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Fourth Member Leaves Westboro Baptist Church, Touts Newfound 'Unconditional Love'

Zachphelps-roperThe fourth Phelps-Roper sibling has left the compound and gained an entirely new perspective on life. 23-year-old Zach Phelps-Roper (right) abandoned his sign-wielding, hate-mongering post with the Westboro Baptist Church on February 20, 2014, and while he says it has been difficult in many ways, it seems that the separation has also been a breath of fresh air.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports:

“I feel like I have unconditional love for every person around the world,” Phelps-Roper said Friday. “The Westboro Baptist Church sees things differently than I do now.”

He expressed a desire to extend that love and aid the community around him, as others have aided him over the past months.

Doctors have treated the back pain his parents wrote off as an attempt for attention.

Homosexuals have offered to buy him meals, drinks and shown him empathy and love.

At least 20 family members he was banned from speaking with for half a decade — including two sisters and a brother — have surrounded him with warmth and support.

The process was not altogether simple or easy, though. Phelps-Roper reportedly had a difficult time moving anything out of the house because of feelings of guilt and sadness around his decision to leave. However, his new perspective on God--as a benevolent rather than sadistic force--was enough to encourage the move.

Of course his level of contact with the family inside the compound has shifted.

If he wants to get in touch with someone inside, he said, he has been directed to contact another member of the family, though he wouldn’t disclose who.

Phelps-Roper said he harbors no ill will toward his family, understanding they are acting out of the same unshakeable beliefs in the Bible to which he once subscribed.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, mother to Zach and nine siblings, claims that her son's soul hangs in the balance with his decision to leave. A soul which, he claims, has never been stronger.

In his time outside the compound, he has grown to learn and appreciate different perspectives. He has identified his own “mind traps” — assumptions, beliefs, comparisons, desires, expectations and ideals that “keep you from being empathetic” — and debunked each one of them.

“I see so many problems, from economical to emotional,” he said. “Now that my mind is free from these mind traps, I can see clearly what needs to be done. I believe that empathy and unconditional love are what is absolutely necessary for us to free ourselves and each other from mind traps and from the many problems that are plaguing our society.”


Westboro Baptist Church (Literally) Run Out of Moore, OK After Crowds Threaten Violence: VIDEO

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The Westboro Baptist Church  came to Moore, Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon to picket in front of Plaza Towers Elementary School, saying that God sent a deadly tornado last year in retribution for America's tolerance of gay people. The 2013 tornado killed 24 people.

Hundreds of people came to counterprotest the church, and, as you can see from the video, things almost turned violent as several residents tried to cross the street and were challenged by police officers before the WBC church members turned tail and ran.

WBC had a permit for a 30 minute picket, but it lasted 8, according to local media.

After Westboro fled, a woman leading the counterprotest reprimanded several members of the crowd for threatening to take matters into their own hands, asserting that the purpose of the counterprotest was to raise money for the school so that the kids could buy computers.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Westboro Counter-Protesters Hold Sign Saying 'Sorry For Your Loss' At Lorde Concert: VIDEO

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A day after Fred Phelps the founder of the "God Hates Fags" Westboro Baptist Church died, the church decided to protest a Lorde concert in Kansas City for "serving herself and teaching other young people how to be indolent rebels." They also made an awesomely tone-deaf cover of Lorde's "Royals", but we digress.

SorryLorde tweeted to her fans that she wanted a counter-protest in response, but she later deleted that tweet. Nevertheless, local counter-protesters showed up to the venue holding signs reading "Sorry for your loss" and "Live your life and be awesome." 

As one protester told the KSHB news station, "I think if people are forced to have stare at [the WBC's hateful signs], they should have the option to have something good to look at." Protester Megan Coleman also said, "We realized that it wasn't so much about antagonizing them (the WBC), but sending out the counter message that we are here for people who need that message and need that positivity."

Sadly, one of the Westboro members feigned ignorance as to what the counter-protest signs were even in reference to.

See a video of the counter-protest AFTER THE JUMP...

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Estranged Son Of Westboro Baptist Church Pastor Fred Phelps Speaks Out About His Father’s Death

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Nate Phelps, the estranged son of Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps, has issued a statement on the death of his father, saying “I will mourn his passing, not for the man he was, but for the man he could have been.”

Continued Phelps:

Nate phelpsEven more, I mourn the ongoing injustices against the LGBT community, the unfortunate target of his 23 year campaign of hate. His life impacted many outside the walls of the WBC compound, uniting us across all spectrums of orientation and belief as we realized our strength lies in our commonalities, and not our differences. How many times have communities risen up together in a united wall against the harassment of my family? Differences have been set aside for that cause, tremendous and loving joint efforts mobilized within hours…and because of that, I ask this of everyone – let his death mean something. Let every mention of his name and of his church be a constant reminder of the tremendous good we are all capable of doing in our communities.

The lessons of my father were not unique to him, nor will this be the last we hear of his words, which are echoed from pulpits as close as other churches in Topeka, Kansas, where WBC headquarters remain, and as far away as Uganda. Let’s end the support of hateful and divisive teachings describing the LGBT community as “less than,” “sinful,” or “abnormal.”  Embrace the LGBT community as our equals, our true brothers and sisters, by promoting equal rights for everyone, without exception. My father was a man of action, and I implore us all to embrace that small portion of his faulty legacy by doing the same.”


Rachel Maddow on How Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church Boosted Gay Rights: VIDEO

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Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church's plan to demonize gay people backfired over the years, helping the cause of equality by inspiring people to manifest their support for gay rights in reaction to the church's hate.

In a 'non-obituary' for Phelps, who died this week, Rachel Maddow looks at how it all went down.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Westboro Baptist Church Responds to the Death of Fred Phelps

The Westboro Baptist Church has responded to the death of Pastor Fred Phelps, writing, in part:

Fred_phelpsThe world-wide media has been has been in a frenzy during the last few days, gleefully anticipating the death of Fred Waldron Phelps Sr.  It has been an unprecedented, hypocritical, vitriolic explosion of words...

...So – the death of Fred Phelps’ body, a man who preached a plain faithful doctrine to an ever darkening world, is nothing but a vain, empty, hypocritical hope for you.

It’s like every journalist in the world simultaneously set aside what little journalistic integrity they have, so that they could wait breathlessly for a rumor to publish:  in-fighting, succession plans, and power struggles, oh my!  How shameful!  You’re like a bunch of little girls on the playground waiting for some gossip!

Listen carefully; there are no power struggles in the Westboro Baptist Church, and there is no human intercessor – we serve no man, and no hierarchy, only the Lord Jesus Christ.  No red shoes, no goofy hat, and no white smoke for us; thank you very much.

No board, no separate decision making body, just humble servants of God – qualified according to the scriptures, and chosen by the church – privileged to feed the sheep for a time...

...God forbid, if every little soul at the Westboro Baptist Church were to die at this instant, or to turn from serving the true and living God, it would not change one thing about the judgments of God that await this deeply corrupted nation and world.  That is the pinnacle of your hopes, and by far the most vain.  Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, or the power of God.

Phelps, the leader of the "God Hates Fags" church, died late Wednesday night at the age of 84.

Phelps had been reported "on the edge of death" by his estranged son Nate earlier this week. Reports subsequently emerged that  the "God Hates Fags" pastor had been excommunicated after an internal power struggle at Westboro in which a board of elders - Steve Drain, Timothy Phelps, Jonathan Phelps, Samuel Phelps-Roper, Charles Hockenbarger and Fred Phelps Jr - also took down Shirley Phelps Roper from a position of authority.


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