(Image found here.)
I read an article in The New Yorker this morning entitled “Unfollow.” It is about Megan Phelps-Roper’s journey from Westboro Baptist to freedom. I’ve heard a bit about it before. I’ve found it interesting because, though the hate I was raised with was not quite as open and vocal outside the home, it has a lot of similarities. Our journey to leave that hate is also similar in that it happened mostly secretly.
I recall feeling the need to study the Bible but there was no Bible study at our church so I secretly began participating in an online Bible study. No one in the study was a part of our church, nor was anyone in the study under the authority of our church. And it was led by women. We studied Acts and, as I had suspected, I found myself lacking.
The same questions I had asked as a child when comparing my parents hatred and cruelty with what I read in the Bible, I now had to ask about my church and myself. How did our actions line up with what Scripture said? Like Westboro and my parents, my church liked to bash anyone who didn’t believe the same as they. We had right theology, therefore, we were right.
While Phelps-Roper has left Christianity altogether, and some might lament that, I can definitely understand. I don’t fault her at all. If she can be a kinder person even without faith, she has made a change for the better.
Linking up with Five Minute Friday.