When you log onto Pokémon Go—the real-world monster-catching sensation sweeping the nation—the app warns you to pay attention to your surroundings. The game’s creators don’t want you walking into moving traffic just to nab your fourteenth Pidgey, or getting robbed at gunpoint at a Pokestop.
Luckily for all of us, they don’t say anything about trolling hate groups. One of the game’s “gyms”—real-world spots where players can gather to pit their Pokémon against each other—is at 3701 SW 12th Street in Topeka, Kansas. When it’s not serving as a digital monster colosseum, this is the home of the Westboro Baptist Church, a hate group infamous for picketing soldier’s funerals with virulent anti-gay signs. This past weekend, a user named Pinknose took over the in-game gym and set it up with an appropriate guard: a pink Clefairy named Loveislove, USA Today reports.
When this was brought to their attention, the Westboro Baptist Church immediately escalated the situation. “We recruited Jigglypuff to deal with the sodomite Loveislove Clefairy for us,” the hate group Tweeted yesterday evening, proving that anything can happen in 2016. They also appended a helpful video, which features the small, cute monster singing and holding a “Repent or Perish” sign. Later tweets promised that “Fag #Pokemon are a sign of the end,” and that “EVERYTHING, real or virtual, enables proud sin in america.” The most recent Tweet, from this morning, features a Pikachu, and the headline “Pikachu, I mean you, are going to hell.”
Thus far, it seems the WBC is all talk. “It was unclear at press time whether a Pokémon battle has ensued,” USA Today wrote. But we should probably put Jigglypuff through anti-indoctrination counseling before someone gets hurt.
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