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Megan Phelps-Roper: The Former Westboro Baptist Church Member Turned Author and Podcaster

Megan Phelps-Roper: The Former Westboro Baptist Church Member Turned Author and Podcaster – Megan Phelps-Roper, formerly of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, has spent the past decade since leaving the group as a critic of its extremist views. She has now emerged as the host of a new podcast series that features her interview with Harry Potter author JK Rowling about her views on gender and the controversy surrounding them. This article explores Phelps-Roper’s background and her journey from being a member of the Westboro Baptist Church to becoming an author and public speaker.

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Early Life and Involvement with Westboro Baptist Church:

Megan Phelps-Roper was born on January 31, 1986, in Topeka, Kansas, to a family heavily involved in the Westboro Baptist Church. Her grandfather, Fred Phelps, founded the church in 1955. Phelps-Roper’s childhood was spent on the church’s compound, where she was indoctrinated with the church’s extremist ideology. She participated in her first Westboro Baptist Church demonstration at the age of five and regularly attended picketing lines, including those related to the homophobic killing of college student Matthew Shepard and the 9/11 attacks.

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Involvement with Westboro Baptist Church as an Adult:

As an adult, Phelps-Roper continued to espouse the church’s hateful teachings on social media, particularly on Twitter, where she attacked LGBTQ+ and Jewish individuals. In 2011, she and other family members appeared on Louis Theroux’s documentary, America’s Most Hated Family in Crisis, which highlighted the group’s extremist views.

Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church:

Phelps-Roper left the Westboro Baptist Church in 2012 with her younger sister Grace. She publicly announced her exit from the group in 2013 after learning that the church planned to protest the funerals of victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. Her interactions with non-members on Twitter, including a Jewish user who pointed out inconsistencies in the church’s beliefs, had led her to question the church’s teachings. Phelps-Roper also became disillusioned with the church’s internal workings after it introduced a council of all-male elders to make decisions for the group.

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Life After Leaving the Church:

Since leaving the Westboro Baptist Church, Phelps-Roper has publicly apologized for her past actions and no longer considers herself religious. She has attempted to challenge the views of remaining church members on social media and in private letters. Phelps-Roper has also pursued a career as an author and public speaker. Her memoir, Unfollow, which details her upbringing and decision to leave the church, was published in 2019. She has also appeared in several documentaries, including another Louis Theroux production, Surviving America’s Most Hated Family.

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Phelps-Roper’s Personal Life:

Phelps-Roper currently lives in South Dakota with her husband, Chad Fjelland, and their two children. The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Sølvi Lynne, in 2018 and their second child, Tor Bjørn, in October 2022.

The Witch Trials of JK Rowling:

Phelps-Roper has recently emerged as the host of a new podcast series, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling. In this series, she interviews JK Rowling about her views on gender and the controversy surrounding them. Phelps-Roper wrote to Rowling in 2022 inviting her to participate in a conversation seeking to understand her perspective and those who disagree with her. The podcast series explores the complex and polarizing issue of gender and seeks to bring a greater understanding of the various viewpoints involved.

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Conclusion:

Megan Phelps-Roper has come a long way since her childhood in the Westboro Baptist Church. Her journey from being a member of an extremist group to becoming a public

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