February 21, 2011, 6:50 PM — Earlier Monday I wrote about the heated war of words between hacker collective Anonymous and the Westboro Baptist Church, the homosexual-hating organization that tries to win hearts and minds by protesting at soldiers' funerals carrying signs such as "Thank God for dead soldiers" and their iconic "God hates fags" (both of which are especially winsome when brandished by a small, innocent-looking child).
The church claimed Anonymous threatened it and its web sites, and issued a defiant "bring it" to the hackers, even claiming it had procured the services of God in this hack-down. Then Anonymous denied issuing a warning to WBC and accused the church of fabricating the threat to get some cheap publicity.
I figured things would die there, but decided to check the WBC's main site for doing the good work of the Lord -- godhatesfags.com -- just to make sure I was "on the scene" in case something apocalyptic went down.
Well, either GodHatesFags has the slowest web host in the world -- in which case I highly recommend GoDaddy.com -- or it's fighting off some kind of attack from dark forces, because on Monday afternoon, at least, the site was moving at a glacial pace.
Which is a shame, because there is much content here to pique a visitor's interest. Yet it remains tantalizingly out of reach, much like salvation. For example, a link to sister site GodHatesTheWorld.com, which promises a "country-by-country explanation of why God hates the world," instead resulted in a hung browser and a blank screen. I'll try to Google Cache it later because I'm really curious about why God hates Lichtenstein.
Then there's the promised "Quick Link" to "God's Hatred In The Bible." After hanging for several seconds, the browser takes you back to the main page, but it's the main page with no graphics, the way pages look when there's some glitch. How can we learn to love God if we first don't know what He hates? What if someone ends up loving a food or sitcom He detests?
Fortunately, even an organization whose core message is "The World is Doomed" understands that there's always time for hilarious Parodies! That is, when you have an endless amount of time to wait for the page to download. Imagine, the doomed click on this link to seek out a cheap, meaningless laugh. And so they wait and wait, but the relief never comes. Maybe it's WBC's way of teaching us something.
Beyond the site's performance issues, there are organization problems. For example, on the "America Is Doomed" page, the list of sister sites includes "HateMongers.com." However, on the church's main site, godhatesfags.com, HateMongers.com is missing from the list of sister sites. Worst of all, even when HateMongers.com appears, you get an error message when you click on the link.
Overall, a visit to Westboro Baptist Church's web sites is a hellish experience. In other words, nothing surprising.
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.