Former Westboro Baptist Church member Megan Phelps-Roper called into "The Glenn Beck Radio Program" Wednesday morning to expand on her recent TED Talk describing lessons she learned while breaking free from the controversial independent church in Topeka, Kansas.
Megan describes how Westboro's protests, initially confined to a local park and focused on decrying homosexual behavior, quickly grew into a nationwide effort targeting anyone who disagreed with Westboro or its tactics, including Jews and mainstream Christians.
"It expanded rapidly until literally everyone outside of our church became a target," Megan recalled. "And so it was basically — you know, I was marinating in this ideology of 'everybody is against us.' We are against everybody because they're all against the Scriptures, and memorizing chapter and verse why they're wrong and why they're headed for hell. And it's our duty to go out and warn them."
Megan cited her happy, relatively normal childhood and close-knit family as a powerful influence that prevented her from considering leaving the church until recently.
"We played video games and read books, and we went to public school," Megan said. "And yeah, we went to amusement parks. We did all of those things, but we also — that was all sort of organized around this nationwide picketing campaign. So I absolutely have both, but that loving family, the nature of that is part of what makes it so, so, so hard to leave or to even consider leaving."