On November 6th at 7pm, Megan Phelps-Roper will be here at the store signing her new book Unfollow, A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church. Rich with suspense and thoughtful reflection, Phelps-Roper’s life story exposes the dangers of black-and-white thinking and the need for true humility in a time of angry polarization.
Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kansas church known internationally for its daily public protests against members of the LGBT community, Jews, the military, and countless others. As a child, teenager and early 20-something, she participated in the picketing almost daily and spearheaded the use of social media in the church. Dialogue with ‘enemies’ online proved instrumental in her deradicalization, and she left the church and her entire way of life in November 2012. Since then she has become an advocate for people and ideas she was taught to despise — especially the value of empathy in dialogue with people across ideological lines. She speaks widely, engaging audiences in schools, universities, faith groups, and law enforcement anti-extremism workshops. Her forthcoming memoir will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.