Juilliard Students Drown Out Westboro Baptist Protest With Classical Street Music

Long live The Arts!

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church hate group arrived in New York City on Thursday to picket the world-renowned Juilliard School over “the vanity called ’The Arts,'” and were promptly drowned out by a chorus of talented students counter-protesting with instruments.

Playbill reports the handful of Westboro protesters, which included the group’s ringleader Shirley Phelps-Roper, were regaled to an area on the sidewalk to display signs bearing “disparaging anti-gay slurs.”

They were quickly surrounded by a group of 100 students who “rick-rolled” the hate mongers with a classical version of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

“This is the heart and soul of the arts community,” Phelps-Roper reportedly yelled over the music. She added that Juilliard staff “have taught this nation proud sin” and “have filled the nation with proud sodomites.”

Among the signs carried by Juilliard students, one read “I [heart] Jesus and I believe He is honored when artists cultivate the talents He has entrusted them with.”

Another, emblazoned with rainbow text, read “Hell must be FABULOUS.”

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church reportedly tried to engage Juilliard students “in dialogue that sometimes grew heated,” though they were largely ignored.

“I’m reacting to them saying arts are vanity,” said one student. “I want to show them that we are excited and passionate about the arts and have nothing but love.”

You can check out a glimpse of the student-led counter-protest below:
 

Matthew Tharrett is a writer, filmmaker, and above all else, a Britney fan. He once shared a milkshake with Selena Gomez.
@mattharrett