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meep

2 Westboro members leave.

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meep

medium.com/turning-points/83d2ef8ba4f5

medium.com/reporters-notebook/d63ecca43e35

 

Megan & Grace Phelps-Roper leave the Westboro Baptist Church.

Edited by OnceUponATime
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gustava

Thank you for this information and these links. The experience of these two sisters may help us better understand the grasp of fundi-ism when we start howling "Why doesn't she just leave?"

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ILoveJellybeans

So happy to see more people excape from that awful cult. The others that I have heard of seem to be doing okay.

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Buzzard
Her departure has hurt them already—she knew it would—yet there was no way she could stay. “My doubts started with a conversation I had with David Abitbol,†she says. Megan met David, 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.â€

To some, this story might seem simple—even overly so. But we all have moments of epiphany, when things that are plate-glass clear to others but opaque to us suddenly become apparent. This was, for Megan, one of those moments, and this window led to another and another and another. Over the subsequent weeks and months, “I tried to put it aside. I decided I wasn’t going to hold that sign, ‘Death Penalty for Fags.’†(She had, for the most part, preferred the gentler, much less offensive “Mourn for Your Sins†or “God Hates Your Idols†anyway.)

What “seemed like a small thing at the time,†she says, snowballed. She started to question another Westboro sign, “Fags can’t repent.†“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,†she says. “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.â€

Amazing how allowing a single individual thought, coupled with logic, can crumble walls. Here's looking at you, Jinger!

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znthahmed378

I'm glad for them. Not sure what else to write here, but I hope life outside of the WBC isn't bumpy. Also, I remember reading an interview with one girl who also left -might have been her sister/cousin, IDK- who predicted that Grace would be the next one to leave. I don't remember her name or where I read the article. In fact, it might have been a link on FJ.

Anyways, good luck to them. At least they have someone to go to on the outside.

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crazyforkate

Good for them, and I wish them the best of luck. I remember watching Megan in an interview and it seemed as if she had fully drunk the kool-aid. Glad to see there was still some spark left.

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OnceModestTwiceShy

I don't know much about Megan, but I'm so excited to hear about Grace! I remember seeing her in the second Louis Thoreaux (sp?) documentary and thinking how pretty and sweet she seemed, and how she didn't seem 100% convinced because her older cousins (Jael and a few others) would not let her be interviewed alone and Jael kept speaking for her and said they were just trying to "protect their young maidens."

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crassy

I have been waiting for this for a while now. I am glad it is Megan who left, she was quite vocal and had a fairly large internet presence. Hopefully she can do something good with her life now. She always struck me as intelligent but totally brainwashed. Some of the things she has written/said about leaving the church are really quite wonderful:

“I was so proactive before and vocal about the church. My name means something now to others that it doesn’t mean to me."

I hope the two of them get some serious therapy to help them out with their transition. I imagine it is going to be a very difficult road for them for a while. I had wondered what happened to her, I follow her on Twitter and she has been very quiet over the last few months.

I bet Shirley and old Fred are fuming. Good!

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xReems

Libby phelps, Megan's cousin, was the one who predicted Grace would be the next one to leave. I would have never thought in a million years that Megan would be the one leaving WBC. From all those interviews and documentaries, she seemed to be very deep in the WBC's doctrine. Good for her for leaving! Who knew just a simple conversation would have made her question her beliefs. I wish her the best!

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Ellimenopy

I wonder if it was Shirley's extra-marital sex that was the sin that made her think?

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lilith
I wonder if it was Shirley's extra-marital sex that was the sin that made her think?

??? Do tell....

I've always wondered about her husband - he really seems to take the back seat to her, and their dynamic never seemed to fit with the patriarchal aspects of WBC (like head covering in church and women not speaking in church).

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Ellimenopy

??? Do tell....

I've always wondered about her husband - he really seems to take the back seat to her, and their dynamic never seemed to fit with the patriarchal aspects of WBC (like head covering in church and women not speaking in church).

I thought it was common knowledge that her first son was born out of wedlock: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Phelps-Roper

I mean, without Shirley, Westboro would not be a thing, so anything that could have condemned Shirley could e been the spark.

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lilith

I thought it was common knowledge that her first son was born out of wedlock: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Phelps-Roper

I mean, without Shirley, Westboro would not be a thing, so anything that could have condemned Shirley could e been the spark.

Yes, sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you were talking about something since her marriage.

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JayStar

This is very cool. I wish them both the best. I'm also pretty surprised that Megan is one of the girls to leave. She always seemed pretty into it when I saw her in interviews. It kind of gives me hope that more of them will leave.

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crassy

??? Do tell....

I've always wondered about her husband - he really seems to take the back seat to her, and their dynamic never seemed to fit with the patriarchal aspects of WBC (like head covering in church and women not speaking in church).

She's hilarious when she is asked about it. She always gets really angry and back peddles. I remember her on the Dean Blundell Show in Toronto a few years ago and they asked her about it (for the third or fourth time), and she started screaming and carrying on about how it is ok that she did it because she repented. In the next breath she was condemning a church they were thinking of associating with because a girl in the church had divorced parents.

Shirley is the douchiest of douches, and right behind her is Margie.

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Patsy

Where are they in the Phelps-Roper family? # 3 and 4 of 8? Something like that?

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sarahbrownie
I don't know much about Megan, but I'm so excited to hear about Grace! I remember seeing her in the second Louis Thoreaux (sp?) documentary and thinking how pretty and sweet she seemed, and how she didn't seem 100% convinced because her older cousins (Jael and a few others) would not let her be interviewed alone and Jael kept speaking for her and said they were just trying to "protect their young maidens."

There's a rumor that in Jael's teens she endured a ridiculous amount of abuse for just becoming friends with a boy. She became pretty protective over her younger siblings and encouraged them to tow the party line. This was her way of making sure Grace stayed to the script and didn't give her parents a reason to do the same thing they did to her at that age. She must have known Grace wasn't 100% drinking the koolaid.

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Iokaste

This makes me so happy! I remember thinking that both Grace and Megan seemed like bright, funny girls stuck in a weird, weird situation, so happy they made it out!

Hopefully they'll find some good friends and mentors on the "outside" to help them through the transition and healing.

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crassy
Where are they in the Phelps-Roper family? # 3 and 4 of 8? Something like that?

I think lower down than that. There are 11 kids in total. Megan is 27, Grace is what, early 20s? I can't find a list of Shirley's kids, I think some of the others have left as well.

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Patsy

I think lower down than that. There are 11 kids in total. Megan is 27, Grace is what, early 20s? I can't find a list of Shirley's kids, I think some of the others have left as well.

Yeah, I couldn't find any listing on third gen defectors or the grandchildren in general -- probably for the very good reasons of respecting their privacy, but all the same, I'm curious.

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CoatRack

Samuel Phelps-Roper

Joshua Phelps-Roper

Megan Phelps-Roper

Rebekah Phelps-Roper

Isaiah Phelps-Roper

Zacharias Phelps-Roper

Grace Phelps-Roper

Gabriel Phelps-Roper

Jonah Phelps-Roper

Noah Phelps-Roper

Luke Phelps-Roper

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alysee

I hope they have met up with Libby or Lauren(the one who isn't related from the Louis Theroux documentary) they will be fine, if they can find some family that's out to help with the transition and then they can find their way. With that much brainwashing, even if they had been feeling like the Church was wrong for a while, it will be a huge kick to their system. They are smart girls who will make it through this.

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CoatRack

Of the immediate Phelps family members who have left one of Phelps' children, Nate left years ago. I believe two others have left.

Libby Phelps, one of other granddaughters left about four years ago.

One of the children, Lauren, of a non-Phelps church member was kicked out and now Grace and Megan.

Grace and Megan are currently living with Libby and her husband.

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