Oklahoma City, OK: When NBA basketball player Jason Collins came out as gay, there was one reaction that the world could count on: the Westboro Baptist Church members holding up signs somewhere to promote their “God Hates Fags” belief that homosexuality is the cause of all the world’s ills along with Obama, America, and rice pudding.
What was surprising was the lack of people in comparison to picket signs. WBC pickets used to be a sizable turnout of ignorant people, with one protestor per sign, a normal, healthy 1:1 ratio. This sizable turnout usually corresponds to the family size of Church founder Fred Phelps. During the NBA playoffs protests, however, it seems that the ratio of protestors per signs shrank to an embarrassing 1:4 ratio. The few actual protestors held as many as 4 or 5 signs at a time to show that one protestor can be just as hateful and annoying as a whole group.
Why is the membership of the WBC growing smaller while the amount of signs stay the same? We asked Dr. Elvin Nunez about the correlation.
“The life expectancy of a human being is about 49 and a half years,” explained Dr. Nunez. “This expectancy can hypothetically be reduced by 20% if the human being is involved in a radical movement, which is 39.6 years. Take into account that the radical movement is only supported by 0.0000001% of the world and you knock off 50%, leaving the life expectancy of a Westboro Baptist Church member to be about 19.8 years.”
While the idea that a Westboro Baptist member would only live 19.8 years is ludicrous, since founder Fred Phelps is 83 years old, this life expectancy can play into the number of years the Church has been notoriously in the public eye, which was at the beginning of 2000.
The picket signs, however, may have a longer life expectancy for multiple reasons.
“When someone doesn’t agree with a protestor, they may take out their frustration on the sign that visibly supports the idea by ripping it, stomping on it, burning it, whatever,” explained anthropologist Dr. Brianna Helmsley. “In the case of the Westboro Baptist Church, however, people that disagree with the protestors can be so angered that they may attempt to rip, stomp on, or burn the person holding the sign. They really are that annoying.”
Another reason why the signs may be outlasting protestors is that the signs are taken care of, diligently repainted and pressed, whereas the protestors always look like they were rolled out of the trunk of a car that they’re been riding in for a week.
Whatever the case may be, we may only have to deal with the signs of the WBC very soon.