At 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 30, there will be a public memorial service for Ronnie James Dio at the Hall Of Liberty (Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles). For Dio's family, friends and fans, it will a chance to celebrate his life and music. (There are even special rates available for guests at local hotels; check out Dio's Facebook page.)
But for the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, it will be a chance to picket a "Satan worshipper / enabler" who "encourages violence."
Ugh. What can you expect from a church that owns the URL Godhatesfags.com and whose claims that terrorist attacks and natural disasters are God's revenge for a society that tolerates homosexuality?
The church thinks its their "duty to protest and picket at certain events, including funerals, to promote their religious message."
Here's the full statement, as taken from Gigwise.com:
"WBC to picket this public memorial to remind you who worship that old Serpent, Satan, that your time is very short.
"You know 67 year old, Satan-worshiping (or at least one of their enablers) Ronnie James Dio (of showing his devil horns to the world each time he goes in public) Black Sabbath fame is dead, right? We'll be there!
"Just because the chances of any of God's elect being amongst this group of heavy metal sycophants is slim to none does not mean they should not get some good words.
"Yes, it is true that Ozzy Osbourne did "accidentally" bite off the head of a bat, but THAT is the least of their sins (little nasties!), they currently do not do that, but they throw raw meat to the audience and encourage violence of EVERY FORM!
"Here you have the list of admitted sins of this now dead and in hell pervert:
"1) He hates his neighbor(s) starting with Ozzy Osbourne, and continuing down to his pornography star niece Gen Padova!
"2) He hates God. Pay especial attention to the fact that he changed his original sir name from Padova to Dio, which means God in Italian.
"3)Ronnie the simpleton enabled, and encouraged Sorceries: everything he was about including the little finger horn thing (he got this from his mother which is an incantation to ward off the "evil eye") to the drugs, bloody raw meat and his fellowship with those pentagon necklace wearing freakish band members.
"Yes, Ronnie James Padova (NOT DIO) is currently residing in hell. When all those who worship him and his false gods meet him in hell it will be just like this: Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: Isaiah 14:11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
"Praise God all ye, His people. The Great Day of the Lord draws nigh.
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To this, Wendy Dio says:
"Ronnie hates prejudice and violence! We need to turn the other cheek on these people that only know how to hate someone they didn't know. We only know how to love someone we know!"
And like we said, Dio wasn't always a "Satan worshipper." Here's "10 Days To Brenda," by Dio's first band, Dio and the Prophets.