Westboro Baptist Church is an independent church not affiliated with any known Baptist associations, and known for extreme stances (mainly anti-homosexual) and making extreme public appearances.
Headquartered in Kansas and headed by Fred Phelps, the church membership consists mainly of family. WBC carries out about six picketings daily, and up to 15 on Sundays in their town. But they also travel the nation and spend up to a quarter of a million dollars a year on picketing.
Here is a list of some of the most media-attention grabbing actions WBC have shamelessly carried out:
In 2006, Westboro picketed with signs reading God hates fags and Thank God for dead soldiers at the Westminster, Maryland, funeral of U.S. Marine Matthew Snyder who was killed in Iraq.
May 14, 2008, just days after the deadly Sichuan earthquake, WBC issued a press release thanking God for the heavy loss of life and praying for many more earthquakes to kill many more thousands of impudent and ungrateful Chinese.
May 30, 2011, the WBC was at Arlington National Cemetery's Memorial Day services as part of their Thank God for Dead Soldiers campaign
WBC also believes that Barack Obama is the Antichrist, and that Pope Benedict XVI is the False Prophet. Margie Phelps, daughter of the pastor and attorney for WBC, said in a Fox interview that Obama is most likely the Beast spoken of in the Revelation, that the president is doomed for hell, and that his presidency is a sign of the Apocalypse.
The latest major picketing plan by WBC, to protest at Ryan Dunn's funeral Wednesday, turned out to be a no show. They had released a tab promising to picket any public memorial/funeral held for Dunn, warning all not to make mock of sin, & to fear & obey God! and reported it would be sending members to protest at Dunn's funeral services in Pennsylvania.
In 2007, Louis Theroux wrote and presented a British documentary The Most Hated Family in America featuring Westboro Baptist Church.