A fourth Phelps-Roper sibling has left the Westboro Baptist Church.
After 20 years of hate-filled preaching and picketing, 23-year-old Zach Phelps-Roper moved out of the WBC compound on Feb. 20. In the past nearly three months, he has developed a whole new message.
Empathy and unconditional love, he said, are the keys to solving the world’s problems — a lesson he has learned contrasting his time inside the WBC compound and the past nearly 11 weeks outside it.
“I feel like I have unconditional love for every person around the world,” Phelps-Roper said Friday. “The Westboro Baptist Church sees things differently than I do now.”
[…] “I see the world from so many different perspectives now.”
Nearly 11 weeks ago, on Feb. 20, Zach Phelps-Roper left the only life he has known. He has been picketing, he guessed, since he was 3 or 4 years old — as soon as he was strong enough to hold up a sign.
[…] Two weeks before he left, he started feeling like he didn’t need the “righteousness of Jesus Christ,” that he was a hypocrite, at times, that he was the anti-Christ.
[…] Phelps-Roper said he feels as though he is being called to a new mission, one to lead a charge of love, understanding and empathy to bring people happiness. He said he had particular compassion for those suffering from neuroticisms and suicidal thoughts because he experiences the same. Now that he understands how to help, he said, he “has no choice but to speak up,” in an effort to save as many as he can.
“I still believe I’m being led by my creator here,” Phelps-Roper said. “I’m just not sure what his name is. I am sure he is one who has unconditional love for his creatures.”
[…] In his time outside the compound, he has grown to learn and appreciate different perspectives. He has identified his own “mind traps” — assumptions, beliefs, comparisons, desires, expectations and ideals that “keep you from being empathetic” — and debunked each one of them.
“I see so many problems, from economical to emotional,” he said. “Now that my mind is free from these mind traps, I can see clearly what needs to be done. I believe that empathy and unconditional love are what is absolutely necessary for us to free ourselves and each other from mind traps and from the many problems that are plaguing our society.”
For example, Phelps-Roper said he no longer operates under the assumption all homosexuals are violent. In fact, they have been among the most loving and supportive people he has met in the past several weeks. […]
CJOnline.com, Aly Van Dyke: “Fourth Phelps-Roper sibling leaves Westboro Baptist Church.”