I’m an Ex-Westboro Church Member Who Has Renounced the Group My Grandfather Founded

Sep 9, 2013

It’s been four years since I left my family, my friends, my community the only world I had ever known the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC).


For most of my adolescence and early adult life, my life’s purpose was to protest homosexuality in God’s name. I really believed, to my very core, that gay people were destroying not only America, but the entire world. And that it was my job to let the world know just that.

The church is made up of about 70 people, and 90 percent of them are members of my immediate or extended family.  WBC is best known for its picketing, which began in earnest in the early 1990s. We picketed pop concerts, football games, churches of every denomination and, most notoriously, the funerals of American servicemen and victims of hate crimes.

You know who we are. You’ve gasped at television footage of me and my family at memorial services for American soldiers, waving signs that say “Thanks God For Dead Soldiers.” You have seen the images, each colorful neon sign emblazoned with a hateful, shocking slogan: “God: USA’s Terrorist.” “God Hates Jews.” “Thank God for 9/11.” The international media have covered our protests with unflagging interest, to the deep satisfaction of the WBC leaders my aunts, Shirl and Marge, and my grandfather, Fred, the group’s pastor and founder.

I was involved in a group so inflammatory that their website is named www.godhatesfags.com. People sometimes ask why it took me so long to leave. I seem so well-adjusted and, well, normal, so they don’t understand how I could have ever thought my family and their beliefs were anything but hateful.

Written By: Libby Phelps-Alvarez
continue to source article at xojane.com

0 comments on “I’m an Ex-Westboro Church Member Who Has Renounced the Group My Grandfather Founded

  • “So I was terrified of what lurked beyond the protective walls my family had carefully erected around me -– especially of gay people, because according to the WBC, homosexuals were the absolute worst group of people in the world”…”I was told daily that they were the bottom rung on the ladder of depravity”

    Not atheists? I’m surprised, and even a little offended, that we atheists didn’t score the big prize on Fred’s Ranking of Depravity. We have to be second on the list though, right? I don’t want to be ignored by him. If I’m on Fred’s list, I must be doing something right.



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  • 2
    This Is Not A Meme says:

    In reply to #1 by Aztek:

    If I’m on Fred’s list, I must be doing something right.

    Not to worry. I think you might be what they call a fag-enabler. As I understand, I am a fag in their eyes too, because I enjoy sex with multiple women at once (I’m male). As a fag, a God-hated fag, I would like to thank you for all the enabling.



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  • 3
    jjbircham says:

    Aztec, I wouldn’t worry too much, if you’re not a fag you are most certainly a fag enabler.
    Nobody outside the westboro baptist church escapes their condemnation.
    This isn’t a church, it’s a medical disorder. As much as I dislike religion i think to group this hatefull bunch of misanthropes in with most of them is to do them a disservice.

    The sad thing is most of the family members appear quite nice, if it were not for the peer pressure propogated by their idiotic patriach. I can’t say the same for the idiots who join from outside the family, they really are low life.



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  • 5
    This Is Not A Meme says:

    In reply to #4 by ShadowMind:

    “This isn’t a church, it’s a medical disorder”

    Brilliant!

    Hands down, jjbircham wins the thread.



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  • 6
    crookedshoes says:

    Kind of like when the neighbor of the serial killer is interviewed after his capture and they are like “not Johnny, he is such a nice boy, he used to mow my lawn…”????

    In reply to #3 by jjbircham:

    Aztec, I wouldn’t worry too much, if you’re not a fag you are most certainly a fag enabler.
    Nobody outside the westboro baptist church escapes their condemnation.
    This isn’t a church, it’s a medical disorder. As much as I dislike religion i think to group this hatefull bunch of misanthropes in with…



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  • I heard a radio interview with one of those who left. Apparently the main motivation is a desire to marry, and there are no candidates within the church.



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  • 8
    Stevehill says:

    What WBC did to her, ALL religions do to people to a greater or lesser extent. We are all born atheists. Belief is superstitious nonsense has to be indoctrinated, usually at the price of suppressing freedom of thought and inhibiting the development of inquiring minds.

    Children should be protected from religion, until they are old enough to make an informed decision whether they want it to form any part of their lives.



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  • In reply to #1 by Aztek:

    Not atheists?

    Atheists are generally disliked. Gays (and the military) are pretty widely accepted. The objective is to be contentious, and to go against popular opinion (“The World”, i.e. Satan’s domain, that one should be “in and not of” an agregate of several verses including, e.g. John 15:19). It’s also about the leader’s desire for attention and thus prestige within his group. The two are somewhat related.



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  • 10
    IDLERACER says:

    Two things I will never understand: How an insignificant group of 70 people manage to garner so much undeserved attention, and what/who is paying for their trips all over the country to stand on corners and make a nuisance of themselves. I’ve heard that Shirley Phelps-Roper (who pretty much runs the joint) is an attorney of some sort, but I’m having difficulty imagining anyone hiring her for anything.

    Another observation: You’d think that if these people really believed in the messages of those signs that they hold up, then there would be three obvious places where they’d be making public appearances year-round: Fire Island, The Castro District, and West Hollywood. I guess it wouldn’t be particularly photogenic if a group of angry homosexuals were to suddenly and spontaneously get organized, grab their signs out of their hands, and beat them over their heads with them.



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  • 11
    jjbircham says:

    Crooked shoes, the serial killers are never nice boys they ” always kept themselves to themselves” is the usual mantra from the interviewed neighbour who never knew the guy from Adam.



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  • 12
    bluebird says:

    In reply to #10 by IDLERACER:

    …how an insignificant group of 70 people manage to garner so much undeserved attention

    Cell phone recording + beloved country star + internet = attention…

    Vince Gill recently sang at a K.C. concert venue. Curiously, he approached the WBC group. Cringe, stay away from them like the pox. I confess it was dang good to hear a few choice words on his part!



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  • 13
    OHooligan says:

    Good to see another escapee from an evil cult.

    While we’re here, can somebody ask the remaining WBC gang: If God Hates Fags so much, how come He made the Anus such a Convenient Size?

    (never did hear a good answer to that one)



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  • In reply to #4 by ShadowMind:

    “This isn’t a church, it’s a medical disorder”

    Brilliant!

    Yes, brilliant – but you could apply that description to any church…

    Although, granted, the WBC are more disordered than most…



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