Heavy metal protesters scare off homophobic church group with a little kid's musical instrument.

The Westboro Baptist Church are a family-based cult out of Kansas on a seemingly never-ending hate-speech tour. The family drives from town to town stopping at schools, state capitals, and events to scream vicious homophobic, anti-American, anti-semitic, and Islamophobic rhetoric.

Along the way, they fill their coffers through litigation by suing municipalities and counter-protesters who attempt to block their constitutional right to free speech.

via Elvert Barnes / Flickr


The cult scheduled a demonstration against Democratic Delegate Danica Roem on Monday, March 11, at the Virginia state Capitol in Richmond and soon realized they were messing with the wrong person.

Roem is the state’s first and only openly transgender lawmaker, the vocalist of a thrash-metal band, and friend of Randy Blythe, the frontman for Lamb of God, an uber-popular metal band.

via Ted Eytan / Flickr

After hearing the Westboro Baptist Church was coming to his town, Blythe organized a counter-party to drown out the church’s hate speech. Blythe promised he’d bring along a hundred kazoos and $100 award for the best costume.

“We will play the ‘Benny Hill’ & ‘Sanford and Sons’ theme songs,” he wrote on Instagram. “We will drown them out with cheap buzzing plastic noise makers.”

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(Please re-post!) ATTENTION! PEOPLE OF RICHMOND! CALLING ALL FREAKS, WEIRDOS, MISFITS, & REGULAR PEOPLE OF GOOD CONSCIOUS! This coming Monday, March 11, 2019, the buffoons of the #WESTBOROBAPTISTCHURCH (AKA the “God Hates Fags” losers) are coming to our fair city of Richmond, VA. They will be at our state Capitol at 9 am, then over by VCU at 9:45, spreading their bizarre brand of hate mongering. Why? They are protesting my friend, a fairly elected member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Danica Roem- Danica is an award-winning journalist, a heavy metal musician & all-around #RIPPER (who happens to be a trans-woman.) These “Christians” are always picketing military funerals, Kansas City Chiefs football games, the funerals of people killed by natural disasters– their insane activities are too many to list. They even picketed at the funerals of #FredRogers & tried to find the funereal of #LeonardNimoy (but they failed- ha!) - WHO PROTESTS THE FUNERALS OF THOSE TWO GREATEST OF AMERICAN MISTERS, MISTER ROGERS & MISTER SPOCK?!?!? THEY PICKETED DIO’S FUNEREAL- oh, HELL NO. And these people are coming to MY TOWN?!?? They have left me no choice- in the name of all that is GOOD & JUST in this world, in the name of PUNK ROCK & HEAVY METAL, in the name of #MISTERROGERS & #MISTERSPOCK, IN THE NAME OF MY BELOVED FRIEND #DAVEBROCKIE (R.I.P.)... I COMMAND YOU TO JOIN ME FOR A COUNTER-PARTY!!! NOT a counter-PROTEST, because that would entail arguing with these idiots (which is USELESS), but a COUNTER-PARTY. I WILL BE BRINGING 100 KAZOOS- WE WILL HAVE A #KAZOO #CHAMPAGNEJAM. WE WILL PLAY THE “BENNY HILL” & “SANFORD & SONS” THEME SONGS. WE WILL DROWN THEM OUT WITH CHEAP BUZZING PLASTIC NOISE MAKERS. I will also be bringing a BRAND NEW 100 DOLLAR BILL as a CASH PRIZE for BEST COSTUME worn to the #COUNTERPARTY. A hundred kazoos AND a hundred dollar prize?!?? IT’S ALMOST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. So Monday, MARCH 11, 2019, 9 AM, VIRGINIA STATE CAPITOL- PUT ON YOUR CORPSEPAINT, YOUR RAINBOW WIG, YOUR INFLATABLE SUMO WRESTLER COSTUME. FLY YOUR FREAK FLAG HIGH! LET’S PARTY!!!!!

A post shared by D. Randall Blythe (@drandallblythe) on

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Watch the FULL VIDEO here on my IGTV. Tomorrow, 9 AM, 1000 Bank St, Richmond VA. $200 cash prize for best costume! We will have at least 200 kazoos to give out & various other melodious party-enhancing devices. Get there by 8:45 AM at the latest! My friend @dargott (director of the “As the Palaces Burn” documentary) is sending out a small film crew to document this EPICNESS. Remember, not matter what kind of offensive things they say- DO NOT ARGUE OR ENGAGE IN ANY WAY with the buffoons of the #westborobaptistchurch- that’s what they want. We’ll just drown them out instead. What if they don’t show? I don’t cancel parties because unwanted jerks don’t show up- there will still be a #kazoo #champagnejam & CASH MONEY for best costume. See y’all there! #kazoo #counterparty #westborobaptistchurch #beatitkooks

A post shared by D. Randall Blythe (@drandallblythe) on

Hundreds of people showed up to the “counter-party” far outnumbering the six Westboro demonstrators.

“These people are coming out and speaking a bunch of ignorance about my friend,” Blythe told Virginia Mercury news. “I don’t like that. So we came out and just drowned them out. That’s the easiest way. There’s no point in engaging these people.”

The mob of metalheads formed drum circles, blew kazoos and chanted. The Westboro cult only lasted 30 about minutes until they shuffled away to their next demonstration.

While this outpouring of love seems to counter the angry metalhead stereotype, science has proven otherwise.

Parent groups and religious organizations often warn that the violent themes in heavy metal music are desensitizing to young people; however, researchers from Macquarie University's music lab found that that metalheads react to violent imagery the same way non-metalheads do.

“[Death metal] fans are nice people,” Bill Thompson, a professor at Macquarie University, told the BBC. “They’re not going to go out and hurt someone.”

Blythe’s "counter-party" sent a great message to the Westboro Baptist Church and any group that wishes to spread hate and intolerance: never go against the gods of metal.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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