A Wedding Worth Celebrating, Even Though Her Former Church Members Didn’t Show Up

It’s good to be back :)

Huge thanks to Paul Fidalgo for taking care of this site so I could go off the grid for a few days.

Turns out there was news of a big wedding while I was away: Lauren Drain, a former member of Westboro Baptist Church, was married early last month, something we found out about after she posted pictures of the ceremony on Reddit.

While her “God Hates Fags” church members weren’t there to support her (or, thankfully, protest), two of her “church sisters” who also escaped the cult were.

Check out this picture and try not to smile:

Lauren Drain walks down the aisle, flanked by her ‘church sisters’ Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper (Annandale Photography)

‘It was amazing having them by my side. Just a year ago I never thought i would see them again and here they were, during one of the most impotent days of my life,’ she told Mail Online.

‘They stepped in to make it even more special for me. We are extremely close now, and see each other as often as we can.’

While Drain is still a Christian, her husband “is not religious.” They say there’s mutual respect there, though, so hopefully it’s not problematic.

You can check out highlights from the wedding below and read my interview with Drain here:

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.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    during one of the most impotent days of my life

    I hope that’s just a transcription error.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    While Drain is still a Christian, her husband “is not religious.” They
    say there’s mutual respect there, though, so hopefully it’s not

    “I respect the fact that you’re going to spend eternity in Hell.”

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    That’s great, but what about your wedding?

  • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Not all Christians believe in hell. My parents, for example, believe that Jesus died to save everyone from their sins, whether they believe in him or not.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    Also, not all Christians believe that unbelievers are automatically damned. Many believe that non-Christians can get into heaven “through the grace and mercy of God.” Hell is believed to be reserved only for the extremely bad people.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Despite the fact that Jesus wasn’t too fond of people who didn’t believe in him or accept his disciples?

  • ecolt

    Not to nitpick, but the Phelps-Roper girls aren’t her sisters. Lauren Drain’s family is one of the few in WBC that isn’t related to Fred Phelps. Her siblings are still in the cult.

    Still, they grew up together and it’s great that they are there to support each other outside WBC.

  • bamcintyre

    You mean like priests that abuse children?

  • Glasofruix

    Of course not. The molested children on the other hand…since, you know, it’s their fault for seducing the pious priests and all…

  • TheG

    So, I get to go to a place free of what someone else considers sin, there are no challenges, I am free from want, and I have to spend an eternity with the same guy who once killed every first born son in Egypt?

    I’m now an atheist who believes in hell.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta


  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

    Not nit-picky at all. My apologies for getting that wrong. I’ll fix it in the post.

  • islandbrewer

    Hey, it happens! The pressure and everything, you know.

  • sara

    A common depiction of Hell is simply the absence of God, which matches his expectation anyway.

  • duke_of_omnium

    No, like the writers who added Cousin Oliver to The Brady Bunch.

  • DougI

    It goes to show that religion promotes hatred. What else can break up families merely for having a different opinion the way religion does?

  • Rachel Warner

    You don’t have to blood related to be sisters. :) I’m glad they were there to support her.

  • Nicole Introvert

    It’s fantastic to see these women looking genuinely happy. Something that you rarely ever see in photos of the WBC.

  • Mario Strada

    As a matter of fact, Jesus was not too fond of anyone that wasn’t a Jew. That’s pretty much scriptural.
    The samaritan parable was designed to show that the “other” can be good or even better than “us” (meaning us jews in context), but the samaritans were closely related “cousins” to the jews.

    Jesus would have been horrified had he known a bunch of gentiles would be worshipping him. At least, much of the evidence leads there.

  • Bitter Lizard

    But if we let former fundamentalists get married, it means we all have to get former fundamentalist married.

  • Matthew Baker

    It must have been vary nice doing something and not have to wear the brightly colored sandwich boards of hate.

  • busterggi

    Typing isn’t easy when one’s mind is eslewhere.

  • closetatheist

    …which also happens to match reality

  • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

    This is one of the most annoying arguments ever made in defense of hell since it essentially amounts to an excuse for torture or in the best case, oblivion. If one expects that one is going to be shanked or raped when one goes to prison it doesn’t make the prison system better when that occurs. And if this results in oblivion it makes about as much sense: I’d really like there to be an afterlife, but the evidence suggests strongly that there isn’t one.

    The thrust of this sort of argument rests on the misunderstanding that peoples beliefs are based on what they want to be true. So, one assumes that one doesn’t want an afterlife and doesn’t want there to be a deity. Many theists may believe simply because they want it to be true, but that doesn’t apply to most atheists, who believe what they believe because of where they think the evidence points.

  • HollowGolem

    I sort of assumed he meant metaphorically, anyway.