Megan Phelps-Roper (born January 31, 1986) is a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). She left the church with her sister Grace in November 2012. Her mother is Shirley Phelps-Roper, whose father was the church's founder Fred Phelps. Following her exit from the Westboro Baptist Church, she now lobbies to overcome divisions and hatred between religious and political divides.
Megan Phelps-Roper giving a TED Talk in January 2017 in New York City.
|Alma mater||Washburn University|
|Known for||Leaving and publicly criticizing the Westboro Baptist Church|
Phelps-Roper was born in Topeka, Kansas, and raised in the Westboro Baptist Church with her mother, Shirley Phelps-Roper and siblings. She graduated from Washburn University, and worked for her family's law firm after graduating. During her time still with the church she would often make appearances on the Howard Stern show with her family. In November 2012, she made a public departure from the church with her sister, publishing an open letter explaining their reasons for leaving.
Phelps-Roper has stated that all of her family members still in the church have cut ties with her. She has ascribed her disenchantment with the church's doctrines to interaction with other people on Twitter. Phelps-Roper married Chad Fjelland on August 15, 2016. In January 2017 she presented a TED talk discussing her experiences being brought up within the WBC and her journey towards the decision to leave. In June 2017, she appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
Phelps-Roper is no longer a practicing Christian, remarking on Twitter, "Jesus had some lovely ideas—but also others that aren’t so helpful. I don’t reject the good because of the bad, or accept the bad because of the good." She said she lost her faith: "Ultimately, it was looking at the texts themselves. I just don’t believe they’re divine."
In October 2019, Phelps-Roper released a book detailing her upbringing in the Westboro Baptist Church and her decision to leave her community and family behind, called Unfollow: A Journey from Hatred to Hope, leaving the Westboro Baptist Church.
- Arnett, Dugan (November 19, 2011). "Megan Phelps-Roper of Westboro Baptist Church: An heir to hate". kansascity. The Kansas City Star. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
- Batty, David (February 7, 2013). "Westboro Baptist church key member Megan Phelps-Roper leaves". The Guardian. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
- "'We Hurt A Lot Of People,' Westboro Pastor's Granddaughter Says : The Two-Way : NPR". December 20, 2017. Archived from the original on December 20, 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- Burns, Sarah (March 30, 2015). "Why Fred Phelps' granddaughter left Westboro Baptist Church". LasVegasSun.com. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
- Chen, Adrian (November 23, 2015). "Conversion via Twitter". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- Phelps-Roper, Megan (February 6, 2013). "Head Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- Chen, Adrian. "Conversion via Twitter". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
- Megan Phelps-Roper (August 15, 2016). "Megan Phelps-Roper on Twitter: "Blooming up from the ground 3 rounds & a sound Like whispering "You know me. You know me."". Twitter.com. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- Megan Phelps-Roper. "Megan Phelps-Roper on Twitter: "Halsnøy Island. August 15, 2016. Day 1 of forever."". Twitter.com. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Megan Phelps-Roper: I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here's why I left | TED Talk". TED.com. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "The Joe Rogan Experience #974 - Megan Phelps-Roper".
- Phelps-Roper, Megan. "Jesus had some lovely ideas—but also others that aren't so helpful. I don't reject the good bc of the bad, or accept the bad bc of the good".
- Phelps-Roper, Megan. "Ultimately, it was looking at the texts themselves. I just don't believe they're divine".
- Megan Phelps on Twitter
- Publisher's webpage for Unfollow: A Journey from Hatred to Hope, leaving the Westboro Baptist Church