“It wasn't that we read selective parts of the Bible. It was that we interpreted it in this very selective way. Gramps would say, “The love of God is reserved for the penitent.” That was us. Everybody else was proud of their sin and hell-bound.”
— Megan Phelps-Roper to NPR
From the age of five, Phelps-Roper was on the picket line with her family and other members of the Westboro Baptist Church. Growing up engrained in the notoriously hateful community as the granddaughter of its’ founder, she never knew another way of life of belief system was possible: despite going to a public school, the Church was so influential it was her whole world.
So when, in her twenties, she took over the Church’s social media presence and because confronted with not only the usual anger her picketing inspired, but also empathetic, intelligent individuals who tried to engage with her on a different level. “They started asking questions and digging into our theology…as they were able to find these contradictions and present them to me, I understood that we could be wrong about something,” Phelpe-Roper told NPR. “That was the beginning of the end for me. I had this unshakable faith and it had been shaken.”
After a while, her worldview began to change and Phelps-Roper couldn’t keep living this way. In a brave and rare move, herself and her sister Grace left the Church and their entire life behind. Called a “powerful, empathetic…a must-read” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “wildly brave and incredibly thoughtful” by Sara Silverman, Unfollow tells the story of her time in the Church, her escape, and her life since. It’s only been out for a week, but is already making waves, with a review in New York Times, and profiled in People and Stylist.
As well, Unfollow is well on the way to being made into a major feature film with Nick Hornby (About a Boy) set to write the script, Reese Witherspoon producing, and director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) already attached.
Phelps-Roper has also appeared on Sarah Silverman’s Hulu series, I Love You, America, and on the National Geographic series The Story of Us, with Academy Award-winner Morgan Freeman. She has also been covered by The New Yorker, The Guardian, VICE, The Globe and Mail, and other international organizations.
To book speaker Megan Phelps-Roper, contact her exclusive speakers bureau, The Lavin Agency, today.