Here's a really fascinating profile on Megan Phelps-Roper, who not only left the Westboro Church, but also her family. Megan was one of the first Westboro members to take to social media—she often spewed her hate on Twitter. She sometimes went after local bands, too—Death Cab for Cutie, Hey Marseilles, and John Roderick have all been targets (weirdly). But she's changed. It was an online conversation with David Abitbol of Jewicious that started to plant the seed of doubt.
“I would ask him questions about Judaism, and he would ask me questions about church doctrine. One day, he asked a specific question about one of our signs—‘Death Penalty for Fags’—and I was arguing for the church’s position, that it was a Levitical punishment and as completely appropriate now as it was then. He said, ‘But Jesus said’—and I thought it was funny he was quoting Jesus—‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ And then he connected it to another member of the church who had done something that, according to the Old Testament, was also punishable by death. 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.”
She also admits that what she was believing, now sounds "crazy":
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.”
Read the whole thing here. It's a nice (albiet a bit strange and crazy) reminder that even the most blindly hateful seeming person is capable of evolving and thinking critically of their own decisions.