Birthday: January 31, 1986
Age: 34 Years, 34 Year Old Females
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Born Country: United States
Born in: Topeka, Kansas, United States
Famous as: Critic
Height: 1.78 m
Spouse/Ex-: Chad Fjelland
father: Brent D. Roper
mother: Shirley Phelps-Roper
siblings: Gabriel Phelps-Roper, Grace Phelps-Roper, Isaiah Phelps-Roper, Jonah Phelps-Roper, Joshua Phelps-Roper, Luke Phelps-Roper, Noah Phelps-Roper, Rebekah Phelps-Roper, Samuel Phelps-Roper, Zach Phelps-Roper
U.S. State: Kansas
City: Topeka, Kansas
education: Washburn University
Megan Phelps-Roper is an American writer and activist who is a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, an extremist congregation that is particularly homophobic and anti-Semitic. She was previously the spokesperson of the church, which was founded by her grandfather and infamous religious zealot, Fred Phelps, in 1955. She participated in pickets opposing the LGBT community, Jews, the military, among others. However, her communications with people on Twitter, such as David Abitbol, founder of the blog 'Jewlicious', Chad Fjelland, who later became her husband, and film-maker and actor Kevin Smith, convinced her to leave the church in 2012. Since then, she has presented a TED talk in 2017, appeared on several television and radio shows, and has published her memoir, 'Unfollow: A Journey from Hatred to Hope, leaving the Westboro Baptist Church', in October 2019. She is not a practicing Christian anymore.
Rise to Stardom
Megan Phelps-Roper, who had been interacting with visitors on the chat-room of their website, www.godhatesfags.com, since childhood, discovered Twitter in 2008, but was unimpressed. She volunteered to tweet on behalf of the church after people started to reach them via the platform in 2009. She first gained recognition after comedian Michael Ian Black saw her tweet "Thank God for AIDS!" on World AIDS Day and tweeted to his million-plus followers, "Let her feel your love". Despite being mocked initially, she kept gaining followers and considered the conversations on the platform better than one-sided interviews. Her friendly demeanor surprised her 'opponents', leading to heated, but civil discussions, which gradually left dents on her belief-system. However, she became widely known after she left Westboro in November 2012 and became a spokesperson for those whom she once disdained.
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From Hatred to Hope
In 1991, five-year-old Megan Phelps-Roper raised signs like 'God Hates Fags', which she could not yet read, after family members began organizing pickets against gays. She was trained to hate almost every other group, including the LGBT community, Jews, Muslims, the military, the American government because they institutionalized 'sin', and even the average Christians, because they believed in a 'perverted' version of the Bible that portrayed a loving God. She was ecstatic after learning about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and joined her family protesting at funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2005. However, by 2009, conversations with her Twitter 'friends' had already made her question the double standards at Westboro.
David Abitbol, whom she met in person in February 2010 while protesting at a Jewish festival he had organized, asked her how people would repent if they are dead as the Westboros wished. He also helped her realize something that she already knew: most of the Westboro members were not without sins, and thus were not qualified to judge others. Another of her Twitter 'friends', known as C.G., had pointed out to her how cruel the Westboros must be to show up at funerals to berate and mock the bereaved. He made her see that instead of just good and evil, there were also decent people who were not religious. She was unable to rejoice at the death of thirty-two-year-old actress Brittany Murphy, whom she admired, in late 2009, or seeing pictures of malnourished children following famine in Somalia. She further witnessed the bigotry of the Westboros when they made her publish fake photographs of the group haranguing mourners at the funeral of Whitney Houston in February 2012.
Finally, she became resolute to leave the church after an all-male group of elders, led by her older brother Sam and an unrelated member named Steve Drain, began to seize power within the church, marginalizing the women, especially trashing her mother. Interestingly, when she left her family for good and walked out with her younger sister Grace, they were invited by Abitbol to speak at the next Jewlicious festival. As they spoke of their harrowing experience, the sisters were treated kindly by the community, which dramatically changed their worldviews.
Family & Personal Life
Megan Phelps-Roper was born on January 31, 1986, in Topeka, Kansas, United States, to Shirley Phelps-Roper and Brent D. Roper. Her mother is the fifth of thirteen children of Fred Phelps. Her father joined the church as a teenager. She has ten siblings, including one step-sibling named Sam from her mother's affair before marriage. Despite growing up under authoritative guardianship, she and her siblings were allowed to mix with other children. She attended a Topeka public school and Washburn University, a secular public college in Topeka.
She cut ties with one of her Twitter friends, C.G., after developing feelings for him, fearing backlash from her orthodox family. Six months after leaving the church, she went on a date with C.G., a.k.a. Chad Fjelland, in Omaha. They soon began living together and are now married. They have a daughter named Sølvi.