The anti-gay protests of members of the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, during the funeral of Navy SEAL Lt. Brendan Looney, were drowned out by the sound of motorcycle engines being revved up, thanks to a group of motorcyclists.
The Kansas church is known to stage protests at the funerals of soldiers because it contends that the deaths of these soldiers were God’s way of punishing America for its sins. Included in these sins is the nation’s tolerance for homosexuality. For Looney’s funeral, three protesters arrived 30 minutes before the service, bringing with them signs that read: “God Is Your Enemy,” “America Is Doomed” and “Don’t Worship the Dead.”
According to a feature on The Washington Post, before Lt. Looney’s funeral processions arrived at the area where the protesters were stationed, a group of motorcyclists arrived. Some of the motorcycles had the American flag flying from their motorcycles, and they lined up along Memorial Drive, in front of the protesters. When the funeral cortege passed, the motorcycles saluted and paid their respects to Lt. Looney, and opened the throttles of their engines in order to drown out the protesters’ singing.
Motorcyclist Clyde Fleming shared: “I’m a vet myself, and I think what these people over here are doing is horribly wrong… If you want to protest a war, you do it with government officials, not with the soldiers who died for you; you don’t disrespect them and their families with such hatred.”
Fleming said further that while the church had a right to stage a protest, they [the motorcyclists] had as much right “to block their noise and their rhetoric.”