Another member of the Westboro Baptist church, the son of Shirley Phelps-Roper, has left that vile cult and disavowed their hatred and bigotry in no uncertain terms. He is the fourth of Shirley’s children, out of the ten she has had, to leave the family. And he’s apparently getting a lot of support from other family members who have left:
After 20 years of hate-filled preaching and picketing, 23-year-old Zach Phelps-Roper moved out of the WBC compound on Feb. 20. In the past nearly three months, he has developed a whole new message.
Empathy and unconditional love, he said, are the keys to solving the world’s problems — a lesson he has learned contrasting his time inside the WBC compound and the past nearly 11 weeks outside it.
“I feel like I have unconditional love for every person around the world,” Phelps-Roper said Friday. “The Westboro Baptist Church sees things differently than I do now.”
The church he grew up in was too busy pointing out problems to look for solutions, he said. He has been able to spend the past two months investigating the second part of that equation.
His conclusion: “Most problems come from a lack of understanding of how we affect other people and things around us. I feel like I have found the holy grail, the overarching solution to solving all of our society’s problems, and I want to learn more. I want to do more.”…
At least 20 family members he was banned from speaking with for half a decade — including two sisters and a brother — have surrounded him with warmth and support….
Everyone, he said, has met him with an open mind, valued his feelings and exposed him to many different perspectives that has turned his belief system on its head. All things, he realized, were missing from his home at the WBC compound.
“I’m telling everybody I feel happier today than I did the day before, because I’m so happy to be alive,” Phelps-Roper said. “I see the world from so many different perspectives now.”
That makes me smile. Good for you, Zach.