A group of US Satanists has performed a “pink mass” over the grave of the mother of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps, which they say they believe has turned her into a lesbian.
The Satanic Temple say a pink mass is a ceremony that can change a person’s sexuality in their afterlife, similar to how Mormons baptize dead people into the Mormon faith after they have died.
Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves officiated over the ceremony while two same-sex couples celebrated their homosexuality at the gravesite of Phelps’ mother Catherine Idalette Johnston in Magnolia Cemetery, located in Meridian, Mississippi.
‘The Satanic Temple supports freedom and the pursuit of happiness for all people, thus they support same-sex couples’ legal equality,’ the group said in a statement.
‘The Satanic Temple claims that the mass was conducted as an affirmation of those values, and claims that the action is meant to convey a message of love in the face of hate.’
Members of the Satanic Temple said they had been inspired to perform the pink mass after the Westboro Baptist Church had threatened to picket the funerals of the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings but never showed.
‘The idea for the Pink Mass ceremony and website came during the aftermath of the tragic Boston Marathon bombings, during which time the WBC were threatening to protest the funerals of the bombing victims,’ Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said.
‘Members of The Satanic Temple were in Boston, waiting for them, but they failed to show. Later, the WBC issued a statement that they had been present “in spirit.” We decided that a same-sex couple celebrating ceremony at the grave-site of Fred Phelps’s mother was an appropriate way to meet the Westboro Baptists, “in spirit,” but this time on our terms.
‘The Satanic Temple now believes that Fred Phelps must believe that his mother is now gay, in the afterlife, due to our Pink Mass and nobody can challenge our right to our beliefs.’
The Satanic Temple have also encouraged gay and lesbian couples to travel to the gravesite to perform their own pink masses and film or photograph them and upload them to the website www.westboro-baptist.com, saying that each time a pink mass is performed, Phelps’ mother will receive erotic pleasure in the afterlife.