Leaving the Phelps Clan

Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper, two of the infamous Fred Phelps’ granddaughters, have publicly broken with Westboro Baptist Church. Jeff Chu, a contributor on medium.com, carried the story: Damsel, Arise: A Westboro Scion Leaves Her Church. Chu met Megan while working on a book project last year. That seems to have opened a conversation that allow him to tell her story:

She kept trying to conquer the doubts. Westboro teaches that one cannot trust his or her feelings. They’re unreliable. Human nature “is inherently sinful and inherently completely sinful,” Megan explains. “All that’s trustworthy is the Bible. And if you have a feeling or a thought that’s against the church’s interpretations of the Bible, then it’s a feeling or a thought against God himself.”

This, of course, assumes that the church’s teachings and God’s feelings are one and the same. And this, of course, assumes that the church’s interpretation of the Bible is infallible, that this much-debated document handed down over the centuries has, in 2013, been processed and understood correctly only by a small band of believers in Topeka. “Now?” Megan says. “That sounds crazy to me.”

Megan herself now has an article on Medium, “Head Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise”:

Where do you go from there?

I don’t know, exactly. My sister Grace is with me, though. We’re trying to figure it out together.

There are some things we do know.

We know that we’ve done and said things that hurt people. Inflicting pain on others wasn’t the goal, but it was one of the outcomes. We wish it weren’t so, and regret that hurt.

We know that we dearly love our family. They now consider us betrayers, and we are cut off from their lives, but we know they are well-intentioned. We will never not love them.

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  • Darren

    Good for her!

    Being born and raised in Kansas, we also grew up with the Phelps clan, back when they were just a bit of local color.

  • Michael Shalom

    As lousy legalistic church that has never experienced the love and the grace of God!

    • JK

      Did I miss some irony tags here? Or is this another “No true Scotsman” here?

  • Rebecca

    I am so ecstatically happy for Megan and Grace – what strong young women!

    What really bothers me is how Christians who see the Westboro Christian type and congratulate themselves on being, oh, so open-minded and loving and tolerant they are when they don’t tolerate the asking of questions, the critical thinking, any more than their more fanatical brothers in Christ. Christianity is founded upon the principal that human nature “is inherently sinful and inherently completely sinful” and woe to you should you have the audacity to think for yourself with that mere mortal, sinful mind.