Westboro Baptist Church escapee Megan Phelps-Roper left the hate group in November of 2012. For 27 years she actively supported the activities of the Westboro Baptist Church, but now she’s left her family, left everything they stood for, and is now going to Old First Reformed Church in Brooklyn.
Megan was the one who pioneered the use of social media at Westboro Baptist Church, becoming the first in her family to go on Twitter. She gave scores of interviews to journalists and even managed the schedule of the Westboro protests. But this very interaction is what led her to abandon the beliefs of the Westboro Baptist Church.
According to Medium, Megan Phelps-Roper still loves those she left behind and does not want to hurt them. She relates that her doubts over the Westboro Baptist Church began with a conversation with David Abitbol, an Israeli web developer who’s part of the team behind the blog Jewlicious, on Twitter:
“I would ask him questions about Judaism, and he would ask me questions about church doctrine. One day, he asked a specific question about one of our signs—’Death Penalty for Fags’—and I was arguing for the church’s position, that it was a Levitical punishment and as completely appropriate now as it was then. He said, ‘But Jesus said’—and I thought it was funny he was quoting Jesus—’Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ And then he connected it to another member of the church who had done something that, according to the Old Testament, was also punishable by death. I realized that if the death penalty was instituted for any sin, you completely cut off the opportunity to repent. And that’s what Jesus was talking about.”
This small seed of doubt in the teachings of Westboro Baptist Church grew to the point that she purposefully avoided holding the picket sign “Death Penalty For Fags.” Another sign that said “Fags can’t repent” made Megan think further about the issue of repentance:
“It seemed misleading and dishonest. Anybody can repent if God gives them repentance, according to the church. But this one thing—it gives the impression that homosexuality is an unforgivable sin. It didn’t make sense. It seemed a wrong message for us to be sending. It’s like saying, ‘You’re doomed! Bye!’ and gives no hope for salvation.”
Megan has since left the Westboro Baptist Church with her sister Grace. They have many regrets from the past but at the same they desire to do good in the world:
“I definitely regret hurting people. That was never our intention. We thought we were doing good. We thought it was the only way to do good. And that’s what I’ve always wanted.”
Still, the sisters are not sure what they’re going to do with themselves, exactly:
“I have no idea. I mean, I have almost no idea. I know I want to do good for people. And I want to treat people well. And it’s nice that I can do that now in a way that they see as good, too. How exactly do you accomplish that? I’m not sure.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Megan is not the first to leave the Westboro Baptist Church. Libby Phelps Alvarez remembers “there was a point when we started praying for people to die. I didn’t actually do that but I was around when they did it.” A spokesman for the Westboro Church, Steve Drain, told the Kansas City Star that Megan and Grace are on the path to hell:
“We can’t control whether or not somebody decides, when they grow up, that they don’t want to be here. Those two girls were kind of straddling the idea that they wanted to be of the world but that they would also miss their family, the only thing they ever knew. If they continue with the position that they have, those two girls, yeah, they’re going to hell.”
What do you think about Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper’s decision to leave the Westboro Baptist Church? Do you agree with their logic behind Biblical issues?