”In my home, life was framed as an epic spiritual battle between good and evil…”
Megan Phelps-Roper grew up inside the very well-known and widely-hated Westboro Baptist Church. The specific church’s values, which do not reflect on the larger Baptist or Christian community, are values that seem to target negative feelings such as hate and intolerance. They are known for picketing the funerals of soldiers and targeting groups like the LGBTQ community and the Muslim community. But you may not know that they also target other sects of Christianity, especially Catholicism.
The church, originally from Topeka, Kansas, is a divisive yet popular group. It’s hard to understand how smart, intelligent individuals get caught up in the hatred and cruelty. Westboro gained national attention after picketing the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a college student killed in a savage way due to his homosexuality. The backlash they received only helped them grow in numbers.
Megan Phelps-Roper, part of a very prominent family within the Westboro Baptist Church, ran a TED Talk and explained how she found the courage to leave. Because she was born into the church, Megan never knew a different life; she believed the causes were righteous and worth fighting for. All of that changed once she discovered Twitter.
Through arguments and conversations on social media, Phelps-Roper began to see holes in her church’s ideology and it wasn’t long before she began to open up her mind. Megan’s lessons-learned are not just a good story, they are very relevant lessons we should all pay attention to.
Watch I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why I left by Megan Phelps-Roper: