The Satanic Temple, a NY-based group seeking to foster "benevolence and empathy among all people" through Satan, performed a "Pink Mass" at the Mississippi grave of Catherine Idalette Johnston, mother of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Jr.
The Satanic Temple's graveside ritual was performed soon after Westboro Baptist Church announced plans to picket the funeral of 31-year-old "Glee" actor, Cory Monteith, who died of a drug overdose.
The purpose of the mass was to convert the mother of the WBC founder into gay for all afterlife eternity.
Vice explains that: "The Pink Mass is a Satanic ritual performed after death that turns the deceased's straight spirit into a homo one—it’s not unlike the Mormon practice of baptizing the dead, only much gayer."
According to The Huffington Post, the Satanic Temple assures everyone, including members of the Westboro Baptist Church that, "Upon completion of the pink mass ceremony, Catherine Johnston is now gay in the afterlife."
Lucien Greaves, spokesman of the group, explained the nature of the ceremony in the Satanic Temple website with the URL, westboro-baptist.com: "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
Pink Mass ritual to convert Fred Phelp's mom to gay in the afterlife
Greaves told Vice: "We believe that Fred Phelps is obligated to believe that his mother is now gay in the afterlife. Further, if beliefs are inviolable rights, nobody has the right to challenge our right to believe that Fred Phelps believes that his mother is now gay."
The Satanic Temple
Ritual to convert Fred Phelp's mom to gay in afterlife
The implication of the ceremony as Vice explains is that now that the spirit of Catherine Idalette Johnston is lesbian, Westboro would have to consider the gravesite a target for a "God hates fags" protest.
The Satanic Temple performed the "Pink Mass" twice: The first time with two gay men and the second time with two lesbians.
The Satanic Temple
Grave of Catherine Idalette Johnston, mother of Fred Phelps Jr., founder of Westboro Baptist Church
Greaves officiated the ritual wearing a horned headgear and put his penis on the grave to confirm the ritual.
The Satanists came up with the idea of a "Pink Mass" for Fred Phelp's mom in April after Westboro threatened to protest the funerals of the Boston Marathon bombing victims.
Greaves said: "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. 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 Huffington Post reports that Greaves said in an email that they were going to use the "Pink Mass" as effective counter-protest: "We intend to perform the pink mass for both Fred Phelps's father and great-aunt who raised him after his mother's death, but only in reply to their future pickets. The pink mass could be used to protest other anti-gay hysterics, but it is particularly appropriate when applied to Westboro."
Threatening specific action, Greaves told Vice: "We haven’t gayed Fred’s father yet, or his great-aunt, Irene Jordan, who raised him after his mother died. We will perform Pink Masses for each of them, and more descendants of the Phelps, each time they picket funerals or applaud horrific terrorist actions, as they are known to do. Fred himself is getting pretty long in the tooth, and I hope to be presiding over his Pink Mass before long."
The Satanic Temple encourages same-sex couples to visit the cemetery in Mississippi and perform similar rituals. The group says it conducted the ritual in affirmation of its belief in "freedom and the pursuit of happiness for all people," part of the teachings of their "Dark Lord," Satan.
The Satanists are hoping that the action will draw attention to their efforts to raise funds for the New York City Department of Transportation's Adopt-a-Highway program.