Westboro Baptist Daughters Leave Hate-Mongering Church, Apologize for Harm

Grace and Megan Phelps-Roper
Grace (left) and Megan Phelps-Roper, former Westboro Baptist Church members, picket the 2010 Academy Awards (Flickr: k763)

The hate-mongering cult congregation Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) has lost two of its members.

Granddaughters of founder Fred Phelps—Megan Phelps-Roper, 27, and her 19-year-old sister, Grace—explained their decision in a joint statementreleased on Wednesday.

“We know that we’ve done and said things that hurt people,” Megan Phelps-Roper wrote. “Inflicting pain on others wasn’t the goal, but it was one of the outcomes. We wish it weren’t so, and regret that hurt.”

Megan Phelps-Roper was one of the most prominent members of the Topeka, Kan.-based group, and was responsible for the majority of its social media relations. She was frequently seen yelling anti-gay or anti-Jewish slogans at funerals of servicemen. Since the infamous WBC’s first protest in 1991, she has carried a “God Hates Fags” placard to 44 states and around 240 U.S. cities.

“We know that we can’t undo our whole lives,” she added. “We can’t even say we’d want to if we could; we are who we are because of all the experiences that brought us to this point. What we can do is try to find a better way to live from here on. That’s our focus.”

The sisters are among the 11 children of Brent and Shirley Phelps-Roper, who is Fred Phelps’ daughter. She is considered one of WBC’s most outspoken members.

“We know that we dearly love our family,” the sisters continued. “They now consider us betrayers, and we are cut off from their lives, but we know they are well-intentioned. We will never not love them.”

Shirley Phelps-Roper responded to her daughters the day after the news of their departure went public, saying, “The New Testament is full of people that start right, but then fall away.” Her statement is full of references to the Bible.

Since Megan and Grace’s departure in November, church members have publicly condemned them.

“We can’t control whether or not somebody decides, when they grow up, that they don’t want to be here,” church spokesman Steve Drain told The Kansas City Star. “Those two girls were kind of straddling the idea that they wanted to be of the world but that they would also miss their family, the only thing they ever knew. If they continue with the position that they have, those two girls, yeah, they’re going to hell.”

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