The American Christian Taliban, No Different to Their Islamist Counterparts


Quotes from the The American Taliban

Ann Coulter

“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.”

“Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

“Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity, as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of ‘kill everyone who doesn’t smell bad and doesn’t answer to the name Mohammed'”

Bailey Smith

“With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”

Beverly LaHaye (Concerned Women for America)

“Yes, religion and politics do mix. America is a nation based on biblical principles. Christian values dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.”

Bob Dornan (Rep. R-CA)

“Don’t use the word ‘gay’ unless it’s an acronym for ‘Got Aids Yet'”

David Barton (Wallbuilders)

“There should be absolutely no ‘Separation of Church and State’ in America.”

David Trosch

“Sodomy is a graver sin than murder. – Unless there is life there can be no murder.”

Fob James (Governor of Alabama)

“Behind this judicial wall of separation there is a tyranny of lies that will fall… I say to you, my friends, let it fall!”

“A good butt-whipping and then a prayer is a wonderful remedy.”

Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church)

“If you got to castrate your miserable self with a piece of rusty barb wire, do it.”

“Hear the word of the LORD, America, fag-enablers are worse than the fags themselves, and will be punished in the everlasting lake of fire!”

“You telling these miserable, Hell-bound, bath house-wallowing, anal-copulating fags that God loves them!? You have bats in the belfry!”

“American Veterans are to blame for the fag takeover of this nation. They have the power in their political lobby to influence the zeitgeist, get the fags out of the military, and back in the closet where they belong!”

“Not only is homosexuality a sin, but anyone who supports fags is just as guilty as they are. You are both worthy of death.”

Gary Bauer (American Values)

“We are engaged in a social, political, and cultural war. There’s a lot of talk in America about pluralism. But the bottom line is somebody’s values will prevail. And the winner gets the right to teach our children what to believe.”

Gary North (Institute for Christian Economics)

“The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship.”

“This is God’s world, not Satan’s. Christians are the lawful heirs, not non-Christians.”

Gary Potter (Catholics for Christian Political Action)

“When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil.”

George Bush Sr. (President of the United States)

“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”

George W. Bush (President of the United States)

“I don’t think that witchcraft is a religion. I wish the military would rethink this decision.”*

“God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.”

“Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

“This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.”

*Comment about Wiccans in the military

Henry Morris (Founder, Institute for Creation Research, died 2006)

“When science and the Bible differ, science has obviously misinterpreted its data.”

J. B. Stoner (White Supremacist) (1924 – 2005)

“We had lost the fight for the preservation of the white race until God himself intervened in earthly affairs with AIDS to rescue and preserve the white race that he had created…. I praise God all the time for AIDS.”

“AIDS is a racial disease of Jews and Niggers, and fortunately it is wiping out the queers. I guess God hates queers for several reasons. There is one big reason to be against queers and that is because every time some white boy is seduced by a queer into becoming a queer, means his white bloodline has run out.”

James Dobson (Focus on the Family)

“Those who control the access to the minds of children will set the agenda for the future of the nation and the future of the western world.”

“State Universities are breeding grounds, quite literally, for sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV), homosexual behavior, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, alcoholism, and drug abuse.”

“Today’s children… They’re damned. They’re gone.”

James Kennedy (Center for Reclaiming America)

“The Christian community has a golden opportunity to train an army of dedicated teachers who can invade the public school classrooms and use them to influence the nation for Christ.”

James Watt (Secretary of the Interior)

“We don’t have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand.”*

*Secretary of the Interior in the Reagan Admin. Responsible for National Policy regarding the Environment

Jay Grimstead (Coalition on Revival)

“We are to make Bible-obeying disciples of anybody that gets in our way.”

Jerry Falwell (1933 – 2007)

“We’re fighting against humanism, we’re fighting against liberalism…we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today…our battle is with Satan himself.”

“AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah’s chariotters.”

“The Bible is the inerrant … word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.”

“AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”

“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”

Jesse Helms (Senator R-NC, 1973-2003)

“The New York Times and Washington Post are both infested with homosexuals themselves. Just about every person down there is a homosexual or lesbian.”

“All Latins are volatile people. Hence, I was not surprised at the volatile reaction.”

“Your tax dollars are being used to pay for grade-school classes that teach our children that cannibalism, wife-swapping and murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior.”

“Homosexuals are weak, morally sick wretches.”

Jimmy Swaggart (Jimmy Swaggart Ministries)

“The Media is ruled by Satan. But yet I wonder if many Christians fully understand that. Also, will they believe what the Media says, considering that its aim is to steal, kill, and destroy?”

“Sex education classes in our public schools are promoting incest.”

“Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it…Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory.”

John Ashcroft (Attorney General)

Civilized people – Muslims, Christians, and Jews – all understand that the source of freedom and human dignity is the Creator.”

John Whitehead (Rutherford Institute)

“The [Supreme] Court, by seeking to equate Christianity with other religions, merely assaults the one faith. The Court in essence is assailing the true God by democratizing the Christian religion.”

Joseph McCarthy (1908 – 1957)(Senator, R-WI, 1947-1957)

“Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between Communistic Atheism and Christianity.”

Joseph Morecraft (Chalcedon Presbyterian Church)

“Nobody has the right to worship on this planet any other God than Jehovah. And therefore the state does not have the responsibility to defend anybody’s pseudo-right to worship an idol.”

Joseph Scheidler (Pro-Life Action League)
 

 

“I would like to outlaw contraception…contraception is disgusting – people using each other for pleasure.”

Kay O’Connor (Kansas Senate Republican)

“I’m an old-fashioned woman. Men should take care of women, and if men were taking care of women today, we wouldn’t have to vote.”

Keith A. Fournier (Catholic Way)

“We need a legal strategy which protects the rights of those of us who hold Christian convictions which will afford us the opportunity to contend once again for the mind of this culture.”

Laura Schlessinger

“I want to coin a phrase here, and I don’t mind help. What would be the communication version of “ethnic cleansing?” Because that’s what in particular the homosexual activists try to do.”

Lester Roloff (1914 – 1982)(Texas Homes for Wayward Youth)
 

 

“Better a pink bottom than a black soul.”*

*Roloff opened a chain of homes for “wayward” youth in the state of Texas; he was later jailed in 1973 and again in 1975 for child abuse due to the punitive punishment techniques used in his homes. He was then specifically given permision to re-open his homes by Governor George W Bush.

Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin

“George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States, he was appointed by God.”

Pat Buchanan (Presidential Candidate)

“Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free.”

“There were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The “negroes” of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours.”

“Rail as they will about ‘discrimination,’ women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism.”

Pat Robertson (Christian Coalition)

“The Islamic people, the Arabs, were the ones who captured Africans, put them in slavery, and sent them to America as slaves. Why would the people in America want to embrace the religion of slavers?”

“Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It’s no different…More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history.”

“When lawlessness is abroad in the land, the same thing will happen here that happened in Nazi Germany. Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals – the two things seem to go together.”

“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”

“You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense, I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.”

“I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that’s the way it is, period.”

“[Homosexuals] want to come into churches and disrupt church services and throw blood all around and try to give people AIDS and spit in the face of ministers.”

“[Planned Parenthood] is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism – everything that the Bible condemns.”

Paul Cameron

“I think that actually AIDS is a guardian. That is I think it was sent, if you would, about forty years ago, to destroy Western civilization unless we change our sexual ways. So it’s really a Godsend.”

“Homosexuality is a crime against humanity.”

“Causes of homosexuality include: ‘sex with animals'”*

“Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.”

*Paul Cameron was discharged from the American Psychological Association, the Nebraska Psychological Association, and the American Sociological Association due to his unethical practices and biased research regarding Homosexuals; however his work is still referenced by many fundamentalist organizations as credible.

Randall Terry (Operation Rescue)

“I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good…Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.”

“Our goal must be simple. We must have a Christian nation built on God’s law, on the ten Commandments. No apologies.”

“I don’t think Christians should use birth control. You consummate your marriage as often as you like – and if you have babies, you have babies.”

“When I, or people like me, are running the country, you’d better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we’ll execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed.”

“There is going to be war, [and Christians may be called to] take up the sword to overthrow the tyrannical regime that oppresses them.”

Jerry Vines (Southern Baptist Convention)

“They would have us believe that Islam is just as good as Christianity. Christianity was founded by the virgin-born son of God, Jesus Christ. Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives, the last one of which was a nine-year-old girl.”

Rick Santorum (Senator R-PA, 1995-2006)
 

 

“If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [Gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything!”

Robert Simonds (Citizens for Excellence in Education)

“As the church watches from the sidelines, the ungodly elect atheists and homosexuals to school boards and legislatures to enact policies and laws that destroy our Christian children and discriminate against Christian families.”

“Atheistic secular humanists should be removed from office and Christians should be elected…Government and true Christianity are inseparable.”

“We’ll take away their power and their money. Money comes from students. We’ll break their backs by taking 24 million kids out of the public schools.”

“Raising your children under Americanism or any other principles other than true Christianity is child abuse.”

“You do not have the right to be wrong, regardless of what any man-made or demonic charter says.”

“Democracy originated in the mind of a rational being who has the deepest hatred for God.”

“Do you realize that the only thing that gives democracy existence is sin? The absence of democracy is perfect obedience to god.”

“The best way to insure the earth is never over populated is for sensible and righteous governments to clear all forms of atheism and heresy.”

Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)(President of the United States)

“For the first time ever, everything is in place for the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ.”

Roy Moore (Former Alabama Judge)
 

 

“If they want to get the Commandments, they’re going to have to get me first.”*

“Worship With Your Vote”

Rush Limbaugh

“Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”

“If you commit a crime, you’re guilty.”

“There is only one way to get rid of nuclear weapons… use them”

Star Parker (Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education)

“Anybody that believes in separation of church and state needs to leave right now.”

Tony Evans (Promise Keepers)

“The demise of our community and culture is the fault of sissified men who have been overly influenced by women.”

William Rehnquist (1924 – 2005)(Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court)

“The ‘wall of separation between church and state’ is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.”

Michael Savage (Savage Nation)
 

“Oh, you’re one of the sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How’s that? Why don’t you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it.”*

*Statement made on live national television

Granddaughter Of God Hates Fags Founder Defects From Hate-Cult


Granddaughter Of Westboro Baptist Church Founder Defects From Hate-Cult To Speak Out (VIDEO)
Posted by Lorraine Devon Wilke

Libby Phelps Alvarez, before and after; photo courtesy of Capital Bay

Libby Phelps Alvarez, before and after; photos courtesy of Capital Bay

A cult has a way of ensnaring its members with promises of spiritual freedom, the seductions of power and charisma, and in some cases, just the sheer influence gained by tapping into the fears, biases and bigotry of potential recruits. Scientology has used those many tools in attracting followers, as has every cult from Jim Jones with his People’s Temple mass suicide tragedy in Jonestown, Guyana; David Koresh and the Branch Davidians of Waco notoriety, Warren Jeffs of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints and its polygamous sexual abuses; right up to the Westboro Baptist Church and their pervasive and media-savvy mission statement of hate and bigotry.

While it’s one thing for adults to be ensnared, willingly or otherwise, it’s another for the children of cult members to be held captive simply for being unfortunate enough to be raised by a cult member. Such was the case with Libby Phelps Alvarez, the granddaughter of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps, whose particularly toxic view of gays and Jews–and anyone who supports either–is well-known and much vilified (you have to see Brit comedian, Russell Brand, take on a few of his henchmen!).

Libby had no choice but to tag along with her family of religious zealots when their “life’s work” demanded that they express hate in the “name of God” by protesting funerals and screaming vile insults at grieving families. Now, after having ultimately escaped the clutches of her nefarious family, she is publicly speaking out about their malignant world view and its impact on her while growing up.

In an interview with Andrea Canning from the Today Show:

She said she first began to question church activities after a friend’s husband died while serving in the military. Her family picketed the funeral. She stayed behind.

“There was a point when we started praying for people to die,” she said. “I didn’t actually do that, but I was around when they did it.”

In addition to disrupting military funerals, Westboro church members also are known for extreme anti-gay and anti-Semitic rhetoric, targeting both groups in their protests. But they shocked the nation when they announced plans to protest the funerals of the children killed in the Newtown, Conn., mass shooting.

“Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment,” the church announced in a tweet.

“They think that they are the only ones who are going to heaven and if you don’t go to that church you’re going to hell,” Alvarez said.

Religious narcissism is not new and certainly not specific to this controversial branch of the “Christian” faith. Most of the more fundamentalist religions believe their way is the only way to get to Heaven, making that promise–and threat–a significant part of their pitch. It’s the depths to which the Westboro group takes this philosophy that separates them from the more benign interpreters of that zeal, however. There is a sociopathic thread that weaves through their hate-based doctrine that goes far beyond the standard “we’re the only way you can get to Heaven” message, as demonstrated by their “God hates fags” signs and comments, and their suggestion that everyone should “sing praise” in response to the Sandy Hook massacre.

Given the sheer saturation and public demonstration of that level of hate, it’s not hard to extrapolate that some of those raised in the church–ones who may have had the good fortune of holding on to their individual thought processes and seeing the malevolence being sold–would find themselves repulsed by the group’s principles. Alvarez was one of the lucky ones in that regard.

She decided to leave the church four years ago, slipping away while her parents attended a protest.

“I was terrified I was never going to see my family again,” she said, still tearful at the memory.

Alvarez still aches to see her parents, but “my aunt emailed me and said that nobody wants to talk to me anymore.” [Source]

wed_phelps_alvarez_t640

Still, the pain of leaving her family, who, despite the toxicity of their faith, remain her family, was sharp. She remains close by: only 30 miles from the church. While she has sorrow for any hurt she may have caused them on a personal level, she’s firm in her own decision to leave, and even hopeful that her courageous move will encourage and inspire others to do the same.

“I would tell them I love them and that people aren’t evil like we were taught,” she said. “And even though I am crying right now, life isn’t full of sadness and sorrow and disease and heartache like they told us. You can lead a happy and good life.” [Source]

Like many “apostates” who managed to find their way out of other cults to reach back to help others do the same, here’s hoping Libby is successful in her goal. Thinning the ranks of the Westboro Baptist Church can only be a good thing for everyone.

See video of Today Show interview:

 

God Hates Fags | Westboro Heretic Leaves Her Church


dana halferty
dana halferty
Jeff ChuinReporter’s Notebook
Damsel, Arise: A Westboro Scion Leaves Her Church

Just after 11 last Sunday morning at Old First Reformed Church in Brooklyn, the Rev. Dr. Daniel Meeter is starting the Sunday service as he always does. He runs through the opening salutation and the collect for the day, and then he welcomes everyone to church as he always does, introducing Old First “as a community of Jesus in Park Slope where we welcome people of every race, ethnicity and orientation to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.”

The congregation—some eighty strong on this sunny but cold February morning—is the usual mix of Park Slope churchgoing types: a smattering of journalists, a few artists, a handful of old ladies, some rambunctious children. But in the back row of the tin-ceilinged, wood-floored hall, there’s a visitor. It is Megan Phelps-Roper’s first time not only at Old First but also at any church not called Westboro Baptist. Yes, that Westboro Baptist, the Topeka, Kansas, congregation that has become famous (or infamous, depending on your viewpoint) for its strident views on sin (and the abundance of it in modern America), salvation (and the prospective lack of it), and sexuality (we’re bad, in far more colorful terms).

For nearly all of her twenty-seven years, Megan believed it: believed what her grandfather Fred Phelps preached from the pulpit; believed what her dad Brent and her mom Shirley taught during the family’s daily Bible studies; believed (mostly) what it said on those signs that have made Westboro disproportionately influential in American life—“God hates fags”; “God hates your idols”; “God hates America.”

Megan was the one who pioneered the use of social media at Westboro, becoming the first in her family to go on Twitter. Effervescent and effusive, she gave hundreds of interviews, charming journalists from all over the world. Organized and proactive, she, for a time, even had responsibility for keeping track of the congregation’s protest schedule. She was such a Westboro fixture that the Kansas City Star touted her—improbably, as it turns out, because a woman could never have such a role at the church—as a future leader of the congregation.

Then, in November, she left.

___

I first met Megan in the summer of 2011, when I went to Topeka to spend a few days with the Westboro folks for my book project. During that visit, we talked about faith, we talked about church, we talked about marriage (and Megan’s feeling that, given the prospects, it would require no small amount of divine intervention in her case), and we talked about Harry Potter (for the record, she’s a fan). She seemed so sure in her beliefs, that I could not have imagined that some fifteen months later, we’d be having a conversation in which she tearfully told me that she was no longer with her family or with the church.

Mostly, the tears have subsided—“in public, anyway,” she says one afternoon, as we sit in a Tribeca café. “I still cry a lot.” Forget what you know of the church. Just imagine what it is like to walk away from everything you have ever known. Consider how traumatic it would be to know that your family is never supposed to speak to you again. Think of how hard it would be to have a fortress of faith built around you, and to have to dismantle it yourself, brick by brick, examining each one and deciding whether there’s something worth keeping or whether it’s not as solid as you thought it was.

As we talk, Megan repeatedly emphasizes how much she loves those she has left behind. “I don’t want to hurt them,” she says. “I don’t want to hurt them.”

Her departure has hurt them already—she knew it would—yet there was no way she could stay. “My doubts started with a conversation I had with David Abitbol,” she says. Megan met David, an Israeli web developer who’s part of the team behind the blog Jewlicious, on Twitter. “I would ask him questions about Judaism, and he would ask me questions about church doctrine. One day, he asked a specific question about one of our signs—‘Death Penalty for Fags’—and I was arguing for the church’s position, that it was a Levitical punishment and as completely appropriate now as it was then. He said, ‘But Jesus said’—and I thought it was funny he was quoting Jesus—‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ And then he connected it to another member of the church who had done something that, according to the Old Testament, was also punishable by death. I realized that if the death penalty was instituted for any sin, you completely cut off the opportunity to repent. And that’s what Jesus was talking about.”

To some, this story might seem simple—even overly so. But we all have moments of epiphany, when things that are plate-glass clear to others but opaque to us suddenly become apparent. This was, for Megan, one of those moments, and this window led to another and another and another. Over the subsequent weeks and months, “I tried to put it aside. I decided I wasn’t going to hold that sign, ‘Death Penalty for Fags.’” (She had, for the most part, preferred the gentler, much less offensive “Mourn for Your Sins” or “God Hates Your Idols” anyway.)

What “seemed like a small thing at the time,” she says, snowballed. She started to question another Westboro sign, “Fags can’t repent.” “It seemed misleading and dishonest. Anybody can repent if God gives them repentance, according to the church. But this one thing—it gives the impression that homosexuality is an unforgivable sin,” she says. “It didn’t make sense. It seemed a wrong message for us to be sending. It’s like saying, ‘You’re doomed! Bye!’ and gives no hope for salvation.”

She kept trying to conquer the doubts. Westboro teaches that one cannot trust his or her feelings. They’re unreliable. Human nature “is inherently sinful and inherently completely sinful,” Megan explains. “All that’s trustworthy is the Bible. And if you have a feeling or a thought that’s against the church’s interpretations of the Bible, then it’s a feeling or a thought against God himself.”

This, of course, assumes that the church’s teachings and God’s feelings are one and the same. And this, of course, assumes that the church’s interpretation of the Bible is infallible, that this much-debated document handed down over the centuries has, in 2013, been processed and understood correctly only by a small band of believers in Topeka. “Now?” Megan says. “That sounds crazy to me.”

In December, she went to a public library in Lawrence, Kansas. She was looking through books on philosophy and religion, and it struck her that people had devoted their entire lives to studying these questions of how to live and what is right and wrong. “The idea that only WBC had the right answer seemed crazy,” she says. “It just seemed impossible.”

___

The act of leaving Westboro is as weird as the church itself. Sometimes it’s described as a shunning process, but that’s not entirely apt. It is, in the eyes of the remaining members, a sort of death, but it’s a gentle one, because the carcass isn’t just dumped or ignored. One church member, who has lost two of his kids to the outside world, told me that he still loved them and that he set them up as best they could with what they’d need to start their new lives—some money, some household goods, even a car.

Megan didn’t leave alone; her sister Grace decided to go with her. They stayed just one night in Topeka. Then, after returning to their family home to retrieve some things they’d not packed the night before—“it was so weird and horrible to ring the doorbell,” Megan says—they left town.

They decided to disappear for a while, and found rooms in a house in a tiny Midwestern town. They needed space—to think, to read, to imagine what had previously been unimaginable. Their lives had largely been scripted, and “now that we’re writing our own script, everything seems a lot more tenuous,” Megan says. “We needed to think about what we believe. We need to figure out what we want to do next. I never imagined leaving, ever, so I never thought about doing anything different. I have no idea what kind of work I want to do, or where to live. How do people decide these things?”

Once a constant Tweeter, she hasn’t posted anything online since October. “I don’t know what I believe, so I don’t know what to say,” she explains. “I haven’t been ready to talk about any of this.” She’s only doing so now, and briefly, because, she says, “I was so proactive before and vocal about the church. My name means something now to others that it doesn’t mean to me. I want people to know that it’s not now how it was.”

But how is it going to be? She’s still not sure. They’ve been trying new things; one of their housemates made sushi one night, the first time Megan tasted raw fish (“yum!”). They read a lot—“I liked ‘The Sun Also Rises.’ There was a quote that was perfect for where we were: ‘Wonderful how one loses track of the days up here in the mountains.’ And you know what else I loved about it? I could be completely mistaken about what the book means, but where the book began and where it ended was the same. It makes your problems seem like small things. It gives you perspective—well, it gave me perspective, that my problems in the grand scheme of things are not as horrible or monstrous as they seem.” They talk to each other for hours each day, about religion, about God, about the Bible, about the future, about how to treat people, about “what’s right and what’s wrong—capital R and capital W.”

That raises the question of regrets and amends, for things they’ve said and signs they’ve held and judgments they’ve passed. “I definitely regret hurting people,” she says. “That was never our intention. We thought we were doing good. We thought it was the only way to do good. And that’s what I’ve always wanted.”

That’s not how the message was received. “I think I’ve known that for a long time, and I would talk to people about how I knew the message was hurtful,” Megan says. “But I believed it couldn’t matter what people felt. It mattered that this was what God wanted.”

___

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.”

Over lunch, we had talked about so many big questions: Predestination. Hell. The Bible. Sin. Big things and small about how “church” is done at Old First versus what she grew up with at Westboro. The Bible verses were the same—there were readings on Sunday from Jeremiah, from I Corinthians (on love), and from the Gospel of Luke. She knew one of the hymns, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and during the singing, “that was when I felt most at home.” But she was struck that the congregation had a role beyond singing hymns, and noted that she’d never before been in a church where women’s heads were not covered. “It just felt really different. I didn’t think it was bad,” she says with a shrug. “It’s literally so very different that it is hard to compare them.”

At times, there’s something about the way she unpacks these observations and answers my questions that makes her seem much younger than her twenty-seven years. There’s an innocence, almost a naivete. But how else would it be? How else could it be, given the boundaries that have always marked the hours of her life?

Now that those boundaries are gone, “I’m trying to figure out which ones were good and smart, and which ones shouldn’t be there anymore,” she says. “I don’t feel confident at all in my beliefs about God. That’s definitely scary. But I don’t believe anymore that God hates almost all of mankind. I don’t think that, if you do everything else in your life right and you happen to be gay, you’re automatically going to hell. I don’t believe anymore that WBC has a monopoly on truth.”

She hopes to emerge from this season “with a better understanding of the world and how I fit into it,” she says, “and how I can be an influence for good.” This all sounds lovely and rainbows and unicorns, but really? You may believe it or you may not, but Megan won’t budge on this—and a trace of the characteristic Westboro stubbornness that I experienced in Topeka resurfaces. She is emphatic: “It’s true! I wanted to do good! I thought I was. And that wish hasn’t changed.”

When I push her to articulate what she wants for herself, she reminisces about an interview, in her Westboro days, in which a journalist asked her what she wanted her legacy to be. “I had only a few seconds to think while my mom answered the same question,” Megan says. “And then I said: ‘That I treated people right.’ That’s still true.”

Thank God for second chances.

—-

Read a statement from Megan and Grace here.

God Psychotics: “God Sent The Shooter”


According to the Ultra-conservative, Right Wing Christians from the Westboro Church Group, god ordered the slaughter of innocent children in Connecticut!

A disturbingly poisonous example of how religion destroys the human intellect and natural human sense of empathy.

As we reported recently, the superstitious belief in a god that is easily offended and the slaughter of little children is a frequent theme in the bible.

From the Westboro site:-

“God sent the shooter to Newtown, CT. “Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” Amos 3:6. He is punishing you for your sins against Him (e.g., fag marriage).”

 

Westboro

Quotes from the The American Taliban


Quotes from the The American Taliban

“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.”

“Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

“Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity, as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of ‘kill everyone who doesn’t smell bad and doesn’t answer to the name Mohammed'”

Bailey Smith

“With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”

“Yes, religion and politics do mix. America is a nation based on biblical principles. Christian values dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.”

Bob Dornan (Rep. R-CA)

“Don’t use the word ‘gay’ unless it’s an acronym for ‘Got Aids Yet'”

David Barton (Wallbuilders)

“There should be absolutely no ‘Separation of Church and State‘ in America.”

“Sodomy is a graver sin than murder. – Unless there is life there can be no murder.”

Fob James (Governor of Alabama)

“Behind this judicial wall of separation there is a tyranny of lies that will fall… I say to you, my friends, let it fall!”

“A good butt-whipping and then a prayer is a wonderful remedy.”

“If you got to castrate your miserable self with a piece of rusty barb wire, do it.”

“Hear the word of the LORD, America, fag-enablers are worse than the fags themselves, and will be punished in the everlasting lake of fire!”

“You telling these miserable, Hell-bound, bath house-wallowing, anal-copulating fags that God loves them!? You have bats in the belfry!”

“American Veterans are to blame for the fag takeover of this nation. They have the power in their political lobby to influence the zeitgeist, get the fags out of the military, and back in the closet where they belong!”

“Not only is homosexuality a sin, but anyone who supports fags is just as guilty as they are. You are both worthy of death.”

Gary Bauer (American Values)

“We are engaged in a social, political, and cultural war. There’s a lot of talk in America about pluralism. But the bottom line is somebody’s values will prevail. And the winner gets the right to teach our children what to believe.”

Gary North (Institute for Christian Economics)

“The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship.”

“This is God’s world, not Satan’s. Christians are the lawful heirs, not non-Christians.”

Gary Potter (Catholics for Christian Political Action)

“When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil.”

George Bush Sr. (President of the United States)

“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”

George W. Bush (President of the United States)

“I don’t think that witchcraft is a religion. I wish the military would rethink this decision.”*

“God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.”

“Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

“This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.”

*Comment about Wiccans in the military

Henry Morris (Founder, Institute for Creation Research, died 2006)

“When science and the Bible differ, science has obviously misinterpreted its data.”

J. B. Stoner (White Supremacist) (1924 – 2005)

“We had lost the fight for the preservation of the white race until God himself intervened in earthly affairs with AIDS to rescue and preserve the white race that he had created…. I praise God all the time for AIDS.”

“AIDS is a racial disease of Jews and Niggers, and fortunately it is wiping out the queers. I guess God hates queers for several reasons. There is one big reason to be against queers and that is because every time some white boy is seduced by a queer into becoming a queer, means his white bloodline has run out.”

James Dobson (Focus on the Family)

“Those who control the access to the minds of children will set the agenda for the future of the nation and the future of the western world.”

“State Universities are breeding grounds, quite literally, for sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV), homosexual behavior, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, alcoholism, and drug abuse.”

“Today’s children… They’re damned. They’re gone.”

James Kennedy (Center for Reclaiming America)

“The Christian community has a golden opportunity to train an army of dedicated teachers who can invade the public school classrooms and use them to influence the nation for Christ.”

James Watt (Secretary of the Interior)

“We don’t have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand.”*

*Secretary of the Interior in the Reagan Admin. Responsible for National Policy regarding the Environment

Jay Grimstead (Coalition on Revival)

“We are to make Bible-obeying disciples of anybody that gets in our way.”

Jerry Falwell (1933 – 2007)

“We’re fighting against humanism, we’re fighting against liberalism…we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today…our battle is with Satan himself.”

“AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah’s chariotters.”

“The Bible is the inerrant … word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.”

“AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”

“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”

Jesse Helms (Senator R-NC, 1973-2003)

“The New York Times and Washington Post are both infested with homosexuals themselves. Just about every person down there is a homosexual or lesbian.”

“All Latins are volatile people. Hence, I was not surprised at the volatile reaction.”

“Your tax dollars are being used to pay for grade-school classes that teach our children that cannibalism, wife-swapping and murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior.”

“Homosexuals are weak, morally sick wretches.”

Jimmy Swaggart (Jimmy Swaggart Ministries)

“The Media is ruled by Satan. But yet I wonder if many Christians fully understand that. Also, will they believe what the Media says, considering that its aim is to steal, kill, and destroy?”

“Sex education classes in our public schools are promoting incest.”

“Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it…Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory.”

John Ashcroft (Attorney General)

Civilized people – Muslims, Christians, and Jews – all understand that the source of freedom and human dignity is the Creator.”

John Whitehead (Rutherford Institute)

“The [Supreme] Court, by seeking to equate Christianity with other religions, merely assaults the one faith. The Court in essence is assailing the true God by democratizing the Christian religion.”

Joseph McCarthy (1908 – 1957)(Senator, R-WI, 1947-1957)

“Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between Communistic Atheism and Christianity.”

Joseph Morecraft (Chalcedon Presbyterian Church)

“Nobody has the right to worship on this planet any other God than Jehovah. And therefore the state does not have the responsibility to defend anybody’s pseudo-right to worship an idol.”

Joseph Scheidler (Pro-Life Action League)

“I would like to outlaw contraception…contraception is disgusting – people using each other for pleasure.”

Kay O’Connor (Kansas Senate Republican)

“I’m an old-fashioned woman. Men should take care of women, and if men were taking care of women today, we wouldn’t have to vote.”

Keith A. Fournier (Catholic Way)

“We need a legal strategy which protects the rights of those of us who hold Christian convictions which will afford us the opportunity to contend once again for the mind of this culture.”

Laura Schlessinger

“I want to coin a phrase here, and I don’t mind help. What would be the communication version of “ethnic cleansing?” Because that’s what in particular the homosexual activists try to do.”

Lester Roloff (1914 – 1982)(Texas Homes for Wayward Youth)

“Better a pink bottom than a black soul.”*

*Roloff opened a chain of homes for “wayward” youth in the state of Texas; he was later jailed in 1973 and again in 1975 for child abuse due to the punitive punishment techniques used in his homes. He was then specifically given permision to re-open his homes by Governor George W Bush.

Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin

“George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States, he was appointed by God.”

Pat Buchanan (Presidential Candidate)

“Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free.”

“There were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The “negroes” of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours.”

“Rail as they will about ‘discrimination,’ women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism.”

Pat Robertson (Christian Coalition)

“The Islamic people, the Arabs, were the ones who captured Africans, put them in slavery, and sent them to America as slaves. Why would the people in America want to embrace the religion of slavers?”

“Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It’s no different…More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history.”

“When lawlessness is abroad in the land, the same thing will happen here that happened in Nazi Germany. Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals – the two things seem to go together.”

“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”

“You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense, I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.”

“I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that’s the way it is, period.”

“[Homosexuals] want to come into churches and disrupt church services and throw blood all around and try to give people AIDS and spit in the face of ministers.”

“[Planned Parenthood] is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism –everything that the Bible condemns.”

Paul Cameron

“I think that actually AIDS is a guardian. That is I think it was sent, if you would, about forty years ago, to destroy Western civilization unless we change our sexual ways. So it’s really a Godsend.”

“Homosexuality is a crime against humanity.”

“Causes of homosexuality include: ‘sex with animals'”*

“Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.”

*Paul Cameron was discharged from the American Psychological Association, the Nebraska Psychological Association, and the American Sociological Association due to his unethical practices and biased research regarding Homosexuals; however his work is still referenced by many fundamentalist organizations as credible.

Randall Terry (Operation Rescue)

“I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good…Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.”

“Our goal must be simple. We must have a Christian nation built on God’s law, on the ten Commandments. No apologies.”

“I don’t think Christians should use birth control. You consummate your marriage as often as you like – and if you have babies, you have babies.”

“When I, or people like me, are running the country, you’d better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we’ll execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed.”

“There is going to be war, [and Christians may be called to] take up the sword to overthrow the tyrannical regime that oppresses them.”

Jerry Vines (Southern Baptist Convention)

“They would have us believe that Islam is just as good as Christianity. Christianity was founded by the virgin-born son of God, Jesus Christ. Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives, the last one of which was a nine-year-old girl.”

Rick Santorum (Senator R-PA, 1995-2006)

“If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [Gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything!”

Robert Simonds (Citizens for Excellence in Education)

“As the church watches from the sidelines, the ungodly elect atheists and homosexuals to school boards and legislatures to enact policies and laws that destroy our Christian children and discriminate against Christian families.”

“Atheistic secular humanists should be removed from office and Christians should be elected…Government and true Christianity are inseparable.”

“We’ll take away their power and their money. Money comes from students. We’ll break their backs by taking 24 million kids out of the public schools.”

“Raising your children under Americanism or any other principles other than true Christianity is child abuse.”

“You do not have the right to be wrong, regardless of what any man-made or demonic charter says.”

“Democracy originated in the mind of a rational being who has the deepest hatred for God.”

“Do you realize that the only thing that gives democracy existence is sin? The absence of democracy is perfect obedience to god.”

“The best way to insure the earth is never over populated is for sensible and righteous governments to clear all forms of atheism and heresy.”

Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)(President of the United States)

“For the first time ever, everything is in place for the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ.”

Roy Moore (Former Alabama Judge)

“If they want to get the Commandments, they’re going to have to get me first.”*

“Worship With Your Vote”

Rush Limbaugh

“Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”

“If you commit a crime, you’re guilty.”

“There is only one way to get rid of nuclear weapons… use them”

Star Parker (Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education)

“Anybody that believes in separation of church and state needs to leave right now.”

Tony Evans (Promise Keepers)

“The demise of our community and culture is the fault of sissified men who have been overly influenced by women.”

William Rehnquist (1924 – 2005)(Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court)

“The ‘wall of separation between church and state’ is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.”

Michael Savage (Savage Nation)

“Oh, you’re one of the sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How’s that? Why don’t you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it.”*

*Statement made on live national television