Be sure to read Adrian Chen's gripping profile of former Westboro Baptist Church twitterer Megan Phelps-Roper, who left the church after coming to realize the futility of its hate gospel.
Megan Phelps-Roper, picketing with Westboro when she was still an active member of the family hate cult.
On December 20, 2009, Phelps-Roper was in the basement of her house, for a church function, when she checked Twitter on her phone and saw that Brittany Murphy, the thirty-two-year-old actress, had died. When she read the tweet aloud, other church members reacted with glee, celebrating another righteous judgment from God… But Phelps-Roper had loved Murphy in “Clueless,” and she felt an unexpected pang—not quite sadness, but something close—over her death. As she continued scrolling through Twitter, she saw that it was full of people mourning Murphy. The contrast between the grief on Twitter and the buoyant mood in the basement unsettled her. She couldn’t bring herself to post a tweet thanking God for Murphy’s death.
If you're been wondering why Westboro's been kind of boring lately, it turns out that there was a coup of sorts within the church: day-to-day troll in chief Shirley Phelps-Roper (Megan's mother) was denounced, and a bunch of stodgy old men took over. Since then, women have been marginalized within the church and it has lost much of its media savvy.
Read Adrian's piece to the last sentence: there is an absolutely amazing ending to the life and mind of the church's founder, Fred Phelps.
[Image, top: Megan Phelps-Roper. Photoshopped from an image by KATY GRANNAN for NEW YORKER]
I’ve never been to Burning Man but this 700 Club report from 1996 really sells that year’s festival theme of “The Inferno!” From the blog of Oliver Bonin, director of the Burning Man documentary Dust & Illusions: In 1996 a group under the name “The Sentinel Group” goes to Burning Man, right during the year […]
Consider the place of knowledge and ideology in politics, how the open discussion of facts and ideas might throw light on complicated and difficult matters of policy and principle.
More than 200 Italian barbers and hair stylists visited the Vatican yesterday where they received a a solemn word of warning from Pope Francis: “Avoid falling into the temptation of gossip that is easily associated with your work,” he said, and do your job “with Christian style, treating clients with gentleness and courtesy, offering them […]
Need to upgrade your sound? Bluetooth technology has never been better, but that’s not the only reason to look into a new set of speakers or headphones. We found ten pieces of audio gear that are already on sale, and you can take an additional 15% off the final price for Memorial Day weekend by […]
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If you’re into tools or gadgets, Memorial Day weekend is your Christmas. Take an extra 15% off the final price of these DIY accessories – all of which are already on sale – by entering the promo code WEEKEND15. LUXJET Universal 24-in-1 Magnetic Screwdriver Set & Repair Kit This small but sturdy kit won the […]