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Leaving Westboro Baptist: Damsel, Arise

westboro baptist church and me

Burstein! via Compfight

A reader pointed us to this fascinating article about the defection of Megan Phelps-Roper from the notorious Westboro Baptist Church (Thanks Rocky). She’s the granddaughter of the founder and preacher Fred Phelps. It’s an amazing story of how sometimes doubt can lead to grace and courage.

From the article:

In the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus resuscitates a girl who is believed to be dead, commanding her, according to the King James Version that is favored at Westboro, “Damsel, arise.” The verse has long been a favorite of Megan’s, and it has taken on new and special meaning since her departure from the church.

Now that she has arisen, what does Megan Phelps-Roper think God wants her to do? She smiles and puts her hands on her cheeks as I ask the question. She laughs, but it’s a weird laugh—hollow, a little nervous.

“I have no idea,” she says. “I mean, I have almost no idea. I know I want to do good for people. And I want to treat people well. And it’s nice that I can do that now in a way that they see as good too. How exactly do you accomplish that? I’m not sure.”

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