I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church all my life, before leaving in February of this year.

Proof: http://i.imgur.com/bNd42lU.jpg

EDIT: A lot of you guys want to know if it's true that the objective of the church is to piss people off to the point of violence, sue, and gain profit. the answer is no. :)

edit 2: the most common question I receive is about my current beliefs. I still believe in God, but I believe God loves everyone. :) I attend a Unitarian Universalist church.

edit 3: I encourage EVERYONE to treat the members of the WBC with LOVE! That will make a difference. Saying "fuck you" can easily be forgotten and it doesn't change their beliefs but only makes them feel validated. However, to help you get it out of your system, here is a video of an old woman screaming "GO FUCK YOURSELF" at a WBC member:


However, I also want you to understand that my family are human beings. This is a GREAT short video (under 20 minutes) made for a college class that really makes you understand them. :)


edit:I am also interested in doing media. So, if you send me a message saying who you are and what you represent, I'll seriously consider it. :)

Comments: 3600 • Responses: 100  • Date: 

ghansie101294 karma

Why does the wbc go after homosexuality so hard instead of other things the bible forbids?

sydneylauren332165 karma

Two reasons.

  1. Homosexuality is the sin that they interpret to have destroyed Sodom.

  2. There are gay pride parades, but not murderer, stealing, adultery, etc. pride parades. So they feel a commission to tell the world that it is sinful, when mainstream is against that notion.

vajeanius770 karma

Do WBC members eat at Red Lobster?

sydneylauren331225 karma

teehee... yes

kermityfrog344 karma

What's so great about the city of Sodom that they feel they have to avenge so much?

sydneylauren33494 karma

They believe they were planted in Topeka, Kansas for a reason... because it is the dead center of the USA. So, they go forth and conquer, not worrying about it ;)

DaRizat252 karma

Do they miss that the point of the Sodom and Gomorrah story is that even though the entire city was filled with sinners the ONE faithful man was saved?

sydneylauren33370 karma

No, they believe that.... it's just that, they believe they are the only faithful people saved.

mebeblb4196 karma

Do they understand that homosexuality doesn't harm people in the way that theft, murder, etc do?

sydneylauren33381 karma

They believe that acceptance of the sin is the bottom rung on the depravity chain and will result in the destruction of America, and by extent, the world. As God destroyed Sodom.

mebeblb4159 karma

So do they believe that no other civilization has angered God enough to do that since Sodom? Or do they attribute other disasters to this?

sydneylauren33303 karma

In a nutshell, they blame every calamity, tragedy, or disaster on America's sin, which is primarily homosexuality. There is also a verse in Proverbs that says God laughs at calamities.

Candlematt186 karma

You should go to one of their rallies holding up anti-WBC signs.

sydneylauren33760 karma

I went to one of their pickets and held up pro-love signs. :D You can find it on Youtube.

Ddogdan229 karma

You are awesome!

sydneylauren33274 karma


dnwhitest9521 karma

I mean sure their aren't parades for all the things you mentioned. But their tons of movies, video games, books and just our culture itself embraces all of those things.

sydneylauren3379 karma

Yes, but the movies do not encourage murder and theft as an innocent alternate lifestyle.

kizzle771070 karma

What is the most ridiculous thing they asked/made you do in the name of God?

sydneylauren332335 karma

I feel like the most ridiculous thing I was ever required to do in the name of God was pray for others to die.... Since leaving Westboro Baptist Church, I have discovered that I have no malice in my heart... I want everyone to be happy.

ASmileOnTop881 karma

Pray for whom to die? That's just wrong.

sydneylauren332097 karma

When I was at Westboro, I did pray for these people to die: President Barack Obama; Lady Gaga; Albert Synder (of Synder V. Phelps, the Supreme Court Case); George W. Bush; and many, many other people.

Let me just say this though: I no longer pray for harm to come on ANYONE under any circumstances. I have left behind my former religious convictions.

PlasmaWarrior521 karma

Oh c'mon...Lady Gaga? What'd she ever do?

sydneylauren33623 karma

There is a music video that answers this question.


YenThara59 karma

Wow, actually praying for people too die? That is messed up and I am not even religious. My work sent me to Topeka all the time, I hated being there knowing I was in the same city as your family, I hope they get categorized as a hate group and lose all their funding and tax write offs...

sydneylauren3366 karma

I don't think the government has the authority to call things "hate groups". Regardless, even if the government would call it something other than a church, it is non-profit and therefore, qualifies being tax exempt.

letsgocrazy267 karma

That sounds pretty un Christian. How did you all reconcile that with the teachings of Christ regarding forgiveness?

sydneylauren33484 karma

Well, there is a verse in Psalm 50:10-11, I think, where it says, "The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked; so that a man will say, verily there is a God in the earth. Verily, he judgeth righteously."

So, that's how they justify praying (and being thankful) for people to die.

symes145 karma

This is a nice thing to hear - do you think other WBC people might also see the light?

sydneylauren33358 karma

Absolutely! =D I will do my best to shed the light of Unconditional Love on them =D

drugsneverwork898 karma

What are your views towards gay rights now?

sydneylauren333190 karma

I fully and with great pride and thankfulness support the rights of all people, whether gay, lesbian, transgender, etc... They are all humans to me, and they all deserve protection under the law. Who am I to stop love or say, "You can't get married?"

groggboy1068 karma

You are a good man

sydneylauren33870 karma

Thank you kindly, groggboy!

SoNotTheCoolest745 karma

We're you completely "cut out" of the family like I've heard others were? Have you tried to keep in contact with anyone?

sydneylauren331372 karma

Yes, I have been completely disowned from my family at, and been ex-communicted from, Westboro Baptist Church.

Upon leaving, I was told to not contact anyone at Westboro but my older brother Sam... but that never stopped me from being a bit of a rebel I tried to contact others in the church for the past several months until my brother Sam finally called me back and said, "Please, stop doing it brother. Only talk to me...". When I told him, "Okay, that's fair enough," he was flabbergasted and gratefully said, "Well, THANKS!" Or something like that. :D My memory is a little bit hazy as to the exact words he used, but the concept remains the same... I drove them f***** nuts! XD

madlukelcm485 karma

This all seems insane to me. You must have really had your life flipped upside down by this. Huge respect.

DaRizat1763 karma

He got in one little cult and his mom got scared and said "You're moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air."

sydneylauren33514 karma


sydneylauren33380 karma

It really was... thank you kindly!

unbrokenreality286 karma

Do you ever miss you family?

sydneylauren33732 karma

Every day. :)

joebob801701 karma

What did it feel like to protest the funerals of the little kids that were killed in a school bus accident?

sydneylauren331257 karma

I don't know if I ever did protest the funerals of anyone in a school bus accident, but if I did at the time, I would have felt that I was doing the right thing. When I was at Westboro, I viewed every tragedy as at the hands of an ANGRY God who HATED most of mankind, and I was scared, in all honesty, when I stood on the streets. My world view was that everyone hated me.

Black_Suit_Matty2473 karma

Everyone did hate you.

sue_donem21829 karma

He was a kid, dude, do you realize how terrifying that must be?

sydneylauren331085 karma

It was scary standing on the streets... I was always afraid of physical confrontations.

Black_Suit_Matty-1 karma

Okay. That has nothing to do with my post lol. People did hate him. Most of the world actually. I still kind of do hate him.

sydneylauren336 karma

You can hate me =D But, I can only say I'm sorry so many times, brother =D

sue_donem212 karma

That's entirely not fair though. He was indoctrinated by his parents. You'd be just as susceptible if you were raised by the Phelps. It adds nothing to the discourse to have that attitude.

Black_Suit_Matty2 karma

To be honest a lot of this AMA comes off as a fake ploy to get people not to hate them anyways. But I don't give a shit how people are raised. This guy looks like he's 30 for shit's sake. You know right from wrong by the time you're eight. The guys who ram planes into the building are indoctrinated from a young age. Should we be alright with it? These people are scumbags, and the vast majority of people hate them. I just didn't want him to wonder his whole life, he needs to know yes, most people hated you. Some certainly still do.

sue_donem212 karma

If you're told something your entire life and told everything counteracting it is literally trying to send you to hell, how do you magically determine that it's not true? I don't think you know how indoctrination works lol. This guy is clearly trying to atone and right his past wrongs, coming on and saying nothing more than you still hate him isn't giving him closure, it's being edgy.

And a cursory Google search shows he's 23, btw.

sydneylauren333 karma

True. I'm 23 years old =D

sydneylauren331 karma

Well... it depends on your definition on what is "right" and what is "wrong."

Westboro thinks they are right... You think you are right... and I think I am right ....

We only do what we think is right, if you think about it.

DongleNocker686 karma

How do you feel would be the best way to deal with religious hate groups like the Westboro Baptist Church when they visit your community and attempt to spread their hate?

sydneylauren331079 karma

I thought you would never ask!

I think that we need to approach them with forgiveness and love... otherwise, they will always think that the world universally hates them, and they will NEVER go away with their hateful message. I'm just sayin'... let's make 'em challenge their beliefs a little bit and "kill 'em with kindness" ;-)

Boornidentity546 karma

So many questions man. I'm a British guy, and I think you're banned from my country? Is that still the case even though you've left?

What was the family's positions on the documentaries made by Louis Theroux?

Did you ever get the impression that the family was just doing it for... Fame? Or something other than what they were actually saying?

Side note, cheers for doing this AMA. Hope you can get on with your life and succeed.

sydneylauren33641 karma

  1. Yes, all members of the Westboro Baptist Church are banned from entering the United Kingdom. I've never tried to enter England, but my sister went to Canada, and we are banned from going there, too. She was initially denied access, but then explained that she left. I don't know how the process went, but she was eventually allowed in Canada. I imagine it'd be the same there, but again, I've never tried.

  2. Well, they literally believe every single word the preach and the goal is to get the most eyes and ears on the message as possible, so you could say the intention is for "fame" in that way. However, understand, they're human beings, and like everyone, they would like to be respected and treated with kindness, but they're not. But they're certainly willing to make that sacrifice to publish the message.

3.My family absolutely went crazy about how much coverage the Louis Theroux documentaries have gotten; they are so thankful for getting their message out there. They have aired in dozens of countries around the world, at least, on public television... so they thank God for it.

Taricha_torosa286 karma

They would like to be treated with kindness? When they pray for people to die and hurt others with their beliefs? Wat?

sydneylauren33439 karma

If we treat them with kindness, they will realize that their interpretations of the Bible are a**-backwards... and then they will open up their minds, I strongly believe. They think they have a complete gambit on what the Bible says and mean... they think they have the infallible interpretation, deep down... and with good reason, I should say! They know a LOT about the Bible, and they study the scriptures everyday... But I still think that the Bible is not a document so easily interpreted.

Taricha_torosa163 karma

I agree that we should be kind (or ignore), but I think it's hypocritical for them to want to be treated thus after spewing such hate. Do they want to be the only ones allowed to hurt people? Do they think hate is love thus they're showing you love.. but only want lovelove in return. Aw, gee, thanks for telling me my family member is burning in hell, that's so sweet.

sydneylauren33228 karma

Well.... they don't believe that what they are saying is hateful... they only feel like what they are doing is loving because they don't want to necessarily see people split Hell wide open when they die... and if they fail to warn the living, then God will punish THEM for not doing so.

So, they are destined to be hated... unless we allow room for understanding.

Threwmypie4u505 karma

Were you involved in the filming of the Louis Theroux documentaries? How were the documentaries received by the church and what is your opinions of them?

sydneylauren33785 karma

Yes. I was in the background of both documentaries.

I think Louis Theroux painted a pretty great picture of what it was like to live at Westboro Baptist Church... and I'm glad that he made the documentaries... It shows just how powerful religious beliefs can be, and just how dangerous they can become, if they begin to hurt other people... I mean, I can see Westboro's message can cause people to commit suicide, or act violently against homosexuals, for example... This is why I am choosing to speak out against them, so to speak, by wanting to win them over with unconditional love.

My family absolutely went crazy about how much coverage the Louis Theroux documentaries have gotten; they are so thankful for getting their message out there. They have aired in dozens of countries around the world, at least, on public television... so they thank God for it.

ACarsonMedia454 karma

I am a member of the Patriot Guard Riders. How did you feel about us while you were a member of the church and how, if at all, have your opinions changed since leaving? How did the other members of the WBC react when they knew a large counter protest was planned?

Edit: Wow, thanks for the Gold.

sydneylauren33211 karma

Watch videos of my family's pickets. Practically every single out of state picket has a plethora of counter protestors. They're used to it.

justsomewanker434 karma

What made you leave? I mean I know the horrible things they have done or were there any outside factors?

sydneylauren33719 karma

I left Westboro Baptist Church on February 20, 2014, because my parents were getting angry at me for complaining about my lower back and shoulder pain all the time... The pain felt horrifying in the midst of my nursing job, which I had just started... The night I left, my father was yelling at me when I asked if I could go to the Emergency Room.

I know he didn't mean to scare me... he is always under a lot of pressure. I just couldn't take the pressure any longer, and I had to get out... And I'm very glad I did now, in retrospect... I can see now that I was hurting a lot of people with the message of Westboro, and I no longer believe most of what they preach any longer.

Taricha_torosa633 karma

I'm sorry, I don't see the connection. Why did physical pain cause you to leave your church? I'm not well versed in this religion.

Edit: this is a serious question, I don't get why I'm being downvoted. ELI5, people.

sydneylauren33408 karma

I left because my parents were giving me a very hard time about my physical pain.

I did hate God at the time I left WBC, which is another reason why I didn't want to be there... I felt like he was cursing me.

GuybrushMonkey341 karma

Wait, what? They got angry at you for having pain? Did they blame you for not being faithful enough that the pain would be taken by god?

sydneylauren33588 karma

Yes, they doubted that I was praying to God for relief... and I actually wasn't at the time... because I was so intent on finding the cause of my back pain and shoulder pain, I was spending an enormous amount of time researching it.

ArtGoftheHunt118 karma

Is the WBC against medical care? I'm not familiar with all of their beliefs, but it sounds like from what you said that you were excommunicated for seeking medical care. I'm I misunderstanding you?

sydneylauren33177 karma

No, they're not against medical care... but they thought that I was exaggerating my pain at the time.

Toledojoe339 karma

Why did the westboro baptist church ask people to respect Fred Phelps funeral, when they would picket at other people's funerals?

sydneylauren331159 karma

That never happened. That was a media lie.

The WBC doesn't do funerals; they view them as "worshiping the dead".

kli561316 karma

When you picketed funerals of dead soldiers, have you ever felt some sort of remorse or sympathy? While at the church has it ever dawned on you that what you did was purely hateful?

sydneylauren33611 karma

At the time of the funerals, I did not feel remorseful of the picketing... I honestly did not become sympathetic to the plight of others who have lost someone until I lost my grandfather.

When I was at the church, I always thought I was doing the kindest thing in the world: warning people lest they should die and go to Hell for sinning willfully against God. I was taught to believe, that was the kindest thing I could ever do for anyone.

bassocontinubow289 karma

Have any of the "higher-ups" in the church explicitly confided in you that their protests are done for publicity? If not, do you think this to be the root of the protests?

sydneylauren33485 karma

No one at Westboro Baptist Church has ever told me that they did their preaching for publicity or for money... It is strictly their religious convictions that drive them to preach their message... They believe that if they don't preach the words that they are preaching, then they will BURN IN HELL when they die for all of eternity... They act out of fear for themselves and their children, and they will ex-communicate anyone, ever their own wife or children, to save their souls.

Nerg101276 karma

This may seem silly but how do they come up with the signs? Is there, like, a committee? I've always wondered.

Also, do you have a favorite sign? Yes they are hateful, but (to me) some of them can be pretty funny/clever.

sydneylauren33338 karma

Anyone is allowed to submit an idea for a sign... the chief sign designer, Steve Drain, makes it happen ;)

My favorite sign is, "God Loves A Humble Heart." I feel that humility is the most beautiful aspect of a person... I have become infatuated with women who I thought had very humble hearts in the past.

Team_Realtree246 karma

Are you against the church?

sydneylauren33657 karma

Yes. I've even counter protested them here in Topeka. :)

stormcrow7240 karma

How has the WBC changed after the passing of Fred Phelps?

sydneylauren33453 karma

He died in March; I left in February.

xSlappy-237 karma

What was leaving like? Who took you in your first days out? How did you get on your feet?

sydneylauren33468 karma

The night I left was perhaps the worst night of my life... I was in horrible back and shoulder pain, and I was emotionally distraught about it.

A few of my cousins, who prefer to remain nameless, took me in... and they helped me get on my feet. I love them a lot for having mercy on me and not leaving me to fend for myself alone.

Keep-reefer-illegal198 karma

Is it true Freddy had a change of heart before he died?

sydneylauren33245 karma

Couch_Owner186 karma

Do you think anyone in the church realizes they may have inadvertently helped the cause of the LGBT community? I know a few conservative Christians who were horrified to realize their views were similar to Westboro, and have since changed their ways as far as being homophobes.

sydneylauren33238 karma

Teehee; I don't think they ever cared to find out. =D I'm glad that it did... I am a heterosexual ally to all LGBT individuals.

bourbonnay180 karma

What part of the church did you respect the most? Do you still good qualities in it?

sydneylauren33387 karma

The best thing about Westboro, I believe, is that they are really f****** passionate about what they believe in, and they are great publishers. If they could devote that amazing passion for spreading a message free of charge for other great causes, in my humble opinion... such as feeding the hungry ... they would be immensely successful at it!

Today, I am trying to spread of message of unconditional love to the world... I need all the help I can get to unite the world in compassion for the poor, brokenhearted, the abused, etc.

SA5UK3122 karma

How do you leave the WBC?

How are those in the Church educated about general stuff? Are they all homeschooled, or are they allowed to go to public/private schools?

Are there people willing to actively join the Church or is it just a couple families and they continue to pass their views to their children?


sydneylauren33149 karma

In order to leave WBC, you have to cut all ties for the most part: take all your belongings and leave.

Our Church members' children to attent public school.

Not too many people want to join Westboro, but I could name most everyone who has ever been baptized and/or left after intentionally wanting to stay off the top of my head... in the past 10 years or so.

madhousechild111 karma

  1. Do most family members have secular professions outside of the church? How does their involvement in WBC affect their careers and outside relationships? I've heard some of them are lawyers, so do they have successful practices where they take the usual sort of cases?
  2. I always got the idea that WBC was mostly family members. What is the actual size of the congregation? Are there people in the church who don't picket for whatever reason?
  3. How do WBC members meet and marry people? Would their spouses have to be church members? How did being in the family affect your dating life? When you were at nursing school and in your job, did everyone know you were WBC?

sydneylauren33177 karma

  1. Yes, everyone works =D I would say that most of my aunts and uncles are lawyers, and they do take the usual cases EXCEPT they will not handle first-marriage divorce cases.

  2. Approximately 70 members, and yes, most of them are related by blood to the Phelps family, but not all. (No in-breeding going on there, I assure you.) Everyone pickets except for a handful of people who only come to the church for the Sunday Service, like a young man named Jack Wu and an older gentleman named Tony Capo.

3) They can only marry members in the congregation. I never dated when I was in the church, but I once proposed to a member... I got rejected =\ It was so depressing for a while.... But since I left WBC, I have been dating a LOT =D So far, I haven't tied the knot, but I am always excited to talk to the ladies who I think are sensitive B) Yeah, and everyone I knew from nursing school knew I was WBC... It was quite obvious since Westboro is so infamous here =D

bachelorettenumber422 karma

I am confused how they get clients as lawyers. Doesn't everyone in Kansas hate them and want to avoid being associated with the Phelps and Roper names?

sydneylauren3334 karma

Yes, everyone knows who they are, but they also know they're good lawyers. My aunt has argued in front of the Supreme Court.

Kill_All_Trolls106 karma

I have several questions, as I have never seen someone do an AMA on such a widely discussed subject.

1) As a member of the US Military, I can speak for many members that I know personally on this subject. Why are members of the WBBC so anti-military and why do they feel the need to be so disrespectful to the dead who have died to protect their rights?

2) Has the experience of you being a member caused you to turn away from faith or beliefs?

3) Are there any redeeming factors in your eyes about the WBBC?

Thank you for doing this AMA, also. Many people have questions about the subject but few answers.

sydneylauren33140 karma

1) They are anti-military because they believe that the military is fighting for the rights of homosexuals to marry. And they protest at the funerals because of the example of Luke 16... they say the dead soldier WANTS them to be at the funeral to warn the living, lest their relatives likewise die and go to Hell.

2) Well, actually, no =D I am open to learning about other religions... I feel drawn toward anything positive and loving!

3) The WBC is very passionate about what they stand up for... if only they had a more unifying cause, such as perhaps fighting poverty, homelessness, and abuse/neglect.

archier10096 karma

Other than picketing and the anti gay stuff, how is the church? Are the people friendly, do they generally want others to be happy?

sydneylauren33137 karma

The church consists of very friendly people who love each other (for the most part except where grudges, like in other families, may lie). They want people to be happy, but I think they are going about it the wrong way... That is just my humble opinion, though.

Henrytw85 karma

How religious are you after leaving Westboro? Has their fundamentalism negatively affected your ability to have a religious life?

sydneylauren33192 karma

I am not too religious since leaving Westboro, so to speak... but I feel very spiritual. I do attend a Universalist Unitarian church in Topeka, Kansas, and they are pretty much for standing up for Unconditional Love for all people... And I fully support that. I hope that they will stand with me to protest Westboro with Unconditional Love so that we can show them that the world wouldn't hate them if the world saw just how powerful their religious convictions really are.

BlackSweats64 karma

What is the WBC stance on heterosexual relations?

And by relations I mean the insertion of a penis into a vagina.

sydneylauren3385 karma

They believe sexual relations should solely exist in marriage which is one man, one woman, for life.

martlet147 karma


sydneylauren3387 karma

Absolutely. I was always afraid on the picket line, unless there were at least 20 other people out there standing with me.

One time, I got separated from my family when we were protesting a high school... I was completely surrounded by teenagers (I was just 17 at the time) who held signs above their heads and were shouting... I couldn't see my family, and I was probably never more afraid in my life if violence were to break out. It was a fearful occasion... I prayed quietly in my head for a way out, and then a few minutes later, I was able to escape when the crowd parted... WOW.

notlibvalance44 karma

Good afternoon! Thanks for doing this AMA.

1) Now that you've left the church are you allowed entry into countries where you would've been previously denied?

2) What was your initial reaction to the counter-protesters? Does the church feel like they're right about their opinion on culture when many counter-protests involve shouting swears at them?

sydneylauren3366 karma

1) I haven't tried entering any other countries yet... I may someday!

2) I used to think counter-protesters were completely wrong to be siding against us, which, in essence, meant they were siding for Satan against God. I think that when counter-protesters do swear at them, this simply strengthens their beliefs that the culture that we live in is a Satanic one.

nizam21643 karma

Does the WBC believe in 'tongues?'

sydneylauren3357 karma

They don't believe anyone today "speaks in tongues;" they think this was a gift specially given during the time of the New Testament only

Barbara_Booey30 karma

In your estimation, how many of the church members are actually repressed homosexuals?

sydneylauren33111 karma

In my humble opinion, I cannot speak for the sexual orientation of anyone at Westboro... I may have possible speculations for some people... but to avoid embarrassing anyone and causing potential slander, I will have to keep those comments to myself... Sorry, friend :D

FustyLuggz29 karma

A lifetime of these beliefs couldn't have been easy to cast aside. You've said that while on picket lines, you fully believed in everything you were protesting against. I feel like it would take something huge to change someone as completely as you are claiming you have been. What changed? What was the catalyst for your leaving the church? How did you so fully cast aside a lifetime of, what I consider to essentially be, brainwashing?

sydneylauren3366 karma

I left the church because I didn't feel unconditionally loved there, really... I felt emotionally abused at the time I left, and afraid for my life when my father would yell at me.

I hit rock bottom... and slowly but surely, I feel like I have been climbing ever higher towards positivity and happiness and satisfaction with my life... And I want to help others reach this state, as well.

I found love outside of Westboro in the form of hundreds of people who love me and forgive me for what I have done.... and it feels so amazing to be confident in being able to trust my decision-making skills... I feel very blessed now =D

JesterRaiin20 karma

Are you open to accept other religion/system of beliefs, or is it closed chapter for you?

sydneylauren3382 karma

I am open to learning about other religions, but to me, religion can be dangerous... So I am careful about what religious beliefs I might assimilate...

If it is Loving, I will support it openly. =D

philliplennon19 karma

What do you plan to do with your life now that you left the WBC?

sydneylauren3359 karma

I plan to spread a message of unconditional love to the world! I want to help the poor, the hungry, the brokenhearted, the abused, etc! Anyone that needs help, I want to help!

HughRistik8 karma

So what's with all of those shitty parody songs? Panic at the Disco hasn't been relevant for about 7-8 years now, but WBC suddenly decides to cover them?

sydneylauren3312 karma

We've always parodied music. "You ain't got no Poker Face. You've just got your whorish face!" "God hates America", etc. I don't why that particular one became so viral, though.

After the oral arguments in the Supreme Court case, there was tons of media and journalists posing questions and one guy asked if we ever took into consideration the deceased Marine family's feeling and we sang our Ozzy Osbourne parody in response. "Crying about you feelings, for your sin no shame, you're going straight to hell on your crazy train."

Optimisms_Flames8 karma

Did you genuinely believe in what you were preaching against? Did you really believe you were the only people not going to Hell and why? What behaviors made your group so special (in your mind/at the time)?

sydneylauren3315 karma

Yes, I truly believed the message of WBC at the time I was with them... and I was scared shitless about going to Hell.

I believed WBC was the only true "Church" because they seemed to follow the bible literally and not pick and choose what they preached about... the Bible talks a LOT about the hatred of God

detectivecunillingus6 karma

Since leaving the church, how has your mental health changed? Do you feel better or worse emotionally?

sydneylauren3320 karma

I feel like my mental health has never been better; I am utterly happy about 99% of the time.

sydneylauren337 karma

Well... I think people are entitled to believe what they want to believe. In some cases, religious convictions cause people to commit physical, emotional, and sexual harm on others... And this is the part of religion that I shy away from. I have yet to see anyone as extreme as my family in terms of religious beliefs, except with small exceptions such as Jim Jones... but that doesn't mean it may not be happening. I am sure there are a lot of churches like Westboro out there who are just not vocal about their beliefs in ways like Westboro is.

Legface6 karma

What are you doing right now to make up for all the terrible shit you've done?

sydneylauren335 karma

I am spreading a message of unconditional love to the world by posting positive messages on social media such as Facebook (Zacharias Phelps-Roper) and Twitter (@ZachyPac) for one thing... I hope to volunteer in my community and pursue government office someday, too!

Skeeders6 karma

Have you reached out to the others of the church that have left? All of you should band together and create another church against the westboro!

sydneylauren3314 karma

I have reached out to former members to counter-protest Westboro with a message of unconditional love... but I'm not really feeling the love from them on that front :\

dododoiran4 karma

Homosexuality is a sin from the old testament so why does the WBC feel that homosexuality is so wrong yet other things that are prohibited in the old testament are not kept, such as eating pork?

sydneylauren3311 karma

Well, they believe that Acts 10 did away with the Ceremonial Law, which would forbid the eating of pork.

Homosexuality, which they say falls under the Moral Law, never went away... See Revelation 22:15, where WBC interprets "dogs" to be "homosexuals"

Rockypitto4 karma

Did you ever publicly represent WBC like at a grade school/high school, and if so, what did you do?

sydneylauren3310 karma

Yeah! I ran Cross Country and Track in high school: I was the fastest runner on the team for most of our cross country meets, and I at least lettered in Track =D

DrMeowmeow3 karma

Did you enjoy living with your parents?

sydneylauren3312 karma

Most of the time, I really enjoyed living with my parents... We did a lot of fun things together like go on vacations, watch movies together, play video games, etc... And they provided more than enough for us to eat healthy and never lack food, a roof over our heads, etc. All of my physical needs were met... but by the time I left, I felt like I was being emotionally abused by my parents because they would say things like, "Zach, you're 23 years old... You don't know shit [so quit trying to act like you're an expert on treating back pain, or something similar to that statement.]"

pvfc3 karma

What was your reaction to the WBC getting their asses kicked at Dio's funeral?

sydneylauren3312 karma

I wasn't aware of this... If there was physical violence, I would discourage that because hatred against them in any form simply strengthens their beliefs.

exhumedcasket1 karma

I'm going to assume you protested fallen soldiers funerals. How did you feel when you were protesting? Why does the Westboro feel the need to do this?

sydneylauren333 karma

I felt like I was doing the right thing... but literally, I was afraid at most pickets whenever there was any large number of people counter-protesting us.

Westboro protests at funerals of fallen soldiers because they view them as having fought and died for homosexuals to marry in the USA.

Human_Sandwich1 karma

Do you still attend church? If so, which denomination have you chosen?

sydneylauren333 karma

I have been attending a Universalist Unitarian Church in Topeka, Kansas. I am a fairly regular member there because I believe in positivity and love!

westernatm1 karma

It seems a lot of young people are being ex-communicated or are leaving in the last couple years. What do you think the future holds for the WBC? are there a lot of family members still in? are there other new joiners?

sydneylauren334 karma

I think that WBC's days are numbered. They will fall apart, if not for the stress, then by the "heart-seeking missiles of unconditional love" that I will blast their way in the forms of counter-protesting... just watch me work some magic =D

spiderguy1451 karma

Have you any contacts with the other members who left the church?

sydneylauren331 karma

Yup! Lots. But I'm not allowed to share their personal information.

joebob801-7 karma

Did you ever accidentally walk in on your parents having sex?

sydneylauren335 karma