How many members of the Westboro Baptist Church can defect before the whole place crumbles? Rhetorical question, perhaps, but following the stories of Lauren Drain and Megan Phelps-Roper and her sister Grace and atheist Nate Phelps, we have yet another story of a God Hates Fags church member who is no longer with them.
Fred Phelps‘ granddaughter Libby Phelps actually gave interviews about her defection earlier this year, but a Los Angeles Times article tackles the issue in a bit more depth:
Since Libby left Westboro Baptist Church in 2009, there have been about 10 other defections — most of them grandchildren…
Steve Drain, a Westboro spokesman, downplays the departures. “They’re not of us,” he said. “They want to define God in their own terms. Good luck with that.” His daughter Lauren left and recently wrote a book critical of the church.
Libby married in July 2011. Her parents did not attend.
Her name is now hyphenated: Phelps-Alvarez. Now 30, she lives in Lawrence, Kan., about 20 miles from her childhood home. She has new friends, a new family, a new world. But she misses her parents. Just after she left, she received an email from a church member saying her mother and father wanted no further communication with her. Her parents did not respond to requests for an interview.
Let’s hope the floodgates have opened. Let’s hope the younger members of the Phelps family find inspiration in their siblings who escaped and find ways to join them.