In response to my family's upcoming AMA, I thought I'd try this again: I am a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church. Ask Me Anything!
I previously did one, but forgot my password. Thought I'd like to do another AMA.
Here is the proof: http://imgur.com/8ahhLLq
Now, a lot of people are having a discussion about how to handle my family's upcoming Ask Me Anything. A common suggestion is to completely ignore them, so not a single individual poses one question in their direction. This, however, will not happen. You may personally refuse to participate in the AMA, you may encourage others to do the same, but some people will respond, that's inevitable. It's just how the world rolls.
Sadly, most people want to say very hateful things to them. Recognize something: And this is the truth, and I know because I was there. While their message is very hurtful, there is no doubt about it, that doesn't mean it is malicious. Misguided? Absolutely. When I was in the church, I was thought that what I was doing was not only the right thing to do, but the ONLY appropriate and good thing to be done. They've seen uncountable middle fingers, it only makes them feel validated in their beliefs as Jesus Christ was quoted as saying, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."
Instead, create a dialogue of love. If you truly want the church to dissolve, that is what you need to do. You need to sincerely show them love. "Ignore them and they'll go away" is a slogan I frequently have read on this site. Wrong. The WBC has been picketing in Topeka, Kansas every single day for over two decades. As you can imagine, their shit got old a long time ago, and besides the occasional shouting and honking, they're pretty much ignored, yet they still do it every single day. They are absolutely convinced that they are doing God's work and that publishing their message is the only thing that will give them a hope of not being burned at the most egregious temperatures for eternity. When I first left the church back in February, I believed that I was going to go to hell when I died. They're all so afraid of hell and they're more than willing to be despised to avoid it. Also, as anyone who has done research on my family knows: They're bright people. They own a law firm and many work as nurses, computer programers, and have all sorts of high level of career, responsibility, and family. Consider the fact that a large percentage of people still there are young children. What do you think the kids are to infer from seeing their parents, and then seeing crowds of people screaming vitriol and wanting to bring physical harm to them?
Now, maybe what I'm suggesting isn't practical right now, either. However, I want to share it, and I will do my best to advocate it to the point of reality. Love them. You may say that you "cannot" do it. Let's be honest here. Yes, you can. You just really do not want to do it. Let go of the anger; it's not good for your soul.
I love and care for you all.
-Zach Phelps-Roper, grandson of the late Fred Phelps Sr.
Anyways, I'd be more than happy to answer whatever questions you may have. And before anyone asks (again): No, the Westboro Baptist Church does NOT picket for the purpose of enticing people to hit them, sue, and make profit.
EDIT: I am interested in doing media; so do contact me if you're a representative and would like to involve me in a story. :)