Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



Nebraska Anthropologist 2012


Copyright 2012


The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) has gained national attention over the past several years with their fierce protests at the fonerals of soldiers killed in action. American citizens outraged by the actions of the WBC pressured the lawmakers in 45 states to enact legislation curtailing the protesters' access to funerals. Claiming that the laws infringe upon their First Amendment rights, the WBC has challenged these legislations in court, and will continue to do so. The goal of this paper is to explain the strategies used by the WBC to spread their message, the response by lawmakers to try and combat the WBC's mission of disrupting funerals, and to analyze the effectiveness of those strategies.