This morning the news broke that Megan Phelps-Roper and her sister Grace have left the Westboro Baptist Church. Being in Kansas City and in close proximity to Topeka where WBC calls home, we hear a lot about the Phelps and they are often on the radio station I listen to, 96.5 The Buzz. Because of this, I feel a connection to this story. I have listened to Megan speak of the church’s beliefs many times over, but always felt that there was more of a recitation to what she was saying. Not that she didn’t truely believe what she was saying, but more like she was just repeating what she was taught rather than finding out for herself what the truth is. I don’t know her personally, but I am proud of her and her bravery to follow her heart. She and her sister have left behind everything that they have ever known. They are entering a world previously unknown to them, for the world is such a different place than what they were taught it was. I pray that they find peace and acceptance in their new journey.
Apparently this actually happened in November, but so far, has been kept quiet. However, today Jeff Chu shared his blog post Damsel, Arise: A Westboro Scion Leaves Her Church, in which he shared a conversation with Megan about what had changed and why she had left. A seed was planted during a conversation:
I realized that if the death penalty was instituted for any sin, you completely cut off the opportunity to repent. And that’s what Jesus was talking about.
That seed was of truth grew and she began questioning what she had been taught. You could hear it in interviews with Afentra (from The Buzz) on the radio. Afentra always told Megan (paraphrased):
There’s something in there. You have good in you. You’re more than this.
And finally, finally she realized that. Finally she saw that to really do good, you have to share God’s love. She says many times that she wants to help people and be good to people. I’m so glad that she and Grace have taken those first steps towards Love.
This morning on the radio, there were several listeners who wanted to condemn them and not show them any compassion because of the hate they have spread for so long. But condeming them only leads us down that same road of hate. What we need to do is forgive them. We’ve all made mistakes. Now more than ever, Megan and Grace need to be shown love and support and compassion. They need to know that they have made a good choice and while it may be tearing them up being separated from their family and all they knew, there are people in this world that are good and that will help them as they find their way.
I hope other people will join me in positive thoughts and prayers for them.
*You can read a post by Megan regarding this here: Head Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise