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My kid just discovered Westboro Baptist Church


Terabith
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and she thinks it's hilarious.  I had to explain that they were not, in fact, a parody group like The Onion.  And that while they are absurd; they are absurd like Camus, not like Jim Carrey.  And that these are real people doing real evil, and that that evil is not in any way funny.  

I gave her a New Yorker article to read about them, and she blew it off as "too long and tedious."  

I kinda feel like I've failed as a parent here.

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she's a middle teenager.   they often don't get the seriousness of things.   giving her a new yorker article - which was probably quite long - would be long and boring.

start with how they make their living - which is basically an extortion racket.  they go incite incidents and sue the people.

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

Yeah, I tried telling her they were absurd like Camus, not like Jim Carrey, but that got me an eye rolling.

 

How about just coming right out and telling her that they are EVIL?

Why bother referencing Camus when there is a much simpler explanation?

My eyes would have been rolling at your Camus reference, too.

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Oh, I told her that first.  I told her that was not a parody group, and that while sometimes you just have to laugh, they are evil people doing evil things.  I told her about people that we know who have friends whose funerals were "protested" by them.  I laid out all the nasty and horrific things they did.  Then I went on to Camus when she kept saying, "But they seem so funny."

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Evil... Yeah. Forget Camus... Westboro is just an uber-troll group. Forget 4chan or whatever, they are like the a perfect storm of hate group and troll rolled up in one. Whats funny about God hates fags at military funeral. Either it is deadly serious or deadly offensive.

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38 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Oh, I told her that first.  I told her that was not a parody group, and that while sometimes you just have to laugh, they are evil people doing evil things.  I told her about people that we know who have friends whose funerals were "protested" by them.  I laid out all the nasty and horrific things they did.  Then I went on to Camus when she kept saying, "But they seem so funny."

 

She is old enough to realize that there is nothing “so funny” about Westboro.

Exactly what is it about them that she finds so amusing?

I can’t even begin to imagine anyone viewing such a hateful group of people as “funny,” especially after you detailed the horrible things that group has done.

 

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I think she was at their website, and they have some parody songs that they have done.  Their intention in the clip she saw WAS to be humorous.  I watched what she watched, and I completely understood how she initially thought they were a parody group and not sincere in their beliefs.  She's bi, so it's not that she's insensitive to that, either.  She just thought they were so over the top and ridiculous that there was no way they could be real.

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20 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I think she was at their website, and they have some parody songs that they have done.  Their intention in the clip she saw WAS to be humorous.  I watched what she watched, and I completely understood how she initially thought they were a parody group and not sincere in their beliefs.  She's bi, so it's not that she's insensitive to that, either.  She just thought they were so over the top and ridiculous that there was no way they could be real.

 

18 minutes ago, Terabith said:

She was horrified when she realized that they were protesting at real people's funerals and that these weren't staged for the internet.  

 

I’m relieved to hear that she was horrified about the funeral protests. In a previous post, it sounded like you’d explained all of those things to her, yet she still thought they were funny. That’s what seemed so odd to me. 

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35 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

 

She is old enough to realize that there is nothing “so funny” about Westboro.

Exactly what is it about them that she finds so amusing?

I can’t even begin to imagine anyone viewing such a hateful group of people as “funny,” especially after you detailed the horrible things that group has done.

 

in  the last week, we've toured castles - (real ones built as fortresses - as opposed to neuschwanstein*.  it is nothing but a rich man's fantasy and homage to richard wagner - incidentlly, he was kicked out of bavaria for being such a creep.).   the torture devices are barbaric.  you can read about it, watch documentaries, and even have an intellectual understanding - but until you see them up close and personal, and how they operate, you just don't get the full picture.  

*to think ludwig died under mysterious circumstances at 41, and his people hated him for bankrupting their country.  they've more than recovered the cost by turning it into a tourist and souvenir mecca.

32 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I think she was at their website, and they have some parody songs that they have done.  Their intention in the clip she saw WAS to be humorous.  I watched what she watched, and I completely understood how she initially thought they were a parody group and not sincere in their beliefs.  She's bi, so it's not that she's insensitive to that, either.  She just thought they were so over the top and ridiculous that there was no way they could be real.

you can talk to her about how cults/abusers/etc suck people in.  they start by being funny/charming/etc.  they want you to think good things so when you hear the bad stuff - you question yourself.

it's a form of grooming.  every abuser does it.

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Contextually, I think it's hard to take them seriously if you're only learning about them now. A couple of decades ago, they had a giant following and caused real emotional and other damage to people's lives. Now they're a tiny group of a few fringe people who show up and do their "protests" and it does almost seem like satirical performance art if it wasn't so inappropriate, but they no longer have the following to really disrupt events or do as much evil as they once did. While I think it's important to say they're evil... I can also see why a 14 yo might not get it now.

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