Westboro Baptist has announced picketing locations for the coming month – its three April 10 locations are the Pentagon, Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church and Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria.
The VTS picket is scheduled for 1:30-2:00 p.m. From the Westboro website:
WBC will picket the largest Episcopal Seminary in the United States in religious protest and warning: Stop preaching lies for filthy lucre’s sake! The clergy educated at this establishment go on to join a church that promotes sodomite priests, divorce and remarriage, same-sex marriage and the big lie of free will. The Episcopal Church establishment is a big part of the reason the Lord Almighty pours out His wrath on this nation daily.
Earlier this week, the Las Vegas Sun ran a story on Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of Westboro founding member Fred Phelps, who, with her sister Grace, left her family’s church in 2012 after reaching the conclusion that many of the church’s teachings were at odds with scripture. Her discernment was rooted in antagonistic tweets she sent (through her work at Westboro) to David Abitbol, founder of the Jewish culture blog Jewlicious, that grew into a months-long theological conversation through Twitter and e mail.
“Once you’ve been inculcated with this ideology from the time you’re tiny, and you have answers to everything and you’ve tied your salvation and your life into believing these doctrines, it’s really hard to let them go,” Phelps-Roper said.
Now, she travels around the country trying to build bridges:
To fill the ideological vacuum that was created when she broke from the church, Phelps-Roper has traveled the country to learn from the very groups Westboro protested, replacing the church’s policy of hatred with more nuanced perspectives from anyone willing to talk to her.
In a society that is increasingly going the other direction, Phelps-Roper is deliberately de-radicalizing.
“In the specifics it seems unique,” Phelps-Roper said. “But a lot of people grow up with ideas and prejudices that they were taught and eventually … reorient themselves.”
Posted by Cara Ellen Modisett