Former Westboro Baptist Church Member Speaks Out Against Anti-Gay Bigotry

Just days after Megan Phelps-Roper and sister Grace announced that they had left Westboro Baptist Church (founded by their grandfather Fred Phelps), photographer Adam Bouska‘s NOH8 campaign released an image featuring former WBC member Lauren Drain:

The main reason I posed for the NOH8 Campaign was in direct response to the judgments of the WBC. I wanted to show people that despite having grown up within the cult and having spent a good portion of my life on the picket line, holding signs condemning our deceased soldiers, reveling in any and all forms of tragedy and simply striving to be hurtful in the name of God; that the WBC is wrong and what I did at the time was wrong! I now try and lead by example, with love, compassion and an open mind. Having done a complete 180, I still struggle with little things from time to time — but I know in my heart that I am now on the right path.

In the end, I think God will judge us all; however I think He wants us all to have the freedom to make our own decisions.

Well, I’m with her up until those last sentences, anyway :)

Good for her for posing for the campaign. When you leave such a hateful place, it’s important to boldly speak out against the injustice and warped mindset you were once party to.

(via Christian Nightmares)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Epinephirne

    I am very happy to see that she appropriately referred to it as a “180.” Good for her for publicly calling them out for “reveling in any and all forms of tragedy and simply striving to be hurtful,” that pretty much matches what I think of the WBC.

  • Rich Wilson

    It’ll be a 180 when she gets over the idea that everyone is being judged based on some made up set of rules. I suspect the only thing that changed was that she saw it made no sense to apply the rules selectively, and she herself couldn’t live by all of them. She may no longer by a hypocrite, but she’s still wrong.

  • Lizmari M. Collazo

    It takes a long time to deconvert. Even Nathan Phelps (Fred Phelp’s son, who is now an atheist) took a long time to come to terms with his beliefs, and the truth. I admire her strength of character for leaving, and standing up for truth — even if it’s not the entire truth, for now.

  • m6wg4bxw

    You sank my battleship.

  • Feminerd

    I honestly don’t care if she or anyone else believes in a god or supernatural things. What matters is what you do with it. She’s come a huge, long way and is working on de-brainwashing herself. Whether she winds up a theist, a spiritualist, or an atheist is, in the long run, unimportant. Let’s just congratulate her on how far she’s come and that she’s continuing to examine and reexamine her beliefs while working to reduce bigotry and hatred in the world.

  • Houndentenor

    I’d like to join the applause for them getting out. It’s hard leaving your church when it also means leaving your family too.

  • CultOfReason

    I’ve got to imagine it’s difficult to leave a cult like WBC, leaving behind friends, family and virtually everyone you know and have spent a lifetime with.

    It would be nice if the handful of people that have escaped that cult can ban together and form a support group, potentially enticing other members to leave as well. The only way to disarm an insidious cult like WBC is through attrition.

  • Troglodyke

    Especially since too many people call such a direct reversal “doing a 360.” That makes me want to .

  • panther_modern

    I grew up in a cult not too different from WBC. I don’t really care whether they still believe in god or not… what I care about is what they’re doing that helps or hurts others in the process. Her attitude appears to have changed – in the good way – so I can only hope that she’ll continue to strive for self-discovery and constructive personal growth.

  • rg57

    Her support is appreciated.

  • Bob Perez

    Lauren is a whore and is destined for the eternal fires of Hell. God will have his revenge on this cowardly scumbag betrayer and he will be laughing at her for all eternity.