September 10th, 2013
12:16 PM ET

Vince Gill confronts Westboro Baptist protesters

When members of Westboro Baptist Church showed up to protest Vince Gill's Sunday concert in Kansas City, the country star went down to the front lines.

Westboro, which is renowned for protesting everything from Taylor Swift's face to military funerals, was taking a stance against Gill's 1998 divorce and subsequent remarriage in 2000 to singer/songwriter Amy Grant.

"Vince Gill broke marriage covenant & took another man's wife," the church said in a tweet announcing they were picketing Gill's show at the Kauffman Center. "Hey, Vince Gill-@VGcom: God hates adultery and violence to marriage covenant. By whorish woman, destruction."

The protestors had the opportunity to say it to Gill's face when he casually strolled over to the picket line. When one protester asked him what he was doing there, Gill responded, "I just came to see what hatred really looked like."

In fairly calm tones, the musician and the protesters began to debate scripture and divorce, as captured in a short video clip: "Don't you know that divorce plus remarriage equals adultery? Jesus Christ said that," one protester said.

"You know what else he said?" Gill responded. "He said a lot of stuff, about forgiveness, about grace - you guys don't have any of that."

Turning to another sign-carrier hoisting a message that read "God is America's Terror," Gill said, "I've seen you on TV, man. You're a big dips***. You know that, don't you?"

The church, led by Fred Phelps, isn't affiliated with a major Baptist denomination. Many of its members are part of Phelps' family, which is why Gill asks at the end of the video, "Are any of you guys Phelpses? Or are you guys like the 'C' team?"

The confrontation appeared to end amicably enough - Gill's representative tells CNN that the musician has no further comment and, according to their Twitter page, Westboro has moved on to targeting Katy Perry's "Roar."

soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Captain Wolff

    Y'know, in a way, Westboro Baptist Church is right. Of course God hates F@g5! They cause cancer, emphysema, and a whole host of other health problems that shorten your lifespan by 15 years or more. Then there's the fact that they can addict on the first draw, and before you know it, you're spending all your money on MORE f@g5! And let's not even start about the stinking drapes, stinking clothing, and the yellowing teeth. F@g5 just aren't good news at all.

    December 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Satanicus

    Im really surprised that nobody has just machine gunned down all of these Westboro fools. Guarantee theyd never protest again "God hates the fact that the Phelps are still breathing"

    October 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • merennulli

      The reality is, despite how the media portrays them, everyone who privately owns a machine gun has gone through extensive background checks and their local law enforcement signed off on them being able to own it. They aren't the sort of loons who go off on shooting sprees, even against these hate groups.

      And it rather demonstrates how responsible the typical citizen is that no one has ever done serious harm to Westboro. The worst they've faced has been brawls that they themselves egged on.

      October 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • cryofpaine

      They're a joke. Anyone who has more than two functional brain cells knows that they're not worth it. They just want attention. They are trolls, only out in the real world instead of hiding online. Don't feed the trolls.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ug

    The ho that is married to the leader of the so called church was married and divorced who is calling the kettle black now...

    October 3, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    I don't like most country. Nearly all of it actually.

    I do not like Vince Gill's music. AT ALL.

    But Vince, Buddy, you did a good thing here.

    October 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alexander L.

    There is allot of hatered and anger here, most of it I suspect is displaced. No one here can know the mind of God or how that mind has changed over time or whom God holds in judgment and what God is angry about. When you accept that you don't know anything, you free yourself. Every single person is fighting their own private battles and your pain, though important, is not the only pain in the world.

    October 1, 2013 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Eyes On Her


    September 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 201 798...

    report her as abuse.

    September 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. It all forwards too a security..

    Joey on all of it....

    September 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Susan

    Why won't the media refer to these people as the uneducated Phelps family members. They are not Baptist, and they are not a church. They are what happens when students sleep in class and then don't have two IQ points to rub together later on. They don't have the thinking ability necessary to recognize how stupid what they are saying is.

    September 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Cartier

      Why hasn't the Baptist Church acted to shut these evil lunatics down? I have had Baptists tell me that they aren't really Baptists, and that Fred Phelps is not a real pastor. If that's the case then that church should be broken up. By calling themselves Baptists, they make all Baptists look bad, but the Baptists have neither denounced nor expelled them.

      October 1, 2013 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      The reason the Baptist churches don't denounce the WBC, is that they secretly support their position. They have moved on to Uganda since they have lost the SSM equality here in the US. They are looking for funds, follow the money!

      November 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DaveYoung

    Religion is the smile on a dog. (Edie Brickell)

    September 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • liberty

      why can't we just be Americans..Why do we have to be Christian or Racists or republicans or democrats..Love and let live..

      September 26, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bubba

    Westboro Baptist Church now stands as JUDGE OF ALL.
    The hypocrisy is gut wrenching. Just as extremist Muslims twist the Koran into a book of Death, the congregation of churches like WBC twist Christianity into a well dressed haters club.
    Christ's final words were of forgiveness, not judgement, and these Baptist haters do not speak for a Christianity they have not fully embraced.

    September 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brandy

    I can't stand the WBC, but I have to say this one tickles me. I've also not been able to stomach Vince Gill and Amy Grant's goody goody, Christian persona, knowing that their happiness together was built on the pain of others.

    September 18, 2013 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. omeany

    Didn't realize the Christian community has it's share of trolls too!

    September 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ctrygrl

    What a come down from protesting at dead soldiers funerals to protesting country singers. I mean really not even gay ones either. These people are so pathetic, evidently they didn't read that part in the Bible about casting the first stone or they are completely perfect one or the other. At least they are not in the face of grieving families that is something to be thankful for.

    September 16, 2013 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. glenda

    Westboro Church is the very reason, incest is against the law. I think Fred Phelps daughter is sometimes his wife, depends on where they're spreading their hate. No wonder Muslims call Christians infidels, after seeing this bunch of psychos parading around, wearing their under wear on top of their heads.

    September 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Texas Annie

    Why does the media give these dips from WBC any attention? They are morons who need to be shunned instead of put on the news. I can't imagine being part of a "church" that is filled with so much hate & ignorance.

    September 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kathy

      Why does the media give the WBC attention? Because then people who hate religion can paint all believers with the same broad brush. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with individuals who are against any kind of church who love using WBC as an example of how Christians behave.

      September 20, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Doug

    The members of this church are not Christians. Their public opinion, justified through the Old Testament, denies the Gospels of Christ. Therefore they are not Christians.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Kel

    these Westboro morons are forgetting one big message from God : " Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself "...they are apalling to say the least!...I am not "judging" them by calling them morons, because they are totally moronic when they stand on street corners with their HATE agenda and also raise their kids to do the same! There is NO WAY these people have God in their lives, because God does not hate...he forgives if we are truely sorry and ask for his mercy!

    September 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph Wesley Moats

      Wander how they are going to explain all this to Jesus? I don't think I could standby and let them do this to a group I was affiliated with. They are just a bunch of bullies.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  19. beefnotfish

    God hates the Westboro Baptist Church Period.... Amen

    September 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Ian H

    The best way to deal with these detestable cretons is to ignore them. These people thrive off attention from the media and the public. I guarantee if both stopped paying attention to them they would have no choice but to crawl back under the rock they came from.

    September 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  21. travis

    "Many of its members are part of Phelps' family".
    So, their family tree is a stick??

    September 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Sherri

    One of the young females, who was in that group, has written a book about it. I do not remember the name of it but you could find it easily. I believe it is a cult. Same as the FLDS group and others. To protest at our soldiers' funerals is so low I can't believe. I think they are all psychopaths. Glad I do not live next to/near any of them.

    September 11, 2013 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      You mean the amazing book 'Banished' by Lauren Drain. A very sad and eye opening story.

      September 11, 2013 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  23. dont Bscared

    Sorry to burst your bubbles, but you do realize god does not exist right? Religion is a myth, dont fight it baby

    September 11, 2013 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Graphicsgirl777

      You have serious problems H2o...wishing cancer and death on someone is completely disgusting. Please seek counseling.

      September 11, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • NONEYA

      Keep on believing that. I guess we just appeared out of thin air....Or we are from Mars...LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

      September 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • lenny

      Just my opinion of the poster, so there.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Chen

      How did you see to write your comment- Who provided the Light for you to do that. In the beginning God said
      let there be light- Of course you weren't there but better be glad he did.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Lady Snowblossom

    Westboro is not a church, they are a cult! They are wrong on so many levels its pathetic! Vince Gill is right to put them in their place.

    September 11, 2013 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Martha

      This is not a church. I'm not sure of what it is. It sounds evil. There is no love in that building called a church.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alf

      Everybody that speaks the truth is a cult right? If you'll read Rom. 7: 1-3 you will see that this particular cult is right.
      If Vince is still married to Amy, both have living spouses. Both are living in adultery and have not been forgiven , as
      you have to turn away from the sin you're committing to be forgiven. 1 Cor. 6th chap. say no adulterer will enter the
      kingdom of Heaven.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      Alf, a person cannot "be" a cult. They can be a part of one or lead one. As for truth, how do you define truth? Truth is something that can be proven, no? Is there anyway of proving anything in the bible? How can you prove it is real when it was written hundreds of years AFTER the death of christ by a bunch of middle aged stonemen! Truth, my friend, is found through hard fact finding research and experiments. Science provides truth. Bible provides hope for people who need more than our universe to survive. They need to believe daddy is in heaven and you'll be together again.

      September 12, 2013 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  25. CCC

    Can't they all go to Syria to protest something? Or maybe Egypt – there's plenty to protest over there. They would only need to buy a one-way ticket...

    September 11, 2013 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  26. randy

    Let He who is without sin cast the first stone. There is only ONE JUDGE, so who are these people who think they can judge others, are they that perfect?

    September 11, 2013 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Yes, but the Judge wrote the book (bible) and His Judgement is found in 1 Corinthians 6th. chapter concerning those
      committing adultery. They are living in adultery, due to both having a living spouse.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Hugh Jorgen

    All of you saying Westboro Baptist shouldn't judge, ask yourself, have you judged them?

    September 11, 2013 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Hibbs

      I have judged them and found them lacking in all respects. When a group that calls themselves a churchy pickets and protest at a Soldiers Funeral I CONSIDER THEM THE LOWEST OF THE LOWS.

      September 11, 2013 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Rett

      The bible does teach us to judge people by their works as in discern whether they are the works of righteousness or not. we are not in a place to judge their eternal destination though....that is my take oit anyhow

      September 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  28. James

    Heads of the "church", Fred Phelps, his daughters are attorneys.

    September 11, 2013 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  29. sarah

    I'm glad to see Vince Gill confronted them. This "church" needs to be investigated thoroughly. Perhaps if they were ignored instead of being written about every time they protest something, they would vanish.

    September 11, 2013 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  30. metalhead65

    I do not understand how an inbred family can claim themselves as a church. they better pray they never show up to any of my family's funerals.

    September 11, 2013 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  31. Gary

    Hay Dipsh1ts, Hows that rainbow house doing next to your so called church? been meaning to donate some money to that. I guess I better get on the ball. Maybe they can put up neon lights with it.

    September 10, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Chris

    Go after 'em, Vince. Those misled people need to know that Jesus forgives even them for the hurt they do. Full volume from one of your songs would be good for them, too.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Tom

    If they don't like it here,why doesn't someone give them one way tickets to a country they may like more? Afkaistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia?

    September 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  34. lynneric

    This little group of hypocrites who spread hate and grief everywhere they go, should being asking God for forgivesness except that word apparently is not in their dictionary. These kind of Christian "believers" are the epitomy of sin in the way that they think they can pronounce judgement on others. They are an embarrasment to all real Chrisians and can only re-assure non Chrisitans that not believeing in God is the right choice.They will pay for their sins someday unless they ask God for the forgivenss they are unwilling to practice in life. PS to the news media, please quit writing about them and then maybe they will slither away.

    September 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • April

      I read where they believe they (members of the W.B.C.) are chosen and basically can get away with murder and still go to heaven. They are basically Calvinists....or as Vince said, "Dipsh!ts".

      September 10, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jorgen

      Aren't you, um, judging them?

      September 11, 2013 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • laylasmom

      You couldn't have said it better. I know as someone who sometimes have had their doubts about religion, people like the group at Westboro give ammo to all the people that put down Christianity. These people love to hate and that is their sin. To say the horrible things they say and to pass judgement on others is not the job for Christians. Only the Lord can pass judgement. Only God can forgive you. All I know is at Judgement day, I hope I am in a different line than they are!

      September 11, 2013 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  35. deanna wainscott

    those people no nothing of jesus words,they had no right jugdeing vince gill that way,they are not god,they need to read the bible more

    September 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  36. deanna wainscott

    its not up to them to judge vince gill,its god,they are wrong for what there saying to them

    September 10, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Jan

    Go Vince! Sadly many so called Christians worry way to much about what the other guy is doing when they need to be worrying about themselves.

    September 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  38. DP

    Vince you rock! Westboro Baptist is vile. First you have to read the bible.
    Westboro Baptist knows nothing about God and his word

    September 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  39. M.A.P.

    Man I feel so sorry for the kids born into that horrid, horrid family. They are seriously brainwashed, evend beyond scientology levels.

    September 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |

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