The most recent song created by rapper Mac Lethal takes jabs at Westboro Baptist Church after the church threatened to protest the funerals of shooting victims from the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
"And I might suck at guitar / but at least I've never protested a dead soldier's funeral / And yeah I'm losing my hair / but at least I've never judged a woman for thinking that another woman's beautiful / and sometimes, and I mean sometimes / I might even text message while I drive / but I've never thanked God when a precious five-year-old was shot, and died," the rapper says in his new song, titled "Beatbox + iPhone + Guitar + Fast Rap = Win."
The song is referring to Westboro Baptist, the controversial group out of Topeka, Kansas, that is notorious for picketing at the funerals of soldiers, athletic events, gay pride parades, and a wide variety of other events. On Monday, a press release from the church declared "God sent the shooter" to Sandy Hook as a form of judgment upon the State of Connecticut for instituting gay marriage.
Mac Lethal lives in Kansas City, Mo., about 60 miles from Topeka, and says he has been aware of the activities of Westboro Baptist since he was a child. The church gives a "black eye" to the region, the self-described agnostic says, which is one reason why he included them in his rap.
"There was a part of me that just felt like: You know, I should say something, and I should talk about it, because I'm accessible to them," he said, acknowledging that the church could try to protest one of his concerts for speaking out.
He later added, "I think we have a responsibility as people and that ... invariably, no exception, ever, in the history of the world has there ever been a justifiable reason for you to protest and thank God in a public forum for the cold-blooded murdering of a 6-year-old child."
Steve Drain, a spokesperson for the church, told WDAF-TV in Kansas City that the rapper doesn't understand what the congregation is trying to accomplish.
"We're only trying to do one thing," said Drain. "We're trying to let the world know what the Bible's standard is, what God's standard is in this Earth."
The Christian Post was unable to reach Westboro Baptist Church for further comment before publication time.
Mac Lethal's new song has an "upbeat" and "peppy" sound to it, but he says it isn't meant to be disrespectful. He put together the music in advance, and days later added the lyrics to it.
"It definitely wasn't intentional, it just kind of worked that way ... Sometimes when you do songs about tragedy, or hear them about tragedy, they're so serious. And they're so serious that they're almost alienating sometimes," he said.
He didn't write the song solely about the recent school shootings, he says, though he admits the Newtown tragedy was the catalyst for addressing a number of social issues in his rap. One such issue he addresses is the way various media outlets handled their coverage of the shooting.
"Every time I turn the television on / I see another thing reminding me that everything is wrong / I see these news people interviewing 5-year-old children / not even 30 minutes after witnessing a killing," he raps.
Mac Lethal's feelings about the shootings have been amplified by the fact that his wife is less than two months away from giving birth to their first child, a son. It's "terrible" to think anyone would shoot kindergarten-aged children, he says.
Westboro Baptist's outspoken plans to picket Newtown funerals never came to fruition. The church was supposed to picket the wake of Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung, but the Newtown Patch reports its members never showed. A group of anti-Westboro protesters did show up to confront the church, however, and cheered when an announcement was made that Westboro Baptist wouldn't be coming.
Mac Lethal's new music video, which has been on YouTube for just under three days, has been viewed over 310,000 times.