Members of the Westboro Baptist Church hate group descended upon New York City’s world-renowned Juilliard School to protest—we are not making this up—The Arts.

The Thursday protest was led by the hate group’s leader Shirley Phelps-Roper who proudly held up signs with disparaging anti-gay slurs. In a press release, WBC decried the school’s dance, drama, and music programs.


The hatemongers were quickly surrounded by a group of 100 Juilliard students who “rick-rolled” them with a classical version of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”


Shirley Phelps-Roper said the hate group chose Juilliard, which is ranked as one of the top music academies in the world, because, “This is the heart and soul of the arts community.” She said the school’s teachers “have taught this nation proud sin. They have filled the nation with proud sodomites.” –


Juilliard students countered the hateful signs with messages of love. One sign read: “I [heart] Jesus and I believe He is honored when artists cultivate the talents He has entrusted them with.”

According to Playbill:

The students and the protesters were kept in police pens about 50 feet apart. A smaller group of students gathered on the other side of the street. Most of the time the students held signs or watched as a group of them played songs including “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “Amazing Grace,” though a small number also shouted at the WBC protesters or tried to engage them in dialogue that sometimes grew heated. A dozen police, including one on horseback, monitored the protest.


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