A Kansas-based hate group unaffiliated with any Baptist denomination protested at the biggest National Football League game of the year, and has announced plans to stage a protest at actor Philip Seymour Hoffman's funeral.
Westboro Baptist Church held a demonstration showcasing their usual inflammatory rhetoric aimed at homosexuals and the United States near New Jersey's MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
Margie Phelps, daughter of Westboro's head and founder Fred Phelps, told local media that they came to "remind" people to put more effort into reading the Bible.
"It's a nice large crowd to remind them that if they put as much resources into reading the Bible and obeying God as they do in the Super Bowl, this nation wouldn't be doomed," said Phelps.
WBC has picketed the Super Bowl for the past four to five years, church member Brent Roper told The Star-Ledger.
"It's a place to find people," said Roper. "Same-sex marriage is a hot topic. So that's why I'm here. It's a place to preach."
As Americans were getting ready for the big game, news broke of the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. On Twitter, not long before the Super Bowl began, WBC announced its plans to picket the deceased actor's funeral.
The announcement does not, however, make the protest inevitable, as past declarations by WBC to protest various funerals and other events have come to nothing.
Last week, WBC announced it was going to protest comedian Bill Cosby in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday, because as they claim, he uses "fame, fortune and influence" to promote "his own form of righteousness" and fit his "own humanistic notions."
A statement on the WBC website commented that Cosby "has taken on the mantle of an 'activist' and instructed others to obtain an education, work hard and practice some very basic morality – but he has not instructed them to obey God's commandments."
In December, the controversial extremist group announced on Twitter that it planned to picket at the late actor Paul Walker's funeral because he promoted a "fast & furious" lifestyle. "Paul Walker taught a rebel nation to be fast & furious. He died that same way."
Several months earlier, WBC said members were going to protest the funeral of "Glee" star Cory Monteith because he "taught millions to sin."
In October, WBC released a statement announcing that members would picket games three and four of the 2013 Major League Baseball World Series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo., and accused Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals fans of brining violents acts in their respective states on themselves. For instance, WBC claimed the fatal Boston Marathon bombing and 2011 Joplin, Mo., tornado occurred because of their sins.
On Sunday, millions of American homes tuned in to Super Bowl XLVIII to see the Seattle Seahawks defeat the Denver Broncos 43 to 8.
The game started horribly for the Broncos, as their very first play resulted in a botched hike that found the team giving a safety to the Seahawks. It only got worse for the Broncos from there.
Described by many as a "blowout," throughout the game the Seahawks effectively stopped the best offense in the NFL from scoring, giving up one touchdown near the end of the third quarter.
"The Seahawks limited the Broncos to 306 yards and intercepted Manning (34-for-49 passing, 280 yards, lost fumble) two times, claiming the first Super Bowl victory in franchise history," USA Today reports.
"Wilson, meanwhile, stayed within himself, avoiding turnovers. He completed 18 of 25 passes for 206 yards, ran for 26 yards and threw second-half touchdown passes to Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin to set the final score."