The granddaughter of the founder of Westboro Baptist Church recently shared why she left the church.
Megan Phelps-Roper is the granddaughter of Fred Phelps, who founded the controversial church. In a TED talk, Phelps-Roper shared how she was raised in the church and how she came to see how destructive it is.
Phelps-Roper said she was brought along by her parents to her first protest when she was five. She participated in holding signs that said “Gays are worthy of death” and other harsh words against homosexuals and other groups.
Phelps-Roper said she didn’t begin to truly question the church and the way she was brought up till 20 years later. She joined Twitter in order to further the cause of Westboro on social media, but she was surprised to find herself engaging in genuine conversations with those whom she had been raised to view as “enemies.”
“Once I saw that we were not the ultimate arbiters of divine truth, but flawed human beings, I couldn't pretend otherwise.”
She even met some of the people she conversed with online in real life at some of the church’s protests.
When she met one Twitter friend, David, at a protest where she was holding a sign that read “God hates Jews,” and the two of them exchanged gifts, the beliefs with which she was raised began to break down.
Phelps-Roper left the church in 2012.
In her talk, she stressed that what she learned about listening to others who are different and trying to understand them rather than viewing them as the enemy is extremely important for today’s culture and political climate.
“The path we have chosen looks so like the one I walked away from four years ago,” she said.
Photo courtesy: Simple Wikipedia
Publication date: March 8, 2017