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Friday, February 8, 2013

Young anti-gay protesters leave church with a change of heart

Never think or imagine that the actions of a single person will not be noticed or will not make a difference to someone else, whether that difference will be positive or negative. As the man walking along the shore throwing clams back into the water said, when asked, "What difference does it make, what you are doing?"
"It makes a difference to each clam," he responded.
And so does the decision to leave a church matter, in this case, to those in the gay and lesbian community who suffered under this church's bigotry expressed in their protests at the funerals of returning military personnel, blaming the wars on America's support for homosexuals.
And it is and will not be only Westboro Baptist from which people will exit, legitimately.
There are more reasons to leave many religious institutions than there are to remain. Sadly
Westboro Baptist Church family member denounces parish, flees

On Thursday, Megan and Hope Phelps-Roper announced their exodus from the Westboro Baptist Church.
By Graham Slaughter, Toronto Star, February 7, 2013
It was a different kind of coming-out moment for two members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

In a blog post published Wednesday, Megan Phelps-Roper and her younger sister Grace announced their exodus from the Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas-based parish made infamous by its “God hates fags” campaign.
“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,” wrote Megan Phelps-Roper. “What we can do is try to find a better way to live from here on. That’s our focus.”
The Westboro Baptist Church was started in 1955 by Fred Phelps, Grace and Megan’s grandfather, exclusively for the Phelps family. The parish has been lambasted for protesting the funerals of American soliders, whom they claim died because of America’s acceptance of homosexuality.
The family gained notoriety after a 2007 BBC documentary by Louis Theroux, The Most Hated Family in America, was broadcast. Since then, they’ve gone on to protest at Michael Jackson’s funeral, gay pride parades and other churches. A White House online petition to have the church declared a hate group has garnered more than 330,000 signatures.
Megan Phelps-Roper, 27, was an active voice in the church; she spearheaded the church’s social media presence and was often the brain behind the controversial protests, including one in Newtown, Conn., after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
“She was the visible presence for the younger generation at that church, she was a leader,” said Nate Phelps, Megan’s uncle.
Nate Phelps, now lives in Calgary, where he works as a director of the Centre for Inquiry, a Canadian atheist group.

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