. While I am not particularly regligious, I have family members who are and they are deeply pained and embarassed by these lunatics. They are a hate cult, pure and simple — and a severely interbred cult at that considering the “church” is pretty much just a members of the same luantic family. Do they have the right under the constitution to speak their drivel? Yes, I must support that right. But that doesn’t mean that I have to listen to it, and it doesn’t mean that publications such as this are obligatated to give them a platform. They should be shunned.

    • Carla

      First thing I thought on reading this article: My oh my, how very typical of ‘Christians’ and why I converted 25 years ago to Buddhism.

      I hope the family gets a restraining order against these monsters.

      • Minutiae

        It’s not typical of Christians at all, actually. It’s just typical of the ones the “media” likes to cover most. You probably have hundreds of real Christians doing great things right in your own community… don’t let these lunatics make you judge us all.

      • theBigE

        First thing I thought when I saw your comment – My oh my, how typical of “open-minded people” to stereotype everyone in a belief based on the actions of a noisy few.

      • Mike

        LOL…I thought the same thing. If I were to go by the example that Carla sets here I could come to the conclusion that apparently Budda loves prejudice and stereotypes and supports an exaggerated sense of self-superiority. While thats no more true than these WPC freaks are actually doing the “lord’s work”, it never ceases to amuse me how the self-appointed mouthpieces for ANY relgion can shoot themselves in the foot without any help from the “unenlightened” in the world.

      • Mike

        Opps, I typo-ed on “Buddha.”

      • Mike in Moncton

        These are not true Christians we’re talking about, Carla. Neither are those who are Buddhists who are equally guilty of spewing hatred. There are some in every crowd.

    • wakeforce

      Someone should have bombed the church when they started protesting at veteran’s funerals!

      • Reaver Drummer

        Where is George Carlin when you need him. He would’ve done something about this…

    • Nesie

      The Best way to handle this church and the way they behave is to ignore them if you give them no more interviews or even pay any attention to them they will go away.

      • Elizabeth Sullivan

        Unfortunately, it would probably take more than that to stop these imbeciles.

    • halo

      My parents have a home in Key West. We saw this same Westboro mental midgets last year. I am hoping they get the same treatment in LA as they go in KW.
      Namely, the HELLS ANGELS made sure the mental midgets could not spew their hate. It’s kinda hard to hate on people when the motorcycles are going!

    • Heather

      Your so right Vicki. These westboro people have nothing to do with God at all. God is love and is about souls more than this hate they display. Yes, He hates sin, BUT NOT THE PEOPLE. They are so in the wrong.

    • Matt

      What a cowardly way to protest. Why not kick the man while he is down. You want to protest, don’t wait until something is no more. Why did they pick Dio? One of his first bands was called “Rainbow” the next “Elf” give me a break.

      • Matt

        Also, I think Wendy Dio’s response was the best there could be. Why give these people the time of day. Don’t let them in…cause then they win.

      • Brian

        I agree, Wendy’s comments were classy and appropriate.

        But… doesn’t some small part of you wish about 10,000 pissed off metalheads would show up, start an imprompt mosh pit, and show these people a good old fashioned beat down.

        Ah well, I can dream I suppose

    • CommonSense

      Forget giving these nutters ‘enough rope’ – give them some wood and some nine-inch-nails. They can martyr themselves for the good of the world…

      I’d like to St Peter’s response at the gates!

    • CommonSense


      How can you question that logic?!!!

  • Tina

    when are these guys going to stop? seriously

    • Ambient Lite

      They’re going to stop when media outlets quit covering their nonsense, and not until then. Unfortunately, EW just contributed to their cause.

    • SteveMajors

      When they stop breathing.

      • e4ia

        … then there REALLY is a God.

  • Al

    these people make me sick. they’re the ones going to hell. don’t even call them a church. they just practice hate. they’re a bunch of morons.

    • MarySueBob

      Sounds like a lot of people I have encountered who are fans of “organized” religion. Sorry, go to any gay pride event and you meet them. Or, just move to CA and you can experience it on voting day.

  • s-k-s

    This kind of attention is exactly what they want – please ignore them and they might just go away.

  • 4rocket

    Please EW, don’t give these brain dead morons any undeserved publicity, cause that’s exactly what they’re seeking by doing this. They’re basically trolls, except instead of bothering people on the internet, they bother people in real life. The less we hear of them, the better, so PLEASE don’t report on them, no matter hard they try to capture people’s attention with their silly antics.

    • Ray

      Exactly! Publicity is what they want. Don’t give them anymore underserved attention.

    • dee

      Seriously. Please stop giving these guys the publicity they obviously want. You’re just enabling them.

      • Michaela

        I agree with all of the above, but I do think it’s important that people know just how heinous these people and their group are. EW shouldn’t glorify what they are doing, obviously, and this article doesn’t.
        The WBC protested the gay-friendly community and liberal, open minded ideals at my school this year. We stood out on the front lawn and held up homemade signs promoting love, equality, and tolerance. We were completely silent while they protested. I think that this is the right response for anyone who comes into contact with the WBC and their horrid message of hate. Giving them attention only fuels their fire. I urge anyone who attends this funeral, or the funeral of a brave soldier, or any other place where the WBC may launch a protest, to do as we did and only launch a counter-protest in a respectable manner, without acknowledging or responding to the WBC’s awful message. This is especially important as the WBC takes any opportunity they can get to take legal action, and often will sue for any response that peaceful counter-protesters have to their message. They don’t deserve any of your time, and certainly not a day in a fair court, so please keep this in mind.
        The WBC is a horrible, hate filled group (not a church in any way), and I hope that those who stand against them like I did will not stoop to their level.

  • Al

    and what’s even worse is that they’re passing this hate on to their children and make their kids hold those signs. it’s sad, really.

  • erin

    These are horrible, horrible, horrible people. If there isn’t a hell, I’m pretty sure God will create one just so these people can go there.

  • ks

    This church just S U C K S !!!!

    • Elizabeth Sullivan

      Cult, actually.

  • ks

    Forgot to add-Good for you Wendy!

  • Ray

    It sucks that most Christians I know are pretty normal and don’t shove religion down my throat yet they will never get any publicity like these idiots. They’re desperate for attention and well they’re getting it. I

  • Joseph

    Tell these jerks to get lost. It’s bad enough there are people protesting veterans’ funerals. Let family, frienads, and fans grieve in peace.

  • Bobby

    Somebody needs to beat the holy hell out of these people.

  • StephenKC

    Please, please, PLEASE mainstream media — stop referring to this inbred klan as a church. Stop referring to Phred as a pastor or lawyer. And for the love of God, stop giving these lunatics the attention they crave so desperately. STOP!

  • whatevs

    Please don’t call this a church. They don’t even know who God is.

    • dipshat


    • Annie

      Totally agree. I have a feeling they would have issues with Christ; sitting with sinners, helping the poor, etc.. I do consider myself a Christian and this cult does the exact opposite of what Christianity.

    • godnowhere

      no one knows who god is! faith, be-lie-f, and more crap from the mind of humans.

  • Ramo

    These people need to be shot. All of them.

    • Nathan

      Shooting’s too quick for them, I could come up with a much slower and more gratifying method of ending their time on earth.

      • Reaver Drummer

        Disembowelment with a wooden cooking spoon…. or… wait, we could nail them to boards and run over them with pink tanks!!

      • Elizabeth Sullivan

        Well, first you shoot them in the foot (like they keep doing to themselves), and work your way up. Slow and painful.

    • justin

      no they do not

      • wakeforce

        Yes, they do!

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