“Initially, the people I encountered on the platform were just as hostile as I … The church, which was headed by her grandfather Fred Phelps, found its most vocal spokesperson in Megan's mother, Shirley, who would ultimately end up cutting all contact with four of her own children for leaving the cult-like group. Video, 00:01:38California eases Covid restrictions - why now? She left 20 years later because strangers on Twitter changed her mind. Get yours from Telegraph Books for £14.99. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, Chad (who she met on Twitter) and her magical baby girl, Solvieg. Video, 00:01:10, The Netherlands: Looting is 'pure terror' for local shop owner, 'Something really precious has been taken away from me' Video, 00:06:06, 'Something really precious has been taken away from me', Netherlands: Third night of anti-lockdown riots. For Megan to escape the extremist doctrine of the Westboro Baptist Church, she would also have to turn her back on her family forever. I met Megan shortly after she left her church. SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAKING SENSE PODCAST The Making Sense podcast is ad-free and relies entirely on listener support. “I think about it frequently. Megan Phelps-Roper is a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, an extremist American religious cult based in Topeka, Kansas. Video, 00:02:14, Farmers clash with police at Delhi's iconic Red Fort, The Netherlands: Looting is 'pure terror' for local shop owner. A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church. Megan Phelps-Roper (@meganphelps) grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church, an organization widely monitored as a hate group for its anti-gay, anti-Jewish, anti-American protests. Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an American biblical literalist and hyper-Calvinist cult and hate group. “Megan Phelps Roper is a beautiful writer, and her journey—from the Westboro Baptist Church to becoming one of the most empathetic, thoughtful, humanistic writers around—is exceptional and inspiring. Holocaust Memorial Day 2021: 'It's sad when I sit there alone' Video, 00:03:16Holocaust Memorial Day 2021: 'It's sad when I sit there alone', Meet the woman behind Bernie Sanders' famous mittens. But at the same time, Phelps-Roper grew up in the infamous Westboro Baptist Church — an institution known for homophobic and racist rhetoric and labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. She grew up in the church, joining her first picket line at the age of five. Video, 00:00:52Netherlands: Third night of anti-lockdown riots. Former Westboro Baptist Church member Megan Phelps-Roper, who was shunned by her family after she left the church, has said she "still loves" them. Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kansas church known internationally for its daily public protests against members of the LGBTQ community, Jews, other Christians, the military, and countless others. 16 minutes to read . The church protests against LGBTQ+ people, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Atheists, Soliders and their allies. In this episode, Sam Harris speaks with Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of Fred Phelps of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. God hates fags and all proud sinners (Psalm 5:5). As a child, teenager and early 20-something, she participated in the picketing almost daily and spearheaded the use of social media in the church. She left WBC in 2012 and has since written about her experiences in Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church . Westboro Church Reviled and despised, Megan Phelps-Roper - former Westboro Baptist Church devotee - swapped her controversial relatives for an incredible life of repentance. Video, 00:01:38. She left WBC in 2012 and has since written about her experiences in Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church. Megan Phelps-Roper grew up with 10 siblings, was an avid reader and loved school. She left WBC in 2012 and has since written about her experiences in Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church . Megan Phelps-Roper grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church and was picketing with signs like “gays are worthy of death” at the age of five. Westboro Baptist church defector Megan Phelps-Roper on love, hate - and the other Lorde . Believe on the Lord Jesus for remission of sins (Acts 10:43, 16:31). 9 101 Megan Phelps-Roper. Former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, Megan Phelps-Roper, has told of the shame and guilt she feels after picketing US soldiers' funerals and carrying signs which said the military deaths were God’s punishment for the country tolerating homosexuality. Holocaust Memorial Day 2021: 'It's sad when I sit there alone' Video, 00:03:16, Holocaust Memorial Day 2021: 'It's sad when I sit there alone', Meet the woman behind Bernie Sanders' famous mittens. Up Next, Who's behind the recent killings in Iraq? Video, 00:12:07Who's behind the recent killings in Iraq? At the time in 1991, Megan couldn't understand why people so passionately hated the messages of her grandfather's ministry, the Westboro Baptist Church – she was just five years old. In 2015, Sam Harris published an interview with her. Megan Phelps-Roper, a former member of Westboro Baptist Church, is no longer preaching hate and fear—but instead, a message of love, tolerance … Her forthcoming memoir will be published on October 8, 2019, by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Megan Phelps-Roper's grandfather founded the Westboro Baptist Church, which became infamous for its homophobic teachings and its protests of … The end of my antigay picketing career and life as I knew it, came 20 years later, triggered in part by strangers on Twitter who showed me the power of engaging the other. To send a speaking request, please click here: Please contact Charles Yao, Director of Intellectual Talent. Video, 00:12:07. Who's behind the recent killings in Iraq? How Twitter Helped Change The Mind Of A Westboro Baptist Church Member Growing up, Megan Phelps-Roper was told that God killed soldiers as punishment for tolerance of homosexuality. To her, it was in many ways a happy, ideal childhood. © 2021 BBC. She speaks widely, engaging audiences in schools, universities, faith groups, and law enforcement anti-extremism workshops. Megan Phelps-Roper on Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church The Westboro Baptist Church is known for picketing military funerals and its celebration of death and tragedy, even the 9/11 attacks. The religious sect, the subject of two BBC … Encounters that assume good faith, she said in a … Former Member of Westboro Baptist Church “We would see something terrible that happened, like if there was an earthquake or a fire or floods or hurricanes, or a celebrity died. It comes up, obviously there are a lot of things that trigger those memories and it is deeply distressing to me the things that I did specifically at funeral protests,” she told BBC Hardtalk’s Shaun Ley. California eases Covid restrictions - why now? A gripping memoir of escaping extremism and falling in love, Unfollow relates Phelps-Roper’s moral awakening, her departure from the church, and how she exchanged the absolutes she grew up with for new forms of warmth and community. As Westboro’s designated Twitter spokesperson, Megan was tasked with defending the church. Dialogue with "enemies" online proved instrumental in her deradicalization, and she left the church and her entire way of life in November 2012. Everybody around me, my family, the church members, we’d be celebrating and making plans to go and protest the funerals. In her public advocacy on Westboro Baptist Church, Megan has encouraged outsiders to have “real conversations” with her kin. “It has been part of what has been the motivation for me to do the work I have been doing and trying to make amends," she added. Westboro Baptist church defector Megan Phelps-Roper on love, hate - and the other Lorde . Megan Phelps-Roper (@meganphelps) grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church, an organization widely monitored as a hate group for its anti-gay, anti-Jewish, anti-American protests. 9 Shirley Lynn Phelps-Roper (born October 31, 1957) is an American lawyer and political activist.She was the lead spokesperson of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, an organization that protests against homosexuality conducted under the slogan "God Hates Fags" until a power struggle within the organization reduced her status as a spokesperson. Video, 00:04:20Meet the woman behind Bernie Sanders' famous mittens, ‘It was a major women’s revolution’ Video, 00:03:58‘It was a major women’s revolution’, Farmers clash with police at Delhi's iconic Red Fort. At Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit, Megan Phelps-Roper talks about growing up in the Westboro Baptist Church and her new memoir Unfollow. Soon, however, dialogue on Twitter caused her to begin doubting the church’s leaders and message. Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kansas church known internationally for its daily public protests against members of the LGBTQ community, Jews, other Christians, the military, and countless others. For more than 20 years, she couldn’t conceive of a life outside of the church, until she got a Twitter account. You can see the Hardtalk interview in full on Thursday 2 January 2020 on the BBC World News and the BBC News Channel and after on BBC iPlayer (UK only). California eases Covid restrictions - why now? Jews, gay people, and random Twitter users engaged with her, dismantling the Westboro ideas and forcing her to reexamine the truthfulness of its doctrines. Megan Phelps-Roper grew up in Kansas in the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, founded by her Grandfather. Repent or perish (Luke 13:3). Westboro Baptist Church member who left because of the hate says she ‘still loves her family’ Lily Wakefield October 3, 2019 Former Westboro Baptist Church Member Megan Phelps-Roper. To her, it was in many ways a happy, ideal childhood. 'My regrets over Westboro Baptist Church' Video, 00:01:41'My regrets over Westboro Baptist Church'. 12 Oct, 2019 10:00am . She was once the proud mouthpiece of one of America’s most detested churches — the “God Hates Fags” sign-waving Westboro Baptist Church. Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS. On this week’s show, Megan Phelps-Roper talks about growing up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Westboro Church 'I grew up in country's most hated family - then I realised my life was a lie' Reviled and despised, Megan Phelps-Roper - former Westboro Baptist Church devotee - … California eases Covid restrictions - why now? For Megan, it started with interactions on Twitter. For Megan, it started with interactions on Twitter. Unfollow related Megan’s moral awakening, her departure from the Church, and how she exchanged the absolutes she had grown up with for new forms of warmth and community. Video, 00:02:14Farmers clash with police at Delhi's iconic Red Fort, One-minute World News. Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kansas church known internationally for its daily public protests against members of the LGBTQ community, Jews, other Christians, the military, and countless others. She has written a book entitled Unfollow: A Journey from Hatred to Hope, leaving the Westboro Baptist Church. At the age of five, Megan Phelps-Roper began protesting homosexuality and other alleged vices alongside members of the Westboro Baptist Church. Megan wrote a book about her story, titled Unfollow, a Journey from Hatred to Hope, Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church. Megan’s memoir of growing up in, and eventually leaving the Westboro Baptist Church, is beautifully written and absolutely captivating. She said, ‘I want to do good, but I don’t know how.’ Megan, 20, while still in the church, ... 'Unfollow: A journey from hatred to hope, leaving the Westboro Baptist Church' (riverrun) is available to buy. Megan Phelps-Roper on remorse over Westboro Baptist Church Former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, Megan Phelps-Roper, has told of the … As she digitally jousted with critics, she started to wonder if sometimes they had a point—and then she began exchanging messages with a man who would help change her life. Video, 00:01:10The Netherlands: Looting is 'pure terror' for local shop owner, 'Something really precious has been taken away from me' Video, 00:06:06'Something really precious has been taken away from me', Netherlands: Third night of anti-lockdown riots. Megan is the granddaughter of Fred Phelps, the founding pastor of Westboro Baptist Church. 12 Oct, 2019 10:00am . But at the same time, Phelps-Roper grew up in the infamous Westboro Baptist Church — an institution known for homophobic and racist rhetoric and labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In a recent interview , Megan dropped a bombshell: She and her sister, Grace, left Westboro. Megan Phelps-Roper is the granddaughter of Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church founder, but her life path has taken her in a … Read about our approach to external linking. What's it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing ... everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper grew up in Kansas in the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, founded by her Grandfather. Megan Phelps-Roper was once a faithful member of the Westboro Baptist Church, but now she denounces their exclusionist message. Megan Phelps-Roper grew up with 10 siblings, was an avid reader and loved school. It is known for engaging in inflammatory homophobic and anti-American pickets, as well as hate speech against atheists, Jews, Muslims, transgender people, and numerous Christian denominations. Video, 00:04:20, Meet the woman behind Bernie Sanders' famous mittens, ‘It was a major women’s revolution’ Video, 00:03:58, ‘It was a major women’s revolution’, Farmers clash with police at Delhi's iconic Red Fort. To watch videos, listen to podcasts, and read articles about Megan, please click here: Now an educator on topics related to extremism, bullying, and social and political disunity, Megan speaks about the value of empathy in dialogue and ways to bridge ideological divides. Why you should listen Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kansas church known internationally for its daily public protests against members of the LGBT … Our protests soon became a daily occurrence and an international phenomenon, and as a member of Westboro Baptist Church, I became a fixture on picket lines across the country. Rich with suspense and thoughtful reflection, Phelps-Roper’s life story exposes the dangers of black-and-white thinking and the need for true humility in a time of angry polarization. De Westboro Baptist Church (afgekort WBC) is een controversieel Amerikaanse kerkgenootschap dat haar hoofdkwartier heeft in Topeka (Kansas).De WBC is in 1955 opgericht door Fred Phelps (overleden in 2014). She said, ‘I want to do good, but I … Westboro Baptist church defector Megan Phelps-Roper on love, hate - and the other Lorde. De organisatie komt vooral in het nieuws omdat men de gewoonte heeft om na rampen, ongelukken, moorden of aanslagen demonstraties te houden bij begrafenissen van de slachtoffers, … She grew up in the church run by her grandfather Fred Phelps, who has since died, joining the protest pickets from the age of five. 11 Oct, 2019 09:00 PM 16 minutes to read. How Twitter helped save a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church 'It really bugs me that Twitter gets such a bad rep' Megan says The Westboro Baptist Church was right, and everyone else was wrong. At the time in 1991, Megan couldn't understand why people so passionately hated the messages of her grandfather's ministry, the Westboro Baptist Church – she was just five years old. Former Westboro Baptist Church member Lauren Drain says she was 'banished' after questioning its beliefs to her family. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Megan Phelps-Roper was born into a culture of hate as a member of her grandfather’s Westboro Baptist Church. Unfollow is Megan Phelps-Roper’s account of growing up in the extremist Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). I met Megan shortly after she left her church. Megan Phelps-Roper wasn’t content to just walk away the Westboro Baptist Church — reviled across the globe for its inflammatory hate speech against gays and dead soldiers. A former member of Westboro Baptist Church, Megan Phelps-Roper is now a writer and educator on topics related to extremism, bullying and empathy in dialogue. As Westboro’s designated Twitter spokesperson, Megan was tasked with defending the church. 16 minutes to read . Jews, gay people, and random Twitter users engaged with her, dismantling the Westboro ideas and forcing her to reexamine the truthfulness of its doctrines. Megan Phelps-Roper was once a faithful member of the Westboro Baptist Church, but now she denounces their exclusionist message. Megan Phelps-Roper, a grandchild of Fred Phelps, left the WBC in 2012 together with her sister Grace, and explained her reasons and experiences in a TED talk. Megan Phelps-Roper, a former member of Westboro Baptist Church, is no longer preaching hate and fear—but instead, a message of love, tolerance and anti-bullying. Video, 00:00:49One-minute World News, The Netherlands: Looting is 'pure terror' for local shop owner. “[Megan's] intelligence and compassion shine throughout with electric prose...”, “Wildly brave and incredibly thoughtful...This book will leave you holding your heart.”, “From her story, we can learn things sorely needed in our age: empathy, openness, and how we can best build bridges across divided lines.”, “It is, quite simply, exactly what the world needs right now.”, “If you want to see how a girl raised on religious fanaticism and sectarian hatred can be cured by the power of honest reasoning, read this book.”, “This is a beautiful, gripping book about a singular soul and an unexpected redemption.”, Life inside "America's most hated family". Read about our approach to external linking. As Phelps-Roper grew up, she saw that church members were close companions and accomplished debaters, applying the logic of predestination and the language of the King James Bible to everyday life with aplomb—which, as the church’s Twitter spokeswoman, she learned to do with great skill. Since then she has become an advocate for people and ideas she was taught to despise -- especially the value of empathy in dialogue with people across ideological lines. At our 2019 Women of the Year Summit, we asked speaker, activist, and author Megan Phelps-Roper to do the same. “Megan Phelps Roper is a beautiful writer, and her journey—from the Westboro Baptist Church to becoming one of the most empathetic, thoughtful, humanistic writers around—is exceptional and inspiring. Ex-Westboro Baptist Church Member Grace Phelps-Roper Regularly Attends Synagogue Shabbat Services Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper have had an emotional journey since 2012, when they left the hate-filled Westboro Baptist "Church" founded by their grandfather, Fred Phelps. Megan Phelps-Roper (@meganphelps) grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church, an organization widely monitored as a hate group for its anti-gay, anti-Jewish, anti-American protests. Shirley Lynn Phelps-Roper (born October 31, 1957) is an American lawyer and political activist.She was the lead spokesperson of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, an organization that protests against homosexuality conducted under the slogan "God Hates Fags" until a power struggle within the organization reduced her status as a spokesperson. Founded by her grandfather and consisting almost entirely of her extended family, the tiny group would gain worldwide notoriety for its pickets at military funerals and celebrations of death and tragedy. Video, 00:00:52, Netherlands: Third night of anti-lockdown riots. Megan Phelps-Roper is the granddaughter of Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church founder, but her life path has taken her in a different direction. A former member of Westboro Baptist Church, Megan Phelps-Roper is now a writer and educator on topics related to extremism, bullying and empathy in dialogue. Megan Phelps-Roper is the granddaughter of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps. Megan Phelps-Roper on remorse over Westboro Baptist Church, 'My regrets over Westboro Baptist Church' Video, 00:01:41, 'My regrets over Westboro Baptist Church', Up Next, Who's behind the recent killings in Iraq? Literalist and hyper-Calvinist cult and hate group ( who she met on Twitter 's iconic Red Fort, World... 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