17 Burst results for "Meghan Phelps"

"meghan phelps" Discussed on Relevant Podcast

Relevant Podcast

03:34 min | 4 months ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on Relevant Podcast

"In a little bit. She can't quite listen to be okay. Adventures by the way speaking of westboro baptist. Meghan phelps roper. Who who is a part of the you know the westboro colts who defected years ago. She was recently a guest. There's a really great pocket a slight change of plans with this neuro psychologists and it talks about you know. The change has experienced her life. It's really interesting. Not just from the the psychology aspect of the of the conversation. Interesting but we had a when she talks about. What was the impetus for her. Change leaving that colt was people you know. Basically showing a degree of graciousness and kindness with her even when she was only returning with hate and sort of n even when you know people when they were respond to or it was both in. Good faith. And good natured. That's what led to her change. You know not fighting. Hate with hate but you know taking this really kind of kind and thoughtful while still standing firm in your belief approach. That's what led her to change. Have you have you interviewed megan. Before no we've we've discussed it a few times and and she's always very responsive or back when she first defected and then wrote a book about it. I reach out a few times. She was very pleasant. Talk to but stolz felt like at that time. She did not wanna go public with her story. That's what it was. It was for the magazine and and what it came down to. I remember there was no images she she didn't want to so we had nothing to show in. The magazine also had some worries about being. She doesn't want to be known understandably as the colt garage was a very dr life and associated with. Yeah yeah but but if you do wanna hear her for. I mean this this is years. I mean that conversation with her probably a decade ago. Almost but if if you want to hear a recent one you know where she is kind of opening up about it just because they're you know kind of conversation right now and you know honestly going back to our discussion earlier about just the state of discourse about what kind of what kind of conversations and what tone actually can affect change in people. It's not hostility or kind of one upsmanship a lot of times. It just thoughtfulness in kindness and giving people a little event and you know that's what led to some change in all right well for relevant news. Draw the latest follow us. Every day were posted an all day long. It makes dot com Facebook and twitter gets all the content every once in a while. We post on instagram. Follow us okay. Stay tuned up next. Emily joins us for our new gain. Dumb luck mortar to and Bed every star. Show your power downtown city you will you listen to learn de the song is trimble the live version all right. Well it's friday the thirteenth today. So it's time for the debut of dumb luck from little monster. Mash live.

westboro baptist Meghan phelps roper westboro colts stolz megan The magazine Emily joins instagram Facebook twitter trimble
"meghan phelps" Discussed on The Viall Files

The Viall Files

07:45 min | 4 months ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on The Viall Files

"But i think that's important for all of us to keep in mind because I will share this neck so there is research showing that like the smartest people can actually be the most prone to bias. And that's because yeah solid on your instagram. Yea with adam grant continue very interesting. And it's very humbling for people out there who consider themselves very smart And that's because smart people are happened to be very good at identifying patterns in the world. And when you can quickly identify patterns in the world it can actually make you more prone to stereotypes because you effortlessly bucket things into existing categories. And so they found that when these highly skilled mathematicians were coding data about a topic. They didn't care about like skin rashes. didn't matter. They were very objective. But the minute involved. A emotionally charged or politically charged topic that they gave. It should've out gun control reform or the environment or immigration. You would see them be more biased in their mathematical analysis of the data set. And so. I think you know if these mathematicians are falling prey in some way as doing statistics in analyzing data and you find that they are more prone to that. Then there's something for everyone to learn from from that anecdote. Oh so well how. What are some of the solutions to deal with this one question. We get often on this show or on when people reach out is especially when it comes to Different belief systems and relationships political ideologies Family dynamics religion. How can people do that. Successfully or is at one of those things where depending on how aligned they are to their group of will determine their success and if let's say they everything about this person i love them. They're great staff gooden's long as we don't talk about this but obviously that's not sustainable and like a marriage are using children and things like that. Where you're you're gonna be forced to like Face some of these differences and ideologies. How would a couple or a friend group successfully Approach these topics without like agreeing to disagree. Yeah look i love that question because in many ways it was the inspiration for my new podcast. Slight change of plans. Which is we have entered this mode. Where we're in avoidance mode with the people who we just can't do it seems like we just can't communicate with them anymore like these topics are full of like electrical charge. And i'm just going to stay away from that we're going to focus on the cranberry sauce. Or whatever at the meal right and part of my inspiration in this podcast and in either capturing people's stories or talking to people like adam grant Is to help unpack the science of how we can in fact engaged productively with people. So let me give you an example of a conversation. I had with incredible gas. And then i'll tell you how. The science corroborates his experience. So the first episode of my podcast involves a guy. Named darrell davis. He's a black jazz musician. He's going about his life playing boogie. Woogie and rock and roll and having the time of his life. And why one night. He's at a bar playing a gig and he's approached by member of the ku klux klan. Who is enamored. And daryl davis is a black jazz musician and this ku klux klan man is enamored by daryl's music playing so initially they strike up a conversation and darryl suddenly realizes. Oh my god. This guy is from the clan and long story short. it's a fascinating tale of how he gets involved In this kind of work. But he ends up inspiring hundreds of people to leave white supremacy groups and be friends people in the clan and convinces them to give up their robes and shutdown chapters and like end this vitriol. And hate and it's such a powerful story to me because if you can take someone who has the most reprehensible views about the world right and you can get them to change their minds. It isn't empowering message about what's possible so let me tell you the kinds of strategies that darryl used and this is again corroborated by the science. It taps into a field called motivational interviewing which talks about very effective strategies for facilitating productive discourse. So one is you wanna show genuine curiosity for why it is. That person has come to the beliefs. They have up until this point so rather than talking at them. You're talking with them. About what their journey was like. And then a nice follow question to understanding and unpacking how it is they arrived at their beliefs is to then say and what kind of evidence would you need to try to that that would effectively convince you otherwise right like in. What way would you be willing to change your mind. What would you. What would i need to provide you. And that question is really important. Because it presupposes that they ought to be willing to change their mind in the face of new information and evidence which is something that we don't we can always take for granted another strategy that's very effective is to increase your question to statement ratio so again that feeds into the curiosity One thing that i loved about Daryl's approach is that he says he doesn't like taking credit for having changed their minds he inspired them to change their minds and that also speaks to a cognitive science principle around the importance of recruiting people's agency. You want people to feel like it was them who came to a difference Way of thinking right. it was kinda plan a c. Plant a seed exactly and then if you give them a new perspective new way of thinking about the world. Let it marinate right like you. Don't you don't force it down their throats in fact you can actually say back to them. What you've heard them say in your own words to reaffirm that you are actively listening and darryl using these much more compassionate non aggressive tactics can be infuriating for many of us to imagine having that kind of discipline conversation with a member of the clan rights. Just like oh my god. It's so easy to just get so enraged by their ideology but he the approaches that he uses are very effective. And we see that that they're out in the science really. I mean i'm just trying to think. I can imagine daryl this conversation with the kkk member and this kkk member. As saying you know insane things and things in darryl's like interesting tell me more to kind of lead them down a path and they can feel comfortable. Takes an incredible amount of obviously disciplined. And i'm thinking about like obviously the world we live in today and people trigger warning right we get very triggered by so many things i mean fact we all end we all do. And sometimes it's the small things in your. I'm so worked up right now and you're just like over. What like how. Why why are we so prone to being triggered by. I guess anything is because it's affecting our individual identity or our group identity or a combination of both. Yeah a great question. It is because we attach our belief systems to our identity and so when we hear someone that challenges those set of beliefs. It's a threat to ourselves. It's a threat to what we believe in how we live in this world investment in absolutely and i'll give you another anecdote so On the same topic of changing minds. I interviewed a woman. Meghan phelps roper She grew up in the westboro. Baptist territory familiar with westboro. No okay ma'am i..

adam grant darryl ku darrell davis daryl davis gooden daryl Daryl Meghan phelps roper westboro
"meghan phelps" Discussed on The Ziglar Show

The Ziglar Show

04:22 min | 4 months ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on The Ziglar Show

"And it almost makes me think that instead of trying to have our confidence match or competence perfectly. We are better off slightly underestimating ourselves. There's attention that can emerge here right. Because i'm thinking about for example communities of color who fall prey to stereotype threat in the fact that boosting confidence in those cases is really productive because in many ways they're starting off in an unreasonable position relative to their actual abilities and so We'll want. I'm just wondering in those studies that were done. What the demographics of the group. In to in terms of prescriptions. Where is that appropriate line between humility and confidence especially because some of these psychological effects can disproportionately hit different communities. I think that's a really important question. And i think bassima had good data on gender lesson race but when she looked at gender differences the the odds were greater that women were sort of discouraged debilitated by very frequent imposter thoughts and man were much more likely to be motivated by them. And i think that tracks with everything we know about About basically the the world. I live in as a white man. Which is people take for granted that i'm competent Whereas if you grow up as a woman and i think this is obviously the case for people of color as well It's you know you have to prove your competence every and those doubts because other people are doubting you are more likely to get internalized overtime. And i think you're spot on that. We need to work harder to build confidence. Among people who are not white men designs that track with your experience. Yeah i think it's it is i would frame. It is just really complex. i mean. Obviously there's no one-size-fits-all approach here. But i do think that there are profound public policy implications right because we're going on the road with the message of imposter syndromes good. We might find that that has a disproportionately negative effect on some sets. Subsets of the population. Right women people of color at cetera. And so we just have to be careful about the messaging. I almost want the messaging to be imposter syndrome as good comma white men. I think a disclaimer is critical. Here i i would just. I would rewrite that message completely. You you don't have to take imposter syndrome as a curse you can recognize that. It's a double edged sword and you can try to get some of those benefits of doubt to say okay. You know what the fact that. I am questioning myself means. I'm not gonna get complacent. And i think that's that's the message to get across. Yeah that makes sense. One of my favorite parts of the book was the fact that a smarter a person is the faster they recognize patterns and so the more likely they are to notice and reinforce stereotypes So you also mentioned that the smarter you are the more likely you are to struggle with updating your beliefs right to be willing to rethink so what is the mechanism at play in that latter. Finding that would make that so well. People generally assume that they're less biased than others right. This is my favorite bias. I'm not biased. It's right everybody else's vice. I am objective. I see things with perfect neutrality. And i think that the higher intelligence the more likely you are to fall victim to that bias in the data and i think there's probably the jury is still out on on what the the different mechanisms might be. But i think i think one of them. Is that the smarter. You are the more feedback you've gotten throughout your life that you're right and that gives you an illusion of objectivity What what what. You're consistent right answers or a. pluses or genius level. Like you are. The smartest person i've ever met feedback is really signaling. Is that you're good at thinking and learning not your objective in the way that you process information and i think people miss that distinction. Yeah it's it's a reflection back to you So the the current mechanisms that i use to analyze information. The world are paying off. Because i keep getting plus so clearly. Something's going well here exactly. Yeah you're getting positive feedback interesting. Yeah it reminds me. I interviewed meghan phelps roper. Who was part of the westboro baptist church which is a religious cults and she eventually ended up leaving in her mid twenties..

bassima meghan phelps roper westboro baptist church
"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

05:28 min | 1 year ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"N Y C. I'm Alison Stewart. We're continuing our conversations about family today. Ahead of Thanksgiving. Coming up. Meghan Phelps Roper grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church founded by her grandfather. She spent her early years protesting anything that church deemed sinful became the church's Twitter spokesperson. Meghan joins us to discuss her memoir on Follow, which chronicles her time as a member of that church and her decision to leave and leave her family. And later Thanksgiving will look very different this year. For many of us. We want to know what you're doing to stay connected to family and friends. How are you being creative? Or you could just send a shout out to a loved one who can't be with you this year? W. N. Y c planning editor Kate Hinds joins us As we take your calls, We will get to all of it. I'm Alison Stewart and I will meet you on the other side of the news. Live from NPR NEWS. I'm nor RAHM. President elect Joe Biden is reiterating his message of unity ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, NPR's Windsor Johnston reports. Biden is urging the country to come together and not lose faith as the Corona virus continues to grip the nation. In his speech, President elect Biden urged Americans to redouble their efforts and re commit themselves to the fight against the Corona virus is divided US. Anger this Set us against one No, the country's gone weary of the fight. We need to remember. We're war with the virus. Not with one another, not with each other. As part of his efforts to combat the coronavirus. Biden is expected to name his pick for health and human services secretary in the coming weeks. His transition team was granted access to public health officials on Monday and plans to meet with members of the White House coronavirus Task Force. Windsor Johnston. NPR news President Trump Pardon former national security adviser Michael Flynn Wednesday. Flynn had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during its investigation into Russian interference. In the 2016 presidential election. The Trump Administration is giving a viral video sharing APP Tic tac more time until next month to sell its U. S operation to an American buyer. MPR's Bobby Allen reports, Lawyers for TIC Tac are furiously trying to come up with a deal to save the APP that will satisfy regulators in both Washington and Beijing. President Trump has ordered that TIC tac fully divest from its corporate owner. Chinese Tech giant Bite dance Now that deadline has been extended for the second time behind the scenes by dance is reluctant to let its first big hit outside of China be acquired by American investors. Trump officials cite national security concerns like fears of TIC tac being used as a spy tool. In justifying its pressure on TIC tac data, privacy experts say, while TIC Tac's China connection is concerning the APP does not collect any more data than other leading social media APS, Bobby Allen, NPR NEWS SAN Francisco School district's and Oklahoma will now have the option to quarantine students exposed to covert 19 in school. ST. Impact. Oklahoma's Robbie Core three ports CDC guidelines suggest quarantining for 14 days after being exposed to someone with the coronavirus. Oklahoma students who have been exposed to covet 19 will now be able to quarantine together in so called quarantine pods at school. Those students must wear masks and be socially distanced. Any who test positive will be removed from the pot. The move is endorsed by Oklahoma's Department of Health. More than 90% of the state's school districts are in session with in person learning for NPR news. I'm Robbie course in Oklahoma City. You're listening to NPR news. The Supreme Court has temporarily stopped New York from enforcing some restrictions on houses of worship imposed to stem the coronavirus attendants had been limited in neighborhoods where covert 19 infections and spite The Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues had sued based on their right to freedom of religion. The Supreme Court agreed by a 5 to 4 vote. The newest justice Amy Cockney, Barrett, was in the majority. A new poll shows 79% of the French public approves of President Emmanuel Macron's plans to gradually loosen confinement measures. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports. A huge majority of the French approve of the plan that macro announced on television Tuesday evening stores and houses of worship will be allowed to reopen this weekend. The next stage would be December 15th, with movie theaters able to reopen and people allowed to travel freely throughout the country. But Macron said that will only be possible if infections have dropped to 5000 day. McCall said France had avoided worse by locking down during the month of November and that the second wave appears to have passed, he said. It takes at least 15 days to measure the effects of a lot down or curfew. Bars, restaurants and gems will not be able to reopen until at least mid January. Eleanor Beardsley NPR NEWS PARIS Ah bus and a truck collided in southeastern Brazil Wednesday. Officials say at least 40 people died and the death toll is expected to rise. The Sao Paulo governor says it's not clear what caused the collision. I'm.

NPR TIC Tac NPR NEWS President Joe Biden Oklahoma Alison Stewart Meghan Phelps Roper Windsor Johnston President Emmanuel Macron Bobby Allen China White House coronavirus Task F Eleanor Beardsley Twitter Trump Administration Michael Flynn Westboro Baptist Church Supreme Court
"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

06:32 min | 1 year ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"98 for tonight, mostly clear with a low of around 80 This's WNYC FM HD and AM New York. Coming up after the news. It's hard talk with me, sure, like it's the most obnoxious and a rabid hate group in America, According Tto one assessment, it tells the families of the military dead that it's God's punishment for the United States tolerating homosexuals. Meghan Phelps Roper, who grew up in West Bro Baptist Church, founded by her grandfather has had enough She's telling her story of life on the inside. And how social media so often seen is encouraging. Extremism helped her to question her own. Twitter became an alternative for a source of community for me. You know, Westbrook had been my only You know, these They were the only people that I trusted that I felt close to it anyway. And so the fact that there were among You know this delusion, hostility, The fact that there were also these very kind people asking questions and trying to it. I was seeing them parts of their humanity in a way that I never had before. That's Megan's helps Roper on hard talk after the news. Hello. This is Danielle Gaurav. Yet Scott with the BBC News, a doctor who diagnosed early Corona virus cases in China has told the BBC he believes local officials covered up the scale of the initial outbreak, Professor quote Kyung Yuen said, when investigators went to the market where it's thought the pandemic began. The local authorities had already disinfected the area, wiping out vital evidence. He's been speaking to the BBC's Carrie Gracie professor Coke in Yuen talked about officials in Wuhan and how they answer questions. They were very slow to admit rising patient numbers that were very slow to admit infections among medical staff. He's suspected to cover up the law ofthe issues who are supposed to immediate related information, has not allowed this to be done a CZ reputation as shoot. Three weeks from the end of December, China played down the risks of the virus. But on January 20th it cited the evidence to acknowledge what many had warned from the start that there was definitely human to human transmission of the virus. China says it's acted with openness, transparency and responsibility. The United States says it's disappointed by the forced closure of his consulate in the Chinese city of Chung do as part of a growing diplomatic row. It was shot in retaliation for the Trump administration's order to close China's mission in Houston of accusations of spying. The authorities in Vietnam say they're evacuating 80,000 tourists from the port city off Danang after three residents tested positive for the Corona virus. His will Leonardo Vietnam, which had begun opening up. Its domestic tourism market has now banned. All visitors from entering done hang for 14 days. Those already in the resort city with its white sand beaches are being told to leave and we'll have to quarantine once home. Social distancing measures are being re implemented on nonessential services closed until last week. No locally transmitted cases have been detected in Vietnam. For over three months, The country has used drastic containment measures, including a mandatory quarantine of foreign arrivals on early local lockdowns to control the disease. West African leaders are meeting by video link to discuss how to help resolve the political crisis in Mali. The echo a summit follows the failure of two missions to the country to find a solution. Details from Chris Rocco. The opposition coalition in Mali rejected the proposal for the formation off a national unity government, insisting that President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita must resign and the transitional government we set up But Echo a says any change of government in Mali most full of constitutional process. President Kato was elected in 2013. He appears to be facing his biggest political challenge so far with the current crisis. Around. A dozen people have been killed in a serious off anti government protests in the past weeks, with security forces accused off using excessive force on demonstrators. World News from the BBC. Officials in Afghanistan say a military helicopter has made an emergency landing in the southern province of Helmand. The Blackhawk aircraft was reportedly ferrying injured soldiers. But local residents in the Kajaki read district said the helicopter was targeted by suspected militants. It's not yet clear if they've seen any casualties. Elsewhere, the Afghan military said At least six Taliban militants were killed when the insurgents tried to attack several checkpoints in the central loge Our province Samoan chief has been jailed for human trafficking and slavery after bringing people from his country to New Zealand for work over a 25 year period. Joseph Alga matter matter, also known as William Osamu, Promised the victims paid jobs or schooling, but they were exploited as Bernadette Ki ho reports on arrival, they were forced to work long hours, often seven days a week for no pay. The youngest was 12 giving evidence through translators. The victim's described doing tools around Mata Mata's house, where they lived behind a locked gate. They said they were too scared to complain, given his chiefly status, which commanded absolute obedience. He's been sentenced to 11 years. South Korea has denied a defector who made a daring escape back to North Korea this month had symptoms off Corona virus after Pyongyang said he was the North's first suspected case. The military believed the 24 year old man crawled through a drainpipe and swam across the Han River to evade detection by border guards. His return prompted the North to announce a locked down in the city of gasoline. A Brazilian band has been forced to interrupt a live Internet broadcast when heavily armed police appeared in the background searching for a drug trafficking gang. The musicians from the aglow Moreau Samba group looked puzzled as officers stormed the garden where they were performing. They stopped the music and ran away before shots were fired. Those are the latest stories from BBC News. Welcome to howto called the BBC World Service with me. Sure Lay, they gave America to the fax that came home in body bags. That's typical of the crude hate filled rhetoric propagated by Fred Phelps and his Westbrook Baptist Church..

BBC China BBC News Meghan Phelps Roper Vietnam United States America Mali Kyung Yuen West Bro Baptist Church Twitter President Ibrahim Boubacar Kei Fred Phelps New York Westbrook Danielle Gaurav Leonardo Vietnam Mata Mata
"meghan phelps" Discussed on C-SPAN Radio

C-SPAN Radio

12:05 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on C-SPAN Radio

"And authors every weekend book TV television for serious readers from last November a conversation with Meghan Phelps Roper part of the Miami book fair but joining us now on book TV is Megan Phelps Roper she is the author of this book unfollow a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church ms Phelps Roper where did you grow up in house I grew up in Topeka Kansas at the Westboro Baptist church and church was started by my grandfather and consists almost entirely of my extended family and you know I at west pro I mean we had our this normal life in some ways you know I would just public school play video games made cookies with my parents you know is all you know wonderful memories but then there was this our lives were organized around this picketing ministry so from the age of five I went out to protest gave people originally and then from there it morph to everyone outside of our church was headed for hell and we had a duty to go and and warn them of the consequences of their sins in our whole lives were organized around a ministry is so how did the ticketing ministry begin if you talk about this loving family that you have a normal childhood when did the god hates **** signs come so in nineteen ninety one when I was five years old an incident occurred or actually it happens really before that an incident happened at a local park where my grandfather was making the park and he thought he saw my my older brother who was then about four or five years old being approached by two men trying to lure him into the bushes and he discovered that the local park was a place is well known for as a meeting place for gay men and so he went and started trying to get the city to the cleanup Gage park so it started out grants called my grandfather called it the great gates for decency dries and but even if those very first protest you know we had a a sign that said gays are worthy of death and then cited this Bible passage Romans one thirty two and almost immediately again this that the response to the to the to the to that very first protest was outrage from the community people came out you know local churches came out to counter protest and said things like gods love speaks the loudest so the response to west rose ministry was always negative and I was taught that that was a good thing you know Jesus said you know blessed are you when men will hate you and revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name's sake they hated they hated me they're going to hate you anybody who speaks the word of god will be hated so I learned from a very young age that we were the good guys and everyone else they were the bad guys and we had a duty to go in and tell them what god required of them what was Fred Phelps like as a grandfather he was a loving and sweet and funny and so you know he he was that fire and brimstone preacher that you know you could hear in the sermons and you know see see it in interviews like obviously is a very passionate believers zealous believer and and everything that he preached but he was also a loving grandfather who and I I absolutely he adored and I I if I missed him terribly after last what was the Phelps family reputation in Topeka and you talked about playing video games and having friends yeah did other parents say stay away from me Megan Phelps yeah I mean so we didn't really we had a queens the school if we were we were supposed to our parents resisting to be polite and friendly and and good students to help others with their homework things like that and so we had the the queen says but again I started protesting before I started kindergarten so I grew up with you know this cohort of of classmates who who knew what I was gonna be outside of their churches and an outside of the performing arts center when they you know had the nutcracker performance of The Nutcracker something so we were constantly protesting the same people that I was going to school and then by the time I got to high school I actually would leave class you know at the lunch lunch period across the street and pick at my high school during lunch as my classmates are driving by you know sometimes screaming and throwing things and and things like that so there was always a sense of otherness the sense of us versus them like we might be required to sit in class together and and to you know to play nice for awhile but I understood that I couldn't trust them that I need to keep them at arm's length and and of course I didn't have to work very hard to do that because you know for the most part people didn't once you know than one because to us did you revel in your otherness yeah for the most part I mean there there there could be times where it could be a little bit a little bit awkward but for the most part I I saw it as inevitable like if I was going to serve god if I was going to do my duty to my fellow man then I was going to be hated and because I was raised in that environment it seems normal it seems like just just you know another fact of life that I needed so assembling and the numbers are up on the screen if you'd like to participate in our conversation this afternoon with Megan Phelps Roper formerly of the Westboro Baptist church and in November twenty twelve what happened I left I had gotten on Twitter a few years before that and I started having conversations with people there you're the social media director basically for west for all right yeah it wasn't a formal position it was just something you know I saw I learned about Twitter I read an article about it on CNN dot com and and thought it was a place for me to go and spread our message to another audience and I ended up being changed far more I think than the people that I that I was trying to preach to no there was the same kind of hostility and consultation that I experience on the picket line but there was also this group of individuals who started asking me questions and having a real conversation with me even even the people who started out you know with the instinct following instinct to to shame me and to and to try to you know isolate me into it you know make me think I was a bad person they realized pretty quickly that I was sincere that I really believe in the value of what I was doing in the goodness and the righteousness of what I was doing and so they got curious and in starting these conversations with me they were able to really dig into the you know in these in depth questions to understand was froze the ology and they were able to find these internal inconsistencies in our doctrines and that for me that was the first time I was able to see that that we could be wrong that was for about this church does not in fact have a monopoly on truth the only you know the truth of god so so it was mind one for me and that was the kind of the thread that began to unravel eventually unravel the whole the whole system for me could you raise those questions to your grandfather grandmother or your parents I did see some people in you know I did to my my mother I think more than anyone and the problem was because because of how in a west rose again they their whole lives are are organized around west rose ministry and because they have taken such a public position on all those issues the idea of changing your mind it is it is anathema like even if they do change their mind certainly I mean almost never talk about it quickly because they think it would cast you know some kind of doubt upon the rest of their message so it is is something that is it's very hard to change your mind about something to acknowledge that you are wrong about something that you have been sold so passionately preaching for so long and so I was I I tried to you know in kind of a cautious way and that the response was so visceral is so negative that it terrified me and so I kind of in a compartmentalized and I start with the questions the signs that questions about and and doubts and then ultimately that I rejected I stopped holding those picket signs but I didn't feel like I could be completely open I thought okay well just these few issues and the rest of Westeros preaching is right eventually I came to I came to realize like you know if we're wrong about all these things why do I think why do I just accepted the rest of this is true and that kind of open the door to bigger questions about the ideology as a whole how many members of Westboro how many have left with its first like the membership has stayed largely the same for as long as I can remember it between seventy and eighty people or sounds less than a hundred and even with that so the number of people who have left several a few dozen at this point but they have had a few converts from the outside and then also young children being born into it so so now it's my generation having children is that they are going to be raising and that are harmed let's hear from our viewers and let's begin with a call from Jordan in Alpharetta Georgia Jordan you're on with Megan Phelps Roper on follow is the name of the book question may I just wanted to ask you what exactly with the moment that catalyze your decision to leave always your feel some remorse I'm I I'm I'm having a little trouble hearing you are you saying like what is what what what because mine yeah what catalyzed thank you Jordan and I just reminder to viewers were gonna leave Jordan there reminder to viewers speak clearly into your phone it makes it a lot easier but what catalyze you to leave us what he wants to so it started with a question about a sign that and know what these people on Twitter David Abbott falls who read a blog called to licious raise this question he asked me about a picket sign that the death penalty for fax so we were calling for the death penalty for gay people because of this passage in the book of Leviticus and he pointed to two two situations first he said that you know about Jesus like didn't Jesus say let he who is without sin cast the first stone and I gave it the the response that I that we had low always learn together was for which was we're not casting stones were preaching words in David gave the very obvious response that yes but you're advocating that the government cast stones and that was the first time I realized that that quote from Jesus wasn't just a general call to humility he was specifically talking about the death penalty and so I kind of set me back from it and then he also said didn't your mother have a child your oldest brother out of wedlock and you know it is it is not that's another send the deserves the death penalty as it is and so I that was the first time I I thought to the fact that you know my mother had we we would say that she didn't deserve that punishment because she had repented and that if you kill somebody as soon as they send you completely cut off the opportunity to repent and be forgiven and so this you know these two points that he made you know again this is one of those I couldn't acknowledge it to him at the time or even probably in my own mind to acknowledge that that we could be wrong about something so that was what started me down the path of questioning from last November a conversation with Meghan culture over part of the Miami book then you know that her started doing things that I believe run scriptural a group of a group of men kind of took over the decision making process of the church and that was contrary to the established pattern from the Bible and they started doing things like lying in a photo shopping themselves a protest that they were they had not actually been on and and claiming it out to and so that that was part of it too they just the realization and ultimately the question became bigger so I knew before I left I realized we I came upon this passage no we were praying for people to die the based on things that were king David you know prayed for his enemies children to be fatherless and for their wives to be windows so I was raised in this culture the celebrated death and tragedy and then came to realize that there are passages in the New Testament where Jesus says love your enemies bless them that persecute you and then the apostle Paul saying bless and curse not so we were doing these things I came to believe run scriptural and and protesting funerals things like that that I believe were wrong according to the Bible itself it was west pro failing to live up to its own standards that was where you know I I eventually came so came to realize like it is.

Meghan Phelps Roper Miami
"meghan phelps" Discussed on WORT 89.9 FM

WORT 89.9 FM

13:13 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WORT 89.9 FM

"Ridge road two thousand fifteen that allows them to use eminent domain yeah so yeah it's it's hard to see a past people are trying to contact the governor and ask him to veto it some of the counties up north there was a very contentious meeting and on Tuesday with Janet Buehrle whose represents northern Wisconsin and supports this and some of the indigenous people up there are really upset that they look at it is the taking of their land you know that they are not going to be able to hunt and gather on their own property because then bridge has an easement through there yeah so what else is operating illegally in northern Wisconsin they don't have a valid permit through bad river and they don't have a valid permit through that she wanted the National Forest and they're still operating nine lives what should we do one of the hearing Tuesday people need to contact their state senators and ask them to oppose this because it's you know more chance it could be stopped in the Senate but people need to show up to the hearing as well which is a ten o'clock Tuesday morning in the state Senate Judiciary Committee and there's several other things on the agenda but you know if the last hearings any indication it won't go on very long unless a lot of people show up and registered testify so that people inform their friends and neighbors especially people who live along line sixty one quarter which is both crossed the entire state or line five quarter that they're trying to recruit out of bad river an urgent to contact their state representatives and ultimately you know we just got it change the composition of the legislature for gonna I thank IBM well Patricia how mobile home attorney I I would say a movement attorney thank you so much for joining us today and and and lightning us on these thing that does mean could not happening underground and no listeners know about it thanks okay thanks but but a and do we movie and straightened directly to Meghan Phelps Roper she is a writer and activist based in South Dakota she left the Westboro Baptist church in November twenty twelve and is now an educator on topics related to extra extremism and communication across ideological lines really important stuff in my opinion she is the author over unfollow MMO over loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church and she will be here in Madison tomorrow full if fully public event at the Wisconsin book festival set so tomorrow at seven thirty PM in community room three oh one and three oh two at the central liability hello Megan thank you for joining us today thanks so much for having me so not stoked with the beginning how how did the Westboro church starved and what he has to you know tell us about the church in in in in case some of our listeners don't know what will talking about what is the church and how did it start wonder about research is a group of about seventy to eighty people and it was in Topeka Kansas it was started by my grandfather yet he was the first pastor in nineteen fifty five and didn't bother what are known for is that in nineteen ninety one the church church member started protesting started protesting the LGBT community and it's no I was five years old at the time so I remember going out that you know that that first week we are protesting at a local park that was known as a a meeting place for you for gay men and we were you know we were trying to advocate for the city to stop that you know to to to clean up the park that's how that's how my my grand and and so but almost immediately we started not being counter protests and by people who disagree with that people who said things like gods love speaks loudest and and so we started expanding our protest so first it was about just the LGBT community and then it expanded to be other Christians to counter protest anyone anybody who says anything you know against us or for gays and yeah so by the time I left the church seven years ago it was everybody outside of west broke we believed was almost certainly going to hell in that we were the only ones who had any real hope of going to have an undue you'll will book testing in memorials and beer rials full full and soldiers and the memorials to the sandy hook kids what what is the thinking behind that what is what is the belief that gets people out to wave really terrible signs to to denounce these people so in West Berlin believe in predestination right so god is in charge of all things and there's a passage in the book of Deuteronomy that talked about how it says god has set before you this day a blessing and a curse a blessing if you obey me and a curse if you want so they see you you know soldiers dying in battle or children dying in school shooting they see that as a punishment from god and then it it is there they believe we believe that it was our duty to go and and warn people that if they wanted those curses to stop happening for god to stop pushing that and then they would have to repent and change their ways and so you know in hindsight of course like the cruelty of that is you know brings about some pretty crippling guilt and shame for me yeah you know because they are of course from because of the practical effect that it had on on other people we had no business being there absolutely no business being there and I I believe I came to believe why with all the church net that processing the scene also is wrong and not just as that from the perspective of an outsider but because of you know even the Westboro can look at the passage where the apostle Paul talks about how he said to the weak I became as weak that I might gain the week and that is not what we did we went out there to those funerals and we were celebrating their tragedy we were celebrating and mocking them and that is not to the weak I became this week and I am grateful that I eventually realized at and then you know you mentioned Dante hook that happened about a month after I left west brown and and that was one of like I just remember feeling so much will be at not having to say what they were saying and and you know they were claiming that they were going to protest the funeral I don't think it actually did but just feeling so much relief and not having to continue doing that to people in those circumstances so so those something so strange about that belief because we all doomed to die so I guess that means that we Seigner is at at you know at some point or another including your grandfather and the rest of the family and the members full of the church but he also thanks to me so of course was small role he's he's very extreme and and in some ways definitely a unique church but eat it he drinks to me to some degree like a mall extreme version old you know the the colonies way of thinking of things that the wealth dog Corinne the in some ways you might save the fundamental least wide Christianity with little seems to be the thread the old you are rich because you deserve a an annual poll or because you will not deserving and they'll for everything is justified in those really knoll need to try and help those whose destiny has has being much mold difficult to maybe destiny is not the right word here but I I think you follow what I'm saying do you want to expand on the yeah I mean I think there are this is one of those things when I first left west bro I believe note that nobody would understand what I had come from because what girl that waited their beliefs manifest are very extreme in some ways like I don't know of any other group to go to protest funerals and things like that but almost immediately I started meeting people with similar beliefs or or who had grown up in similar situations and who had also act and we know realizing that the forces that made Westboro what they are are are very common in very human and that made me feel you know not so alone but absolutely you're you're right there are there are so many great similarity there Westboro would reject all of those you know they would say they don't believe in the prosperity gospel but they do believe that the reason they are blessed is because they are gone people they are the chosen one and and so you know while they can write you know Rick might reject certain iterations of of that it but if not there are absolutely many peril out there and and to take it to step further I think the old let me ask you rather than saying highs Westboro Ole began as an extremely fit station of something that these much more wide spread in this country and has been for awhile how's that hello if in Norman and lay a trump to happen in this country are you saying are you asking if Westboro is responsible for no no again I'm saying that was our role is just the extreme many for station of something much more widespread yes no absolutely I I give a Ted talk two and a half years ago now that that that basically was comparing you know for me now watching the Westboro invasion of politics that's what it feels like to me you know the extreme are there and then tally the need to deny people on the other side because they don't follow every single thing that you believe in the idea that you need to isolate yourself from people who believe differently because they're just too evil that there would be correcting used to have anything to do with them just this this kind of total inability to ski you know people on the other side of political disagreement as as calm complex human being with a lifetime of experience as who has led to that of led them to where they are and I think that is an extremely destructive force right just like with west brown it on you know that that way of thinking it allows you to justify thinking and doing terrible things to other people and it's not you know it's that kind of thinking sees it's very black and white it sees compromise as evil and hypocritical and the if there's any you know it's just it's just a very destructive way of engaging it doesn't it doesn't accomplish anything just you have this kind of pendulum swing from one extreme to another as in a different groups take power and it it's it's really sad for me to watch but because of my experience of leaving the church I believe that there is a way out of that way of thinking yeah with that yeah what what will want to talk about that because I think that is so important nowadays I guess these Megan Phelps Roper Lee previous members will over the Westboro Baptist church and the author of the book and follow a memo of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church she will be here tomorrow Saturday.

"meghan phelps" Discussed on KOMO

KOMO

03:46 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on KOMO

"Hour news station como news one thousand and ninety seven seven a young woman named Meghan Phelps Roper began protesting alleged vices as a member of the Westboro Baptist church in Kansas the church founded by her grandfather Fred Phelps who is known for showing up at funerals of gay men and women with large signs protesting homosexuality after several exchanges with people on Twitter Megan began to question the beliefs and practices of the Westboro Baptist church finally she decided to leave Megan's out with a new memoir called on follow recounting her departure from her family's church and the backlash she was met with upon leaving ABC talk with her about the book this week what's the deal with the Westboro Baptist church let's start there I mean it we when they first surfaced people like what is up with this church so so tell us about the church and what they do when they go to the funerals of people who are gay or just go ahead so the west registered was started by my grandfather and it consists almost entirely of my extended family so as my grandparents their children grandchildren and now they're great grand children they believe that the Bible is the literal and infallible word of god and that their interpretation of it their understanding of it is essentially infallible as well they believe that they are right and everybody else's interpretation understanding of the Bible is wrong and that it was our duty that it was literally the fulfillment of god's commandment to love thy neighbor as myself to go and warn people of the consequences of their sins my grandfather and the other church members who would look across the landscape of primarily America but later the world also and see other things that people were doing that we're sinful and everybody is eventually it started out being about gay people that eventually everyone outside the church was a legitimate target they were sinners and Hellbound and we had to go warn them so they get a chance to repent and change their ways and go to heaven like us okay so let's talk about you going wait a minute this is wrong it you figured it out on Twitter at at that how does that work yes so I got on Twitter to spread the church's message it was originally a way of whatnot proselytising they don't really they're not trying to persuade people just trying to preach so I saw this as this another potential preaching tool and so I started you know attacking people almost immediately they know when it when I got on and the way people responded initially was largely similar to the way they respond on the picket line which was full of hostility in contention which is completely understandable given that the provocation of our message but then there was this group of people who responded with empathy and compassion who were able to see that I it was sincere that I really believe that what we were doing was the work of god and they had compassion on me and they started asking questions and kind of you know getting into the nuances of our theology they were able to find these internal inconsistencies and for me that was mind blowing because I I basically saw Westboro is having a monopoly on truth and so the realization and I should say also my family is full of lawyers they're very intelligent analytical people and so and I've been answering questions about our our ideology all my life from the age of five standing on the picket line onward I was trained to do this we memory we talked about the Bible every day we memorized versus all the time so it was a huge part of my vocabulary my worldview and so to find out how these people find internal inconsistencies was mind line because it made me realize like all my god we can be wrong about something and if so what was that conversation like with the family when you said Hey guys I got someone to tell yet here I'd not sure I believe this anymore also it was originally like this relatively small point of theology this this because the first contradiction that came back I take it to my mom and a couple other older church members and and I felt like you know the response was so intensely negative it scared me and made me feel like I was the one in the wrong and and the responses so negative and they're they're not addressing the.

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WHAS 840 AM

WHAS 840 AM

01:30 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WHAS 840 AM

"At the week's top stories and the stories you may have missed I'm sherry Preston coming up Meghan Phelps Roper he tells her departure from the Westboro Baptist church I was trained to do this we memory we talk about the Bible everyday memories versus all the time so it was a huge part of my vocabulary my worldview and so to find how these people find internal inconsistency was mind line because it made me realize like all my god we can be thrown about something screens and social media could contribute to social anxiety and depression many months into her depression I was talking to a friend or someone and she said no I I haven't told anyone and amid allegations of rape against Matt Lauer discuss the beginning of me too two in one fourth quarter we were so worried about the story somehow family and we had visions of having to watch the Oscars for the rest of our lives having to keep this material about Harvey Winston seek all ahead on the spectrum in a new book by journalist ronin feral former NBC employee Brooke novels alleges former today show anchor Matt Lauer raped her at the twenty fourteen Olympic Games in Sochi our responded to close to the activations calling them categorically false ABC's linsey Davis has the latest on the story and I'm not Lauer breaking the silence for all of us at NBC and who are at the today show on you.

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

04:36 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"Are happening over time means that I'm developing reporter with people I'm starting to see them not just as this you know this person yelling at me on the picket line it's it's somebody who's asked me questions who's you know I'm I'm watching their their children grow older in the photos there posting of seeing them interact with their friends and just seeing a side of people that I I I didn't see I R. L. right and it whenever I was in real life in physical space with other people and and when I was in physical space for other people I always knew it was this instinct to keep them at arm's length I never trusted them and on on line you know that this physical distance from those people allowed me to to be open and vulnerable in a way that I just never had been before and because it was so limited because it was only a hundred and forty characters right it was I felt safe you know I didn't think there was any way that they could do it I had no expectation that they would be able to influence me in any way unduly and so getting into the new ones of that of those arguments and and for them to find a contradiction that I could then you know I go looking for an answer and instead I get shut down and I realize there is no answer they're not addressing the contradiction here they're reiterating the verses that justify them the what about this one that contradicts and so that was you know the realization that we could be wrong was that was the first seed of doubt and and it was so powerful because I hadn't really thought about the fact that I basically just had seen west rose having a monopoly on truth their message was divine it was a godly and therefore there was no way that we could be wrong about anything and so to be faced with that was even though is a relatively small point of theology it was that realization that was so mind blowing to me who is the person who accomplish this is David abit Paul who runs a blog called Jewish S. and he was in his argument he actually ended up quoting Jesus you know saying let he who is without sin cast the first stone he was doing that in response to a a protest that the sign that we had calling for the death penalty for gays and you know we justified that you know from the book of Leviticus would say not that punishment is good enough for god and it's good enough for us and it's the only way for this nation to show that they have truly repented of the sin of homosexuality so he made that point you know about you know casting the first stone and my response was what was for always said which was we're not casting stones were preaching words and he said yeah but you're advocating the government cast stones and then he said you know and also didn't your mother have a child out of wedlock and you know our response to that had always been yes and she that doesn't make it right she's she has repented of that sin and therefore he said yeah but that's another Senate deserves the death penalty if she had been killed you know your family would not exist and that like I kind of was shocked I didn't know what to say to either of those two points you know because Jesus did say you know that that point about casting stones only the simplest should cast stones and we already league knowledge that we were sinners that wasn't you know it was never part of our but anyway so I mean that that was it was a mind blowing moment for me and I didn't I didn't know what to do with it except to stop holding that sign and then you know and and again that was the beginning of the unraveling process do you still speak with anyone inside the church I reach out to them I send you know I I make these arguments I I do make them in interviews I make them on Twitter I make them in in private you know letters and postcards and things that I send I do reach out to them I I I almost never get a response usually if I if I if I do it's on Twitter it's you know there's a any time you know because they're trying to get attention for the church not there and always generally to when you they cut you off and they really try not to acknowledge you publicly in any way and the basically the only exception to that is when you know if you do something they thought of tension so I give a Ted talk a couple of years ago that that drew their ire and basically they're just trying to again to call off that and bring it back to be about their message the name of the book is on follow the memoir loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church is by Meghan Phelps Roper Megan thank you for spending so much time with us we really appreciate it thanks so much for having me this is all of it.

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

13:13 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"Thousand of the next fresh air growing up in the infamous Westboro Baptist church which preach that god hates gay people the church picketed the funerals of American soldiers we talk with Megan Phelps Roper the granddaughter of the church's founder she left the church seven years ago in her mid twenties she's written in new memoir join us days it to on ninety three point nine FM NYC this is all of them and W. NYC analysis to it my guess is Meghan Phelps Roper her new book is called on follow a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church and again just for our listeners might have kids in the room were aged discussing adult themes and there's some language used by the church and by its members that as both derogatory and very hurtful so if you wanna catches on the podcast that might be the best choice if you've got children in the room at the moment Megan it's can you describe your childhood for us what was it like to grow up and be a little kid and a member of the Westboro Baptist church well the ticket lines were a huge part of it is something that the church did every single day so most days I was out in a standing on the sidewalk on public sidewalks all around the city of Topeka and then eventually sidewalks across the country preaching to people west rose message and of course standing on the picket line that draws the draws a lot of hostility people would scream and yell moon us throw things and drive their cars at us it was not you know and come after us on foot I mean it was not it was not a you know it is extremely us them kind of environment and the fact that outsiders were worse so hostile like that that it kind of reinforces the bonds that you have with other people within the church and so within the church is long as you were a member in good standing the sense of camaraderie and love and and you know this feeling that you'll do anything for one another you know that the churches this is I mean again as long as you're a member in good standing extremely loving and and willing to sacrifice for each other and it's it's this in a lot of ways to really really beautiful thing it's a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by people who show you love and care and attention like all the time we did everything together and then that that part was incredible to I mean so we did normal things I I was I love to read as a kid all kinds of you know scifi and yes supernatural things especially but Stephen King was a was a big draw but play video games we did homework we went to public school so in some ways our lives were extremely normal and and loving and and wonderful and then there was this other side that but the thing about it is that the the the theology of the church and the doctrines like permeated everything that we did there was always you know we read the Bible and have you know Bible study every single night and you know what I would often be memorizing passages and you know engaging in this kind of theological debate on the picket line all the time and that or at least you know and this and that limited way that you can on the picket line but you're just and then documentary filmmakers coming in and filming and trying to understand who we were and why we were doing this all of that was was just this is just how life was it's very interesting on the on the website you know most websites say you can't distribute this information is copyrighted at the bottom of the website for rest sure says you can spread this however you like please use at will tell me a little bit more about how the church was able to use the media because it's not that big a church yet it had such a big impact and I'm were you all aware of you using the media was that part of the plan yes absolutely the church calls itself you know a great publishing company so that the important thing to know is that they're actually not trying to change people's hearts and mind they are just trying to preach this message the unvarnished word of god as they understand that and how it lands on the hearts of the hearers or readers is in the hands of god alone because they they believe in predestination so so they don't believe they can change anybody all they can do is preach so that was our entire goal goal was just to publish this message to as many people as we could and as many different avenues as we could because that was again that was how we showed love for our neighbor we were giving people an opportunity to repent were telling them you're doing wrong if you want the blessings of god instead of his curses then this is how you have to live just just be like us basically and so you know the thing about you know their their messages that no grams my grandfather realized almost immediately you know that we live in a sound byte generation so we have these three to five words on a neon picket signs standing in you know these the location where there were people so this is why I like if you look at the website now you'll you'll see some of their protests and it'll be like the sporting events you know and and things like that it's like it's not that playing sports is is evil it's just that we need to preach to those people and that's you know what would also that eventually brought me to Twitter like how can we use these communication you know these tools of communication to to kind of collect them to use it in support of our message and we didn't care you know you mentioned on the website using hot use arm use our words are parity season however you want we didn't care that the vast majority of people who wrote about us we're saying a lot of terrible things about us we didn't care that they were being you know personally disparaging of us at all as long as they you know quoted a picket sign or one of our members standing on the picket line that was good enough for us you put our words in there and we don't care what else to say one of the you include in the book some of the different chance and some of the different sayings and slogans and one that's really sort of it's a difficult I'm going to read this listeners I want you to know it was shortly after that the deaths of Mother Teresa princess Diana and it's a sing along parity that was written by your mom and your on and it goes along to Elton John's candle in the wind so everybody get ready good why royal **** though you never spoke the truth you know in here right now as do all this world's youth you crashed into the stone wall as you played your horse games they set you on a pedestal and bow down to your name but it seems to me you live your life like a harlot full of sin god cut you off now the flames said in and you know we told you though you're a thrown away your name will die out long before the pain will ever sway why was that useful in the church's mind we we would seize upon any you know any usage of pop culture two two caught that to use it for our message so we would say well the original lyrics to that song were idolatrous and have you know feel putting princess Diana on a pedestal and you know she was not a good example she was an adulteress you know she she clearly is in hell we we we had a sign that said that she was in hell and you know oil **** and how I think is actually what it said and that you know so we were taking these things that had been used in our minds as as any in this very sinful way and trying to you know put that this race right just message like this is the truth of the situation and so we need to use the same vehicle that you have used it for sent to to you to say something positive sizzling godly and righteous you mentioned how the church uses the media it also uses the law your grandfather insisted that all thirteen of his children all their spouses get a law degree and your mom manage the Phelps law firm even though your grandfather was ultimately disbarred how did they use the law to further the message well the thing is like a date they're not trying to they're not trying to break the law they're not trying to you know physically hurt people they're not trying to commit crimes you know the fact that they have law degrees they would say that that was a good defense for them because when people would come after us when the police or into the local DA or you know it any time people come after us legally we had this experience this law you know they had done all the civil rights cases they knew what it was like to be attacked in the courts and they had a lot of experience that allowed them to defend us in the courts I think you know there's there is this kind of myth about the church that they that really it's a money making operation and they go to these locations these very sensitive locations to me just make people and raged so that they will be attacked and then they can sue the attackers and then also for the police for failing to protect them and that has never happened that is not was frozen they are not trying to to have people attacked them so they can make money the law is you know for them it is it is something they've used in a defensive way largely you know so they have been sued it out the only occasions that they have actually gone to court is you know if a state or a municipality or some governing body has has made on a law that has that puts undue in unconstitutional prohibitions on cost usually limits their their first generates then they will go to court again not to make money but because they want to preach that is that their primary goal in life and so that's that's how they've used it my guess is Meghan Phelps Roper her my Mars called on following them more of a loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church why did your parents let you go to public school I would think that seems like it's sort of the antithesis so what you're right well the church is entirely self funded so part of my job when I was there was on the very rare occasions of people to send money would be to send that money back and say you know because this Bible verse that basically says you in your money can both go to hell you know where we are the ones responsible for for this ministry so they had to work and so there the home schooling wasn't really an option there but they there was also you know this this idea that we the sauces walking picket signs that's what they called us you know we our presence in the community anytime somebody so sees that name into in the Topeka you know area in northeast Kansas Phelps means they would say god hates god hates **** and so so our present the community was a testimony against them because whereas yeah that's the Bible verses were as they speak against you as evil doers they are be holding your conversation like how you actually behave in school at work and they can they can see by the the good way that you behave that you are not what they are accusing you of so it was very important for us to be good students to be polite and friendly and with outsiders and we were they weren't afraid for us to go to public school because you know they they had prepared us too well for that you know it the the analogy that I use is that it's because of our religious education at home before we go to school or universe wherever we are and and and people are challenging us on these ideas you know it's like we are we have been unoccupied against any doubts or questions that could come up because before we were ever introduced to those doubts by outsiders are our parents our family told us about these are the kinds of arguments people are going to make here's why they're wrong here are the Bible verses the show they're wrong memorize them so it's there's there's just this you have this instinctive response to outsiders and the arguments that they make and you always have an answer for why they're wrong so it's kind of it's this this these mental barriers that keep other people out yet Twitter proved to be the one where the outside world got to you and and specifically someone who is Jewish right yes why this encounter have such an impact on you well anytime girl all my years growing up anytime I had there was a question that if I didn't immediately have the answer myself if I hadn't already memorized it I could take it to one of the older people in the church and get an answer and there was always an answer from the Bible there was always an answer to satisfy me some justification for this thing some explanation you know well this person's wrong because they have they frame the question in the wrong way this really is the appropriate biblical way of looking at this and here's the verse that shows that there's always an answer Twitter there are several things about Twitter that that made it so much more powerful for me first of all the fact the conversations.

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

06:43 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"Doubts and things that did not add up and things that were on scriptural she was the only person who would not say like just go talk to the elders they'll set you straight like you know she was the only one who actually acknowledge like actually this does seem wrong actually this doesn't make sense and to just let that be its own you know its own answer and so I I realize that you know maybe maybe she has thought of leaving maybe one of I tried I could just couldn't leave without talking to her and it was a really terrifying conversation because you know her according to the church her duty in that moment was to to turn me in immediately and without hesitation or questions of any kind and so to to be having this conversation with my sister over those four months it was it was really difficult and terrifying but it was also wonderful to have you know this beloved sister to think that I wasn't going to lose absolutely everything and everyone I could be second I'll get to keep her my guess is Meghan Phelps Roper the name of her memoir is on following them more of a loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church why did your grandfather start this church Megan so he actually didn't started I mean he was the first pastor it was yeah he was a traveling preacher he came to Topeka in nineteen fifty four and you know this this church use going to preach for a short period at this church called the eastside Baptist church in Topeka and they liked him so much they asked if he would stay and you know become the preacher at this new church they were starting on the other side of town Westboro and that's that's where it started you know he he was just a a very strong believer he he got saved as a teenager at a tent revival meeting in in the south and and he just thought this it was his duty to you know call that call the world to the the wedding feast the marriage supper of the lamb you know to to follow Jesus that was his his duty in life there's an interesting thing about your grandfather's past is that he actually worked as a civil rights lawyer he was very interested in civil rights as your ma at least as of the family story as your mom told that that he grew up in the Deep South and he is your mom said he saw the way those black people were treated my mother told me right and by the mercy of god he knew that it was wrong and that you write I heard Gramps preach against racism with the same venom he employed against gays and it was clear that he saw a civil rights work in the same way he saw our daily picketing as a moral imperative I needed a similar accusation people made about our pro testing too and it was all about making money but you're you're fine your grandfather had this this interesting part of his his legacy and his life what did you think about that specially after you left I mean I think it really shows that my family are not all evil like a it's very easy to look at the protest because they are so provocative and they have for a very long time used the harshest most confrontational language in the most sensitive settings you know protesting of funerals and things like that and with these you know the signs that that any anybody looking at them you know use you few immediately feel how how wrong this is and so it's easy to look at them as like only a monster only a a person deliberately wanting to do evil could possibly say these things and I think you know the fact that my grandfather also has this other part of his legacy where he had this these decades of civil rights work your award from the end of laci P. in these other black civil rights groups that that they really were motivated by good and it's just the the their understanding of the Bible their interpretation of it there that world view is just so destructive you know I write in the book and and say all the time I I don't believe that they're evil people I think that they are good people who have been persuaded by bad ideas I think you know my mom's generation was indoctrinated the same way that I was into this ideology even though the picketing didn't start until until later until I was five you know when you add I've seen you speak and when you say that people some people get really offended when you write describe that your family isn't evil these people aren't being evil do you understand why people get offended when you say that absolutely I think I think part of the distinction here is is how we're using the word evil like I take evil to be I mean tips for somebody to be evil it is to be deliberately hurting someone because because you want to hurt because you want to hurt them and for my family they saw and see their their preaching as a manifestation of the love of their love of their neighbor right because they're going to go and warn people and so it's a good motive and a very very bad outcome and so I I I I do understand I and I also do acknowledge that I think that they do do evil sometimes I think that what they do particularly at funerals for me that that was a sin that still causes me a lot of grief when I think about it to think about what we did to those families which was not you know we always had all these justifications for it but there's this passage in the New Testament where the apostle Paul says you know to the weak I became as a week that I might gain the week and that's not what we did it's actually not we did we did the opposite we went to people in their weakest most vulnerable heartbreaking heart wrenching moments and were said and did extremely cruel things and I have to live with that style so I I do understand why people get upset but I also think that the vast majority of people that I've spoken with even people have been terribly hurt by the church you know can can look at that and understand they they unlike my family who you know if for them to have empathy for people outside of the church is not an easy thing I understand it works the opposite direction to but they have a lot of people outside have been able to have empathy to understand that that the people in the church the vast majority of them grew up in it and were indoctrinated and that and and that I think has actually helped them kind of move on from the herd understand that that wasn't the goal but in even if yeah it's it's it's very complicated and and sad and difficult and I I so wish that it wasn't so that we hadn't done all those things but I I don't know what to do except now to to be honest about that experience and and to and.

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

06:51 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"Who's asked me questions who's you know I'm I'm watching their their children grow older in the photos there posting of seeing them interact with their friends and just seeing a side of people that I I I didn't see I R. L. right in whenever I was in real life in physical space with other people and and when I was in physical space for other people I always knew it was this instinct to keep them at arm's length I never trusted them and not online you know that this physical distance from those people allowed me to to be open and vulnerable in a way that I just never had been before and because it was so limited because it was only a hundred and forty characters right I felt safe you know I didn't think there was any way that they could do it I had no expectation that they would be able to influence me in any way unduly and so getting into the new ones of that of those arguments and and for them to find a contradiction that I could then you know I go looking for an answer and instead I get shut down and I realize there is no answer they're not addressing the contradiction here they're reiterating the verses that justify them what about this one that contradicts and so that was you know the realization that we could be wrong was that was the first seed of doubt and and it was so powerful because I hadn't really thought about the fact that I basically just had seen west rose having a monopoly on truth their message was divine it was a godly and therefore there was no way that we could be wrong about anything and so to be faced with that was even though is a relatively small point of theology it was that realization that was so mind blowing to me who is the person who accomplish this is David abit ball who runs a blog called judicious and he was in his argument he actually ended up quoting Jesus you know saying let he who is without sin cast the first stone he was doing that in response to a a protest that the sign that we had calling for the death penalty for gays and you know we justified that you know from the book of Leviticus would say not that punishment is good enough for god and it's good enough for us and it's the only way for this nation to show that they have truly repented of the sin of homosexuality so he made that point you know about you know casting the first stone and my response was what was for always said which was we're not casting stones were preaching words and he said yeah but you're advocating the government cast stones and then he said you know and also didn't your mother have a child out of wedlock and you know our response to that had always been yes and she that doesn't make it right she's she has repented of that sin and therefore he said yeah but that's another Senate deserve the death penalty if she had been killed you know your family would not exist and that like I kind of was shocked I didn't know what to say to either of those two points you know because Jesus did say you know that that point about casting stones only the sinless should cast stones and we already league knowledge that we were sinners that wasn't you know we was never part of our but anyway said I mean that that was it was a mind blowing moment for me and I didn't I didn't know what to do with it except to stop holding that sign and then you know and then they get that was the beginning of the unraveling process do you still speak with anyone inside the church I reach out to them I send you know I I make these arguments I I do make them in interviews I make them on Twitter I make them in in private you know letters and postcards and things that I send I do reach out to them I I I almost never get a response usually it would if I if I do it's on Twitter it's you know there's a any time you know because they're trying to get attention for the church not there and always generally to when you they cut you off and they really try not to acknowledge you publicly in anyway and the basically the only exception to that is when you know if you do something they thought of attention so I give a Ted talk a couple of years ago that that drew their ire and basically they're just trying to again to call off that and bring it back to be about their message the name of the book is on follow the memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church is by Meghan Phelps Roper Megan thank you for spending so much time with us we really appreciate it thanks so much for having me this is all of it you're listening to all of them and W. NYC I'm Alison Stewart the open ears project is a daily podcast mark colleagues at W. NYC studios and W. Q. XR featuring guest from different walks of life sharing memories and meditations about the classical music that gets them through their lives the idea is to create a kind of daily listening ritual around classical music and maybe hear each other differently in the process here at all that we're following along throughout the season this is day fourteen I'm Robert McFarlane I am I right we'll place nature in the human heart as I sometimes call it and I am also teacher Cambridge investing and I've chosen shop and which might be translated to sleeps and I first came across this piece as woods notice music in the war diary of Thomas was an English and good Welsh it is from eighteen eighty to nineteen seventeen and he died on the first day of the battle virus and if it's a brief combat and at the front he kept a wartime they were billeted just behind the frontline in shell shocked it has living much no lives but somebody had brought a grimace and I made a list of pieces of the plate on the and I imagine the songs flowing through the windows these men living condition merit by the Germans on the other side and and this music was among the listings they hit.

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

12:20 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"And extended family has for years vocalized a worldwide message of hate however they believe they were preaching the word of the lord the church itself sits on a quaint tree lined street and on the street a ranch style homes were members of the Phelps family live in surrounding this block is an eight foot high fence for almost twenty seven years Megan live there with her mother and her father and her many siblings in nineteen ninety one that began picketing against homosexual activity at kings park in Topeka in nineteen ninety eight they picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepard in two thousand one their signs read thank god for nine eleven seven years ago in November of twenty twelve making films Roper who had previously spearheaded the spread of the church's message via Twitter had an epiphany all that she had known and all that she'd been taught was wrong she issued a public statement and left the church and her family make it is now written a book it's called unfollow a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church the book came out last week and she joined me remotely from Kansas public radio welcome wagon thank you so much for having me I realize there are a lot of factors that went into the decision to leave but can you share with us the moment she knew that you were going to leave the church yes so I read this passage there would you like to read the past I'm actually to hear him to hear your shot up to this passage that you're gonna yes so I started having conversations with people on Twitter and a lot of them were full of the same kind of hostility that I experienced on the picket line but then there was this group of individuals who started asking me questions and getting into the new ones of west rose ideology and in doing so they were able to find contradictions that I'd missed my entire life and in that process like these that was the first thing that allowed me to first to question and then today out and then ultimately to reject west rose teachings and and sort of unraveled this this everything I had built my life on and for people who are curious how how could you have nor the contradictions your whole life I wouldn't say that I nor them I would say that I I just didn't see them I think that the things that were pointed out to me on Twitter were things that west broad didn't have an answer for previously so this is at that point I was in my early twenties before that was for always had an answer from the Bible that would satisfy me so I as long as you could show me something from the Bible that would explain or justify why we needed to be doing this thing these things why we needed to go out and be you know protesting gay people picketing at funerals as long as there is a biblical explanation for it I know I I would go along with it because I believed what I'd been taught which is that the Bible is the literal and infallible word of god and that western had the only legitimate interpretation of it and since they always have an answer my family there they're full of lawyers they're very intelligent and analytical they have these you know the ability to argue and debate and there was always things to back up our position and so when I wasn't I got on Twitter that these people who you know I think before Twitter was really it could be difficult for people to get into new okay it's hard to get into new ones at protests which is you know full of sherry talking points and you know people everybody's you know talking at the top of their voice you know singing chanting it's not only that it has wasn't in my experience really the place for good profound deep theological debate but Twitter became that for me it's interesting that and I wanted to make that point introduce you and your family and people are still in church you thought you were doing the right thing you never questioned whether what you're doing is right correct well I mean if I did have a question again as long as there was a Bible passage to explain why it why it was important why this why we needed to do these things and believe these things then I would go along with it it is really interesting passage you talk about the moment that you knew what led up to this moment then ask you to read this passage what led up to this moment was you know about a year and a half a little over a year actually this point earlier a group of eight men had taken over as elders you know in the church and they started to do things that I absolutely believed were on scriptural they were under the call and it was very clear to me the way that would they were treating other people in the church and certain decisions that they made were under local before Twitter I would have just gone along with it I would have I would have assumed that the problem was with me that this was just I just didn't under I wasn't spiritual enough to understand why they were taking these actions so that had always been my position to distrust myself and to put my trust in the church as long as there is double explanation and you know interest being introduced to these doubts on Twitter you know that for me that was the sort of this thread thread that began to unravel the rest of the ideology as these other things happened so in the moment in this passage that I'm about to read this is I've been ruminating on this for now over a year and a half trying to make sense of these two strong beliefs that I have one strong belief is that west bro is the truth of god that we had the truth of god that we preached at that this was not our message but but gods and the other strong belief was that we were doing things that were on double call and trying to reconcile those two I couldn't until this moment where I finally had this thought of what if we're just people what if this isn't for not doing this at the behest of god but because though because my grandfather this is this is a reflection of his his beliefs and his personality so I roan I crossed the chasm in that split second pursuing I thought my mind had never truly imagined and now could never take back with stark clarity I understood that whether the church was wrong or right I was a monster if we were wrong then I had spent every day of my life industriously sewing doom discord and rage to so many not at the behest of god but my grandfather I had wasted my life on the Phil others with pain and misery if the church was right then asking those questions and even beginning to consider their implications was an unforgivable betrayal of everyone I had ever loved and the ideals I dedicated my life to defending in my mind I was a betrayer already I thought of my mother and the guilt was crippling I didn't deserve to be part of this body of believers the lord was done with me and he saw after all already condemned overwhelmed by a sudden pressing need to leave that instant every part of my body hummed with a single vicious accusation you don't belong my guess is Meghan Phelps Roper she was reading from her new book on follow a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church you didn't leave right away correct right now I yeah so what how did you prepare to leave so it was about a four month period from that moment until the day that I actually laughs and in that time I felt like I was going you know I was boomerang back and forth between these two extremes the one being you know this is the church is right you know this is Satan whispering in my ear at this is a test from god in the other side feeling like you know no I know this is wrong this this is so clearly a contradiction this is wrong this is on scriptural and that kind of having those Bible verses you know flowing through my mind and so trying to find solid ground to stand on you know I I basically had come to the conclusion that okay I understand these things are wrong but maybe maybe I can convince other church members and they'll change you know the virtually I I came to realize after you know trying to talk to other people and realizing you're feeling like I was just repeatedly running into a brick wall you know this for them it was so clear and as clear and plain as it has always been to me and sort of to try to get through that those mental barriers that they had acted it it wasn't going anywhere so I realize that at some point unless something drastic changes I'm gonna have to leave I prepared by you know I I loved I love and love my family dearly no I I when you leave west bro you are completely cut off from them all and since the church is almost entirely my extended family this is it's my history it's mine I had thought it was my future and so you know kind of looking back in in a house and I realize there was so much about my family that about about their history that I didn't know if I started asking questions and taking photos and saving family recipes all these things you know collecting memories things that I would not have access to once I left and it just felt like everyone was dying you know like I was preparing for the death of of everyone that I knew and loved interested in the world did you have any idea where you would go a nationally no I mean and I just I initially not really I one of the things that I came to doubt about west rose that are how we spoke about ex members of the church so there's you know the narrative about ex members you know they're the worst of the worst and so you know I've actually fixed conservative thinking like I had my cousin lady was a very good friend of mine she had been when she was in the church and she had by this point been gone for over three years and you know I started to realize you know we sell these things about her but I don't actually know who she I mean she was so great when she was here she'd probably not a completely different person and so I reached out to her and and was there for a few weeks after I left your sister came with you right yes so you had the moment that that passes that I just read that occurred while I was painting in the basement of a friend and you know I turned in that moment to put the paper down I thought I had to leave that moment and when I turned I saw my sister who is painting the wall behind me and I realize that I she had been the only person in the church who when I would present these questions and doubts and things that did not add up and things that were on scriptural she was the only person who would not say like just go talk to the elders they'll set you straight like you know she was the only one who actually acknowledge like actually this does seem wrong actually this doesn't make sense and to just let that be its own you know its own answer and so I I realize that you know maybe maybe she has thought of leaving maybe one of I tried I could just couldn't leave without talking to her and it was a really terrifying conversation because you know her according to the church her duty in that moment was to to turn me in immediately and without hesitation or questions of any kind and so to to be having this conversation with my sister over those four months it was it was really difficult and terrifying but it was also wonderful to have you know this beloved sister to think that I wasn't going to lose absolutely everything and everyone I could be second I'll get to keep her my guess is Meghan Phelps Roper the name of her memoir is on follow a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church why did your grandfather start this church Megan so he actually didn't started I mean he was the first pastor it was yeah he was a traveling preacher he came to Topeka in nineteen fifty four and you know this this church use going to preach for a short period at this church called the eastside Baptist church in Topeka and they liked him so much they asked if he would stay and you know become the preacher at this new church they were starting on the other side of town Westboro and that's that's where it started you know he he was just a a very strong believer he he got saved as a teenager at a tent revival meeting in in the south and and he just thought this it was his duty to you know it called that call the world to the the wedding feast the marriage supper of the lamb you know to to follow Jesus that was his his duty in life there's an interesting thing about your grandfather's past is that he actually worked as a civil rights lawyer he was very interested in civil rights as your ma at least as the family story as your mom told that that he grew up in the Deep South and he.

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

04:04 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"And and view these Kurdish factions and how you know the the Turkish view of course is that the YPG STF are nothing no not different from the PKK American view is that let's try to ignore that and let's let's let's focus on how much good they've done on our behalf and yes I look I it it's not true that the western media hasn't covered PKK attacks I myself have written numerous pieces on on PKK linked to terror attacks in Turkey but at the same time and as as the caller said absolutely plenty of because there's a huge crush for pollution in Turkey they don't all agree with the same set of use they are for the many differences and there are many who oppose the PKK but there are also many who are not very particular not enamored with the Turkish state I've been to Kurdish areas in Turkey where I've been to graveyards where you have Turkish citizens who volunteered with the YPG fighting the Islamic state may have massive graveyards in the city the OB occur were all these people have gone across the border and died and these are people who really believe in the because the YPG and they are in Turkey as well and so this is something that concerns the Turkish state because obviously they don't like the popular appeal of groups like the white version the PKK and and this is something that you know we have to see as well you cannot have you need to have a political resolution Syria but you also need to reopen dialogue between Turkey and the PKK as well on the other side of the border until you do that you're not going to have a meaningful peaceful resolution to the whole conflagration that we're seeing right now in the region he's on this whole situation feels so dynamic and feels like it is changing by the moment can you tell us what are you going to be watching for today and in the next few days well absolutely but you have to see how far the Turks go in their intrusions we have to see the kind of violence that takes place as well we have to see what happens to civilians who are potentially caught in this incursion and whether the militias that the Turks are sending in these are Assyrian militias that have some Islamist elements whether they do anything to flee extreme to the civilians there there are a lot of fears of potential ethnic cleansing in these areas both sides accuse the other is of either depopulating it from Arabs are depopulating Kurds so it's a pretty tense situation there and then of course we do obviously have to watch these camps where the Islamic state detainees are being kept what's going to happen there the FDA the Kurds hearing Kerr's the STF recognize that perhaps the only leverage they have on the world stage right now he is potentially you know their ability to let these guys go free they don't necessarily want to let them go free but this is the one way they can get attention and sympathy for their plight we'll see if they use that and we'll see if and we'll see also you know how the U. S. decides to to check or push back against any Turkish excesses in this intrusion but there's a lot at stake as you said it's incredibly fluid and and there are many different opinions even within this administration the Pentagon folks to talk to the Pentagon folks to talk to a state I really unhappy with the way this is played out and and the White House is hell bent on beginning a process where the US can extract itself and they feel this is a key part of that process we have to leave it there thank you to you Sean thrower foreign affairs writer for The Washington Post this is the Brian Lehrer show I'm Brigid Bergen city hall and politics reporter for the WNYC newsroom filling in for Brian more to come on the next all of it Meghan Phelps Roper was raised me aggressively homophobic and anti semitic left for Baptist church and became the church's Twitter spokesperson he joins us to talk about her book on follow a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church what right from the US national security adviser and U. N. ambassador will be in your to discuss her memoir which follows her life her family like target of the far right analysis to.

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

08:09 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"Where innovation meets the law on the next all of it Meghan Phelps Roper was raised me aggressively homophobic and anti semitic left her Baptist church and became the church's Twitter spokesperson he joins us to talk about her book on follow a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church right from the US national security adviser and U. N. ambassador will be in your to discuss her memoir which follows her life her family life target of the far right analysis to join me for all of it weekdays at noon on W. NYC it's morning edition from NPR news good morning I'm Steve Inskeep and I'm Rachel Martin shortly that's the word from a top Turkish official describing the timeline for a Turkish military incursion across the border into Syria this comes just days after president trump ordered the removal of US troops from that same border area the president's critics in many of his supporters say it's a dangerous mistake the concerns that Turkey will then attacked the Kurdish forces who have been helping the U. S. fight ISIS we spoke with the commander of the Kurdish lead Syrian democratic forces yesterday he was talking to his own interpreters names general monsoon Qabbani Addi he told me that he believes an attack on his people is imminent okay don't give me a huge letters gonna document and the preparing for a long time the truce gonna invade again at the training the border and they get a check of part of Syrian soil we're gonna walk through the consequences of the US troop withdrawal from that border area with Douglas all of us he's the former director for a rock at the National Security Council serving in both the administrations of George W. bush and Barack Obama he is now a senior fellow at the thing take new America here in Washington thanks for coming into good morning so this isn't the first time the president has announced a true troop withdrawal from Syria he did so last December and when we spoke with you then you said that although you had issues with the implementation of the policy was the right one what about now is this the right move well the situation the Middle East is more unstable now we've it's time has gone on with have demonstrations going on in Baghdad we started to learn just how bad the conditions are I'm in the whole prison camp so there are mitigating factors but at the end of the day the president does seem to have his fingers on the pulse of what the American people want I he's made his wishes very very clear and appears to me that nothing has been done to change the situation on the ground the it's not like we told the steering courage to go get a political accommodation with the Turks go get a political accommodation with the Assad regime they've just been left out there as their own thing and the plan seems to been to stay there forever and that's not a plan well isn't that also up to the president I mean it's his state department that would facilitate some kind of sit down with the Kurds in the Syrian regime that's that it that is also true but it doesn't appear anyone's come doing with options to to change the political facts on the ground well how much of this is just about the president making his own decisions unilaterally I mean he said he consulted with all the parties involved but to Pentagon officials told NPR that the Pentagon was totally caught off guard I mean does it surprise you that the top brass at the Pentagon or perhaps the state department were apprised of this decision well this decision this particular moment sure but again it's not like the Pentagon doesn't know that the panic that the president is really I'm excited about this idea and this mission you're saying that they should have been prepared they should have an interest in doing some due diligence on what are the options to mitigate this this option so let's talk about the consequences of this president trump insists that he hasn't sold out the Kurds in his threaten to totally destroy and obliterate Turkey's economy his words if Turkey does anything off limits do you think Turkey is going to going to Syria and really just focus on ISIS when they have not even been able to keep ISIS from crossing into Syria across our border I don't think they're going to come in and go to isis because there doesn't appear to be much ISIS in the places they intend to go to the Turks are very clear on this they're not that concerned about ISIS they're concerned about the YPG which they rightly considered to be loosely affiliated with the PKK that which is a designated terror organization of both the Turks in the United States so it's not like they're just designating someone **** nilly here and they very much want a buffer zone put into place it appears that what they're trying to do is create a buffer zone of Turkish affiliated Arabs mostly refugees from elsewhere in Syria and put them in this ten twenty however any mile buffer zone that we're going to see on the border between Turkey and Syria so they would want Turks then a band of friendly Arabs and then and only then the YPG Kurds on the other side but the actual physical caliphate of isis has been destroyed but that doesn't mean that the entire ISIS threat has been obliterated I mean we've got Kurdish forces who are currently guarding a whole lot of ISIS detainees if the Kurds are forced to go protect their families from a Turkish invasion they're just gonna let those guys go that's right that's the huge wild card in this in this situation the Kurds are guarding up about two thousand fighters we think but up to seventy thousand family members women children extended families and so on so that's a lot of people certainly enough to regenerate some ISIS capability or they just to walk away and let those people go I don't think they're just gonna walk away and let those people goal but there may be a lot more people actual trading in escaping from those camps should they have to pull those fighters from guarding the camps to come north and fight against the Turks so do you think this is the right move do you think the president made the right decision in this moment I think that the president could have staff this better said what are we going to do okay the unit one wants this to happen we're going to back his play what are we going to do about the whole prison camp how can we Medicaid that none of that staff work appears to have happened so you're not sure on the overall administration strategy when it comes to Sir that's just a statement Douglas front the director former director for Iraq at the National Security Council served in the bush and Obama administrations thank you for tax thank you in this country the mayor of Helena Montana has ambition will mark Collins is now running for the US Senate as a Democrat which is only the latest step in a remarkable story which will tell this morning long before he ran for office will mock Collins fled that Liberia's civil war he arrived in Montana as a refugee and your skirts sickle reports from Helena in the early nineties will mark Collins and his wife escape the Liberian civil war broken starving they ended up in Helena Montana one thing we flat flat because we want a second chance not long after they moved into their first place on their own here a neighbor knocked on the door one morning alerting them to hateful graffiti outside wasn't the first races threat Willmott had received and all my wall was KKK go back to Africa but ironically it was this moment nearly twenty five years ago when he knew Montana was home that same morning a brigade of his neighbors showed up to help them mon neighbor who got together and wash my wall down people was sick all man you know you're in Montana do you experience racism down there in a severe but how your community reacts to what happens will determine whether you belong or not so they stayed he started working as a janitor than a substitute teacher and eventually a social worker he also coached soccer and served in the United Way board his wife raised two kids here they served in the military his wife is a nurse at the local VA hospital there are refugees success story people always afraid of the unknown and because they don't know what the turn to to to latch on to what they know so how do you break that Rick the about the only Hey this.

"meghan phelps" Discussed on KOMO

KOMO

05:00 min | 2 years ago

"meghan phelps" Discussed on KOMO

"Break her shoulder manufacturer to formal morning news Franklin sees the editor's desk president trump is still taking fire from Republicans and Democrats for his decision to pull US troops back from northern Syria some of the sharpest criticism is from South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham drops usually strong ally called the decision impulsive short sighted plenty responsible the trump administration is blocking European Union ambassador Gordon Sunland from testifying today in the house impeachment inquiry the administration orders on but not to testify just hours before he was scheduled to take questions from lawmakers and it was expected to be a bit contentious Democrats consider some of the key player in president trump's effort to get the government of Ukraine to investigate alleged corruption by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Sunland is a Mercer island native he spoke with trump before and after the president's July phone call when he pressed Ukraine's president to investigate the bidens the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this morning on whether the Civil Rights Act protects gay and transgender Americans from discrimination at work the law makes it illegal to discriminate against workers on the basis of sex the court will decide whether sex applies to gender identity and sexual orientation como his time six seventeen at the age of five Megan Phelps Roper began pro testing homo sexuality and other alleged vices along with fellow members of the Westboro Baptist church in Topeka Kansas she eventually left the church and now has a book about it it's called a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church Megan is with us right now good morning good morning what prompted you to leave the church well my first doubts about the searching I'd grown up on the picket line and and absolutely believe they're the ideology that I was taught from the time I I was a kid very ardently and how I got on Twitter in my early twenties and I started talking to people there who many of whom were extremely hostile the way that I had always encounter people on the picket line but then there was this in a group of people who were willing to have conversations with me who are willing to dig into the nuances of archaeology and defined contradictions that I'd miss my whole life and that's where my first dog came from how old were you when you got out I was twenty six so when you look back on it were indeed do you feel like you were brainwashed indoctrinated or or you know what prompted you to follow that ideology I use the word indoctrinated I mean it's it's you know from my family I don't with all good intentions no they they were teaching me what they believed was the truth of god you know that on infallible on questionable doctrine from the Bible you know I think a lot of people have an image of my family as being meets craze doomsayers or hillbillies and rednecks they are extremely well educated and intelligent and date they just they were all similarly indoctrinated the way that I was and so it's it's like you know you can be really well educated and still you know the fact that everybody that we knew and loved the people who had authority over us taught us all that taught us this ideology and and they also taught us in advance before I was ever exposed to any questions or doubt my family taught me that the this is what people are going to say to you here's why they're wrong chapter and verse to memorize it in so that it's like being inoculated against any outside influence and so this is why Twitter was so important people were able to find internal inconsistencies and archaeology and so it was the first thing that allowed me to question this paradigm that I'd been taught you know all my life we're just about out of time but I'm curious is your family still associated with west for about this church the church is almost entirely my extended family so I have I'm I'm one of eleven kids and seven of my siblings are still part of the church both of my parents most of mine many of my aunts and uncles and cousins and that date when you leave they completely cut you off and it's it's a really devastating thing give any regrets about it be going pro testing at funerals as people are trying to mourn absolutely this is something that I still I still struggle with I still struggle to come to terms with this because of course I did it again out of all good intention I thought this was I thought it was a loving thing I thought it was I thought it was the fulfillment of my my duty to god and to my fellow man and this was you know one of the things that you know and it's time leading up to my leaving but I came to believe was was wrong and double call there are a lot of passages in the Bible that we use to justify it but they're also passages that that absolutely in my view not condemn that kind of behavior and in and yes that that's it it's really hard to to think about but it's also kind of what helps me what and what prompts me to keep talking about this and and and the power of human connection to to change hearts and minds and to help people who are similarly indoctrinated you have a fascinating story to tell and we appreciate you spending a couple of minutes with us will have to pick up the book Meghan Phelps Roper the book is a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist church come on his time six twenty one.