Two granddaughters of the founder of the adamantly homophobic Westboro Baptist Church, also know as the ‘God Hates Fags’ church, appear to have quit the organisation, and expressed regret at “inflicting pain on others” whilst still members.
Megan Phelps-Roper wrote a blog post on Wednesday which quoted character Selena Kyle (Catwoman) in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, to say: “There’s no fresh start in today’s world. Any twelve-year-old with a cell phone could find out what you did. Everything we do is collated and quantified. Everything sticks.”
She also said in an interview that she no longer believed that gay people “automatically go to hell”, and that she and her sister wanted to find “a better way to live”.
Writing on behalf of herself and her sister Grace, she said: “We know that we’ve done and said things that hurt people. Inflicting pain on others wasn’t the goal, but it was one of the outcomes. We wish it weren’t so, and regret that hurt.”
Ms Phelps-Roper also wrote that she regretted that their family had cut her and her sister off because of the decision to leave the church.
“We know that we dearly love our family. They now consider us betrayers, and we are cut off from their lives, but we know they are well-intentioned. We will never not love them,” she wrote.
“We know that we can’t undo our whole lives. We can’t even say we’d want to if we could; we are who we are because of all the experiences that brought us to this point. What we can do is try to find a better way to live from here on. That’s our focus.
“Up until now, our names have been synonymous with ‘God Hates Fags.’ Any twelve-year-old with a cell phone could find out what we did. We hope Ms. Kyle was right about the other part, too, though – that everything sticks – and that the changes we make in our lives will speak for themselves.”
Also speaking in a recent interview with Fast Company, Ms Phelps said: “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.”
The church infamously attempts to picket the funerals of those deemed “fag-enablers”, including military funerals for US service members.
The church had also announced that it intended to picket the funerals of the children killed at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut to worldwide outrage.
Also in December, the hackers collective, Anonymous, continued its battle with the church, and claimed to have changed the desktop background on its spokeswoman’s computer to gay porn, and filed a death certificate on her behalf, stopping her from using her social security number.