It’s time for the next generation to step up to the hate plate, and all eyes are on Megan Phelps-Roper to continue Fred’s message of eternal damnation.
“The Rotting Cryptkeeper,” better known as Fred Phelps (r), who is now 82 and not in the spotlight at the hatemongering, family-run Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, handed over the reins to daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper a while back.
The Kansas City Star has a lengthy interview with her daughter, Megan Phelps-Roper, who is the heir-apparent to continue the legacy of demonizing LGBTs, U.S. soldiers, and generally any celebrity or politician that deserves eternal damnation by the Phelps KKKlan.
At first pass, the piece is pretty soft on the younger Phelps-Roper, pointing out that in many ways, in spite of her hate-filled religious programming, she’s fairly normal. Or at least as much as one could be in that family.
She is 25, with a cheeky smile. Tall and tan and athletic, she has long, curly hair that tumbles down her shoulders in thick locks. Her voice is bubbly, with a pinch of country twang, and when she is talking about something she likes, she leans forward in her seat and says “Ohmygosh!” before unleashing a stream of syllables that come pouring out on top of each other. She is polite. If you were to stop by the house some afternoon, she would probably ask if you wanted to stay for pizza that night.
…From the age of 3, children are handed anti-gay, anti-Semitic picket signs and programmed to serve as soldiers in the Westboro Baptist Church’s army. They are taught the specifics of the group’s message — that America’s natural disasters are the direct result of a nationwide acceptance of homosexuality, that God is not the all-loving, all-forgiving being contemporary religion has made him out to be, that the church’s interpretation of the Bible is the only legitimate one. They are also taught to pray for the death of those with the audacity to try and silence the message.
Even with all that brainwashing, Megan Phelps-Roper, had enough contact at school (public school) with non-Westboro kids to at times questions whether everyday people outside of the Westboro universe are all damned to hell.
But Megan sometimes found herself wondering about a future outside. It was more of an abstract thought than anything, she says now, but there was a point in middle school when she was doing a lot of extracurricular activities, like volleyball and the school musical, and spending more time with kids from school when it began to occur to her that maybe these kids who liked the same music and watched the same movies weren’t so bad, after all.
Notably, the most newsworthy aspect of the article is that the “next generation” of hate has started to dwindle — since 2004, 20 members of the Phelps family — most in their teens or 20s — have left Westboro Baptist Church for the outside world and a different worldview.
The profile reveals a really sad life for those committed to preserving the hate legacy of Fred Phelps — it means no friends, no real relationships, and unhealthy lack of psychological individuation from their parents. Megan Phelps-Roper has come to a level of acceptance that she may never marry (by default she has to marry someone who is from the Westboro church) or have kids. She will be married to life as a professional proponent of hate and damnation — it is her destiny.
It’s worth the click over to read about Megan’s cousin and friend Libby Phelps Alvarez, who left Westboro, married and thinks often about how Megan’s life would be different if she simply opened her eyes to see there’s something beyond “God Hates Fags.” A sample of WBC’s “efforts” in the name of God: