Fred Phelps | Libby Phelps Alvarez | News | Shirley Phelps-Roper | Westboro Baptist Church

Westboro Baptist Church Defector on Why She Left and is Now Fighting for Gay Equality

The NY Post today published a lengthy profile on Libby Phelps Alvarez, who left the Westboro Baptist Church. The interview takes place at what Shirley Phelps-Roper calls the "sodomite rainbow house" which sits directly across the street from her old church.

PhelpsA few nuggets from the interview:

The whole family talks about homosexuality, every single day. And it’s always about how homosexuals are dooming the world. They talk about fornication and divorce, remarriage and adultery, but the main thing is the homosexual lifestyle. It wasn’t a personal hatred toward anybody. We were taught that we were doing a loving thing.

Either you are one or you’re enabling one, and so everybody — except the Westboro people — is going to hell.

Church was on Sundays, for an hour. All the women had to wear head-coverings, because women are seen as submissive.

Gramps would always do the sermon. He was so good at it, so intense. He would talk about topical things that were going on, and it would always come back to homosexuality, nearly every single time.

Family life at home:

When 9/11 happened, I heard it on the radio in the car. I was actually driving over to the church. It was jaw-dropping. I thought, “Oh my God. I can’t believe that happened.” And then I get to the house and everyone was celebrating, like, “This is awesome! God is punishing this nation!” So I had to change, and be like, “Oh, OK, that’s awesome.” So I did. That’s what I thought.

And her change in attitude:

I don’t really think my personality has changed much, but I think my ideas on life have changed. When I had first left, if I would see a homosexual couple, I would scrunch up my nose. Then it got to where I still thought it was wrong, but I wouldn’t say or do anything. And now it’s to the point where it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t really care if somebody is gay. I know that I want to be good to people. I still believe in God. I just think that he’s more forgiving.

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  1. Good for you, Libby. There's hope for many others if a member of the WBC can find compassion and have the courage to step away.

    Posted by: Greg | Apr 16, 2013 12:53:58 PM

  2. Whatever. As far as I'm concerned, God doesn't have anything to forgive me for. I'm a good person and do right by others.

    Posted by: J Y | Apr 16, 2013 12:56:32 PM

  3. it's a weird time when a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church is actually making a stronger stand for LGBT Equality, and a stronger stand against the anti-gay bigotry of their FAMILY, than a Gay Log Cabin Repulican Mormon son of a Senator.


    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 16, 2013 12:59:33 PM

  4. So there are members of that family who are capable of rational thought and human kindness. I was thinking that there must be severe chromosomal damage in their gene pool and there may still be, but it seems that at least some of them can rise above or overcome it.

    Posted by: StevyD | Apr 16, 2013 1:01:44 PM

  5. May I say without fear of contradiction that "Gramps" is a self-loathing closet case?

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 16, 2013 1:11:38 PM

  6. i've said it before, i'll say it again. these people who are fighting to stop gay rights are more concerned with gays than gays are themselves. i have no doubt that the children of cults like WBC have all been schooled in what butt sex is as well as all variety of fornication-despite the fact that their parents who taught them about these things are the most vocal about the myth of "homosexuality being taught in our schools!".

    Posted by: alguien | Apr 16, 2013 1:12:00 PM

  7. There is nothing to forgive. For God so loved the Gays that He wove homosexuality into the very fabric of nature - every living thing has homosexuality naturally encoded in its very life.
    God wrote nature, Man wrote the bible. Man is corruptible, God is infallible. Who do you believe? God's Nature, or Man's Lies?

    Posted by: Michael Heynz | Apr 16, 2013 1:18:27 PM

  8. and of COURSE gramps is homosexual. not gay, but homosexual.

    why else the focus on gay gay gayyyy everything?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 16, 2013 1:20:44 PM

  9. @little kiwi and @Jack M -- I had the exact same thoughts. Coming from a background where my Aunts (on my mother's side) were so strictly Baptist that they'd take my brother and sister and myself to their picturesque little white steeple church out in the middle of a cornfield in Michigan, sit us down on hard benches and have the snotty overweight, buzz-cut preacher do his sermon red-faced and scream at you. I had nightmares of a looming God bellowing at me for a long time--to me it was child abuse. I can understand what the process is for this girl, since I went through it as well. It's really Stockholm syndrome and all religions do it...ALL RELIGIONS. It's a reinforcement of a mind set. I suppose religion is good if you're not of a strong humanity and internal love...but I think most people can do with out it and it's shadow government policy.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Apr 16, 2013 1:25:29 PM

  10. Can you accept 2 + 2 = 5 ?
    Imagine you are taught 2 + 2 = 4 your whole life, and then the rest of the world tells you , “no, two plus two is 5“. Children are defend-less against what they are taught by adults. I never held a grudge against her. Good for her that she finally realized the reality world beyond her own family’s indoctrination.

    Posted by: Ant | Apr 16, 2013 1:26:28 PM

  11. This confirms what many of us have always believed; these religious psychos are obsessed by homosexuality and by our sexual's all an erotic fixation by repressed closet cases.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 16, 2013 1:47:13 PM

  12. I don't need forgiving by your God, you do.

    Posted by: Donald | Apr 16, 2013 2:06:03 PM

  13. Can you imagine Jesus saying he hates homosexuals? Neither can I.

    Posted by: trees | Apr 16, 2013 2:09:53 PM

  14. @ trees
    but i COULD imagine jesus saying he hates westboro baptist church.

    Posted by: alguien | Apr 16, 2013 2:15:57 PM

  15. I wish Libby Phelps Alvarez all the best. I can't imagine how horrendous it must be to try to live under a cult. I hope she flies free and far from those who would have her live a different life than she wants and needs. It's a great feeling when you finally get to be you.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Apr 16, 2013 2:23:18 PM

  16. "I still believe in God. I just think that he’s more forgiving."

    Of what, exactly? Is homosexuality still something you believe needs to be forgiven. Your journey's not over, I guess.

    Posted by: Keppler | Apr 16, 2013 2:30:34 PM

  17. the journey is not over, surely. but rather beautifully in progress, at least.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 16, 2013 2:38:59 PM

  18. There sure are a lot of "glass is half empty" comments on this thread. She is a young woman with a lot to learn. She's going to trip over her words. For god's sake, look who she grew up with. If you can't take this as a positive, it's because you enjoy your own misery.

    Posted by: Sam | Apr 16, 2013 2:39:48 PM

  19. Wild Child

    Posted by: Gast | Apr 16, 2013 2:59:13 PM

  20. I embrace you in my long, skinny gay arms, Libby Phelps Alvarez. By stepping from the clutches of a small, single-minded, unchristian tribe of hatemongers, you've joined a community of millions upon millions of (mostly) supportive and inclusive LGBT peeps and their straight allies. May your new freedom grant you wings to deliver compassion, love and light to all. Now, if we could just discuss your decision to engage the New York Post...

    Posted by: Shannon | Apr 16, 2013 3:00:41 PM

  21. This is so delicious. More and more of the Phelps clan are shaking off their brainwashing and leaving that cult of lunatics. At this rate, the only members of the church will be in Depends, trying to gum their food while watching Matlock reruns.

    Posted by: Firestorm | Apr 16, 2013 3:01:12 PM

  22. Glass half empty or not,she's still a religious nutcase. I don't need approval nor forgiveness from some fictitious/non-existent god. PERIOD!

    Posted by: Audi-owner | Apr 16, 2013 3:08:02 PM

  23. Good luck on your own journey Libby.

    Posted by: greenfuzz | Apr 16, 2013 3:34:26 PM

  24. I wonder if it's sorta easier, in a way, to leave a family so utterly crazy as the Westboros than it is to leave a family or church that has that sorta sweet nice friendly hate. I guess when you look at the gay people who still defend their antigay churches and stuff it seems like they've been tricked into thinking that the hate they were fed was less poisonous or something.

    Posted by: Tyler | Apr 16, 2013 3:40:24 PM

  25. You'll take the next step one day. The Christian god is the same as all the rest -- it doesn't exist either.

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 16, 2013 4:24:39 PM

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