Megan Phelps Explains It All, Sort Of

With her already world-famous spoof of Lady Gaga and growing Twitter celebrity, 24-year-old Megan Phelps has become the new face of her grandfather Fred’s infamous Westboro Baptist Church. On the surface she seems like a typical American woman: she watches Lost, wonders whether she’ll find a husband, and listens to Green Day. But then there’s that other, far more ghastly side, the side that declares “God hates fags” and claims Haiti deserves its massive earthquake.

Here Andrew Belonsky has an in-depth, all-encompassing chat with Megan about her religious mission, why God really hates fags, and why she can’t wait for the United States to legalize same-sex marriage.

Andrew Belonsky: Hi Megan, how are you?

Megan Phelps: I’m excellent, thank you. How are you?

AB: I’m very well. So, let’s just get right into this. I find you really intriguing. Obviously the Westboro Baptists have a long history of being rabble-rousers and largely on the fringe. But you are taking your family and your church’s activism in an entirely new direction. You’re really keyed into pop culture, like Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert. Do you represent a new generation of religious activism?

MP: I think we’ve always talked about pop culture; Elton John in the 90s is one example. We’ve done a lot of parodies even before Lady Gaga, so, no, I don’t think it’s new. I think it’s just exploded recently because these icons are so huge, you know? I frankly am not sure why one thing over another will get more attention, except that I know all of these things are in the hands of God. He is the one who opens these doors and causes these words to go forth. It’s an awesome thing to be a part of and I’m so thankful for my spot here.

AB: I know you tweet a lot. I have read your Twitter page. Now, your family and the church protested outside the headquarters recently and the press release that went along with that protest said that you’re thankful for mass communication, because you have to use mass communication to get your message out, right, even if it is against the mass communication itself?

MP: That picket wasn’t [about] the platform itself, and I’ve said this several times. Before you say that there’s hypocrisy going on here, you have to look at the actual reason we were protesting. These mass communications and everything that we have – and when I say “we,” I mean every human being – is a gift from God. Everything that you have is a gift of God and you have a duty to use it to serve him. The people we were protesting, the people who run Twitter, those people have a platform, God has given them a voice, and the fact that they don’t use that voice to proclaim the truth of God, that testifies against them, and God is going to require that from their hand. We were there to warn them.

AB: I don’t know if it’s really a Twitter executive’s job to use that platform to spread God’s message, whatever that may be, but they are providing you and other people with a platform. Isn’t that just as important?

MP: I’m talking about each human being, not just Twitter executives – everyone who uses Twitter and uses it for all the porn… They just put it out there. This generation puts out anything and everything perverted that comes into their mind. And they’re proud and they feel okay about doing that, because no one is willing to rebuke them. No one is willing to tell them, “Hey, that’s going to land you in hell.” That’s the definition of “Love Thy Neighbor:” rebuking them when you see them sinning.

AB: Okay.

MP: The definition of “love” to people in this generation is loving someone even when you see them doing wrong, saying, “Oh, that’s okay, I’m going to love you anyway, because I’m just that good. I’m just a good person.” That’s not what God’s standard of love is; He says, “Thou shalt not hate thy neighbor in thine heart,” but instead of hating them, your job is to, “rebuke him and not suffer his sin upon him.” So, again, loving your neighbor is warning him.

AB: If Twitter had been explicitly been established for a religious reason, would it still be worthy of protest?

MP: Here’s what you have to understand about most religion today: it’s fake. Most people don’t follow the standards of God. We picket a lot of churches, Catholic and Protestant, because those people claim that they are preaching what the Bible says. And instead of saying what the Bible actually says – that God hates people, that you have a duty to obey God – they say, “God loves everyone” and, essentially, “You can live like the devil and still expect to go to Heaven when you die.”

AB: Uh-huh.

MP: They preach that there is no standard except your own. You can live however you please and it’s okay, because God loves you anyway. That is not what the Bible says. What the Bible says is “God hates all workers of iniquity.” He says, “I set before you this day, a blessing and a curse; a blessing if you obey me and a curse if you won’t.” All these people are saying, “Oh, the earthquake in Haiti, that wasn’t a judgment of God.” Of course it’s a judgment of God! It’s a curse!

AB: So Haiti deserved the earthquake?

MP: Yeah, it’s the judgment of God on a rebellious people. The vast majority in that country are Catholic. There’s a three word indictment of the entire Catholic Church and it’s ”Priests rape boys.” Plus, the Catholic Church is full of idolatry. In Haiti particularly, it’s a satanic mixture of Catholic idolatry, the voodoo, and worshipping ancestors and nature. It’s pantheism. What you have is a bunch of people setting up false Gods and worshipping them. God says that he is a jealous God, and that he is going to avenge himself on you when you set up and worship those false gods, and an earthquake is a prime example. 9/11 is another example.

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29 Responses to “Megan Phelps Explains It All, Sort Of”

  1. Jakeinlove
    February 4, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    I’m sorry you went to all this hard work to interview her. I had to stop before the end of the first page because the girl has some serious issues.

  2. ABelonsky
    February 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Oh, bullshit, jakeinlove. no matter how little we may think of our anti-gay enemies, it’s good to hear them out and recalibrate ourselves. plus, despite all her crazy, she’s a nice girl. perhaps, however, i just think that because i know that WBC is too small to make a real impact…

  3. Lonnie
    February 4, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    You know, I wish that gay journalists would STOP sticking a microphone in these bigots faces. We don’t need to promote them any more than they promote themselves. Stop giving these fuckers a platform to spew their hate, idiots! You want to know how to do REAL journalism? Notice: not once did I ask what the bigots thought or felt.

    Seattle faces down Westboro bigots

    Lonnie Lopez reports on the efforts of Seattle activists to counter the bigotry of the Westboro Baptist Church.

    July 15, 2009 | Issue 702 [2]

    SEATTLE–When the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) paid a visit here over the June 13-14 weekend to spew their antigay, racist and anti-Semitic filth, 19-year-old Eduardo Brambila was angered and outraged.

    But more importantly, he and others took action.

    When Brambila–who works for Center for Multicultural Health and the American Friends Service Committee’s GLBTQ Youth Committee–learned of the WBC’s visit a week before it was scheduled to occur, he immediately began contacting other local activists to organize a response.

    During this visit, the WBC didn’t specifically target lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) institutions or people. Instead, the group planned to picket several Jewish community organizations, a Catholic church, an African American church and a high school over several days.

    A small group of core organizers planned counterprotests for the WBC’s Sunday pickets, backed by a broad coalition of community organizations including Jewish Voice for Peace, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Queer Ally Coalition and Voices Rising. Students at Garfield High School organized their own massive protests for the WBC’s Monday-morning visit to their school.

    Some of the more established LGBT activists in Seattle tried to dissuade organizers from planning any response at all, arguing that protests would only generate more attention and media coverage to this already marginalized extremist group.

    But coming so soon after the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, the shooting rampage at the Washington, D.C., Holocaust Museum by a white supremacist and a right-wing conservative campaign to repeal the state of Washington’s newly passed domestic partnership bill, many understood the need to stand up to discrimination and were eager to fight back.

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

    A DIVERSE crowd of several hundred people turned out at Mount Zion Baptist Church on Sunday morning, June 14, to face down about half a dozen homophobes holding signs reading “God hates fags” and “God hates Jews” and one incomprehensible sign reading “Bitch Burger” depicting an infant in a hamburger.

    Protesters drowned them out with chants of “Racist, sexist, antigay–right-wing bigots, go away!” and “Better gay than grumpy!” A group of high school students chanted “Two, four, six, eight–how do you know your kids are straight?”

    When the WBC packed up and left for their next target, St. James Cathedral, the counterprotesters marched up Madison Street to meet them. As the protesters rounded 9th Avenue, St. James Cathedral church members began the Corpus Christi procession around down the block past the WBC.

    Church leaders in white and purple robes lead the congregation; small children in bright-colored costumes marching with flags on poles marched along and choirs sang hymns as the procession passed–this was no ordinary counterprotest. One young woman in a girls’ choir noticed the WBC and began flipping them off. The visually stunning scene, the chants, and the singing brought more people from nearby buildings out to protest the bigots.

    When the WBC wrapped up and left this time, the crowd erupted into cheers before gathering to hear speakers and performers. A local Mexican restaurant donated food for protesters, and uneaten food was later taken to a local tent city and distributed to residents. Taking donations all day, including one from the pastor of one of the protested churches, organizers raised more than $360 for the Lambert House, a local LGBT youth center.

    “A lot of times now we feel like we need not react to this–ignore it and it will go away,” said Brambila. “But it’s not happening. We’re here, we’re proud, and look, you can’t even hear them…And we’re not going to let this in our community.”

    The next morning, nearly 300 people gathered outside Garfield High School before classes started in order to meet the Phelps clan. The crowd swelled to nearly 500 after school buses dropped off more students. Students, teachers, parents, local church leaders, members of LGBT groups and others held hands and sang songs, with many donning purple–Garfield’s school color–as a sign of solidarity.

    “This is an affirmation of our community’s strength,” said Hanna King, a 15-year-old Garfield sophomore who organized the opposition rally. “It has nothing to do with them; they’re crazy. This is about what we believe.”

    The battle to defend the rights we’ve won in Washington–and the fight for full marriage equality–will be heating up in the months to come, but this quick and large response offers clear evidence of a radical shift that’s taken place over the last few months around the country.

    Seattle’s response to the Westboro Baptist Church shows that not only can we stand up to bigotry and discrimination, but that we can use such opportunities to build solidarity, confidence and a movement that can win full equality.

  4. cooj
    February 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    I wouldn’t have a problem with people interviewing these asses if they actually asked good questions and challenged them. These questions are puff. They’re ridiculous. You just gave her a free platform to spew her hate. Why didn’t you challenge her in an intelligent way? Why didn’t you challenge her interpretation of the bible? Why didn’t you ask if she’s learned Hebrew fluently so that she could go back to the original texts to actually understand what her god said? Because she sure as hell wouldn’t have a good answer for that. She puts her life on the line to believe a random translation written centuries after god supposedly actually spoke to these people. Inane interview that does far more harm than good.

  5. Andy
    February 4, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    sadly..if you read what this girl is talking about..and listen to how she answers…they are limited to certain phrases only. From childhood into teen..she has been taught what to think, say and believe. So in her mind, it is all she knows. It just goes to show how sick her parents and grandparents are, to take a child and create their own messenger of hate and distortion. It’s good to see this, so we know how to respond when they spew their vemon. They use only ONE thought and one way of thinking. Sadly, it would be like telling a French man that he must speak English in China…just not gonna change him or them and it won’t make sense to argue. Just smile..wave…say to them.. If you say so, and walk away. They ALL will die a lonely life of hatred and disgust from the rest of the world!

  6. Ernest
    February 4, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Hate is not a value GOD embraces, GOD embraces LOVE this Megan woman is going to enjoy hell!

  7. ChadMichael
    February 5, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    she said she is waiting to see if same sex marriage will bring the wrath of god and until she is proven wrong that is what she will think…..then keep waiting.

  8. Drounal
    February 5, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    “I’m talking about each human being, not just Twitter executives – everyone who uses Twitter and uses it for all the porn…”

    Yeah, but then again, technically, if there *is* porn, then it’s a gift from God, isn’t it? Otherwise it just wouldn’t be.

    “Everything that you have is a gift of God and you have a duty to use it to serve him”

    So we have a duty to use porn to serve God. Hu-hum.

  9. Kelly
    February 5, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    This interview really impressed me. It is really, really easy to sit down and write a blog railing against someone like this. It is a lot harder to sit down with them, look them in the eye, and give them enough rope to hang themselves.

    I already know what these people sound like when people challenge their beliefs; I found it fascinating to hear her speak honestly and openly about her upbringing, her doubts, and her understanding that most people hate her.

    “Letting her spew her hate” is exactly the right thing to do when her hate–as she said–sounds batshit crazy to nearly everyone.

  10. Anonymous
    February 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness (before I came out as a teenager), I know how to recognize brainwashing–and that’s exactly what’s been done to this young woman. She was raised with these beliefs and truly knows nothing else. This still doesn’t excuse hatred, but it makes it easier to understand how people can spout such craziness–it’s because they honestly believe it!

  11. jjgg5
    February 5, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    What a stupid, constipated bitch. Yet another believer in the big fairy in the sky.

  12. John Scott Ridgway
    February 5, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    This girl needs to get laid.

  13. GodHatesFigs
    February 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    “no matter how little we may think of our anti-gay enemies, it’s good to hear them out and recalibrate ourselves. plus, despite all her crazy, she’s a nice girl. perhaps” – Unlike jakeinlove, I did read the entire article and I still agree with him. Get a freaking grip AB!

    What good is “hearing out” bigots who spew nothing but propaganda, hypocrisy, and lies about us? Who’s side are you on?? These people are given the spotlight almost everyday, the last thing they need is to be “heard”. You, sir did the entire gay community injustice by allowing this wack-job a platform to spew more hate. Your tone towards her seemed way too compassionate- you even seemed to coddle her!

    This girl is, she is all kinds of crazy and hates us (as in gays). As far as your “she’s a nice girl” comment, some women thought Ted Bundy was a “nice guy” before he raped and murdered (then raped them again after death) 35+ women.

  14. heyyea
    February 8, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    What about her mom’s first son? Born out of wedlock, after her affair in 1979? Is that very Christian like?

  15. Dee
    February 9, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Interesting interview. I would love to see the video, but it’s not showing up on the page…is there an error…?

  16. AKAWilliam
    February 10, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    @ Dee,

    There is no video, just the audio of the conference call. If that isn’t working for you, let me know!

  17. shela
    February 23, 2010 at 2:37 am #

    Shes a disgusting vile pig and so is everyone else in her ugly family. If she died, I wouldn’t shed a tear.

  18. Jess
    June 16, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    I’m amazed that you didn’t not want to get up out of your chair and punch her. You have a lot more self control then what I would have had and I have only read the first 4 responses.

  19. Kim
    January 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    she might ‘endure hell’ if there WAS a hell… hahaha how we will all laugh oneday when we die. or will we? chances are we’ll just black out. i think it’s hilarious that people mould their lives around something with no proof or relevance in today’s society. faith is okay, but it’s never okay to be shoving your thoughts down other peoples throats and telling them that it’s not okay to be who they are (“sinners”… gays, lesbians, single mothers). It makes me sad that people can’t just accept others for who they are. If they’re not hurting anyone else, or the planet, then let them live their lives. peace out.

  20. Sharon Pretty
    March 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    ” … but it’s never okay to be shoving your thoughts down other peoples throats and telling them that it’s not okay to be who they are …”

    Think about it for a moment. On careful examination, what you are saying only makes sense in a very limited context. Say that someone is a lifelong homophobe. They don’t attack anyone physically or verbally to their face but that doesn’t alter the fact that they hate queers and don’t believe that gays should have the same rights as everyone else. So they write a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, as my mother did a couple of years back, urging him to oppose the ordination of a gay bishop on the grounds that it will drive away the Anglican Churches in Africa and split the Church of England. I gave my mother a hard time over this, accusing her of depriving a man of his living simply on the grounds she disapproved of his sexual orientation. Hence, I was shoving my shoving thoughts down my mother’s throat and telling her that it’s not okay to be who she is.

    My mother is a very sentimental person. But she doesn’t think things through, especially when it comes to non-human animals. She loves to see birds come into her garden. But she’s also all for the keeping of cats even though I’ve endlessly explained to her that cats have helped to destroy the song bird populations in the south east of the UK.

    Define what you mean by “others”. Do you include only the animal species correctly known as Homo stupidus stupidus here? My mother is a glutton and loves nothing more than to stuff her face with roast lamb and roast beef, and roast chicken and roast pig. She’s also a cheap skate and won’t buy organic meat, or humanely reared, because she thinks it’s a waste of her money, even though she could afford it. When I describe to her exactly how all the animals she loves to eat have been killed, and the inhumane conditions in which they have been reared, she gets upset, and doesn’t want to know because, of course, it might affect her enjoyment of her Sunday Roast. And of course, no matter how humanely you raise a pig, you can’t kill a pig humanely because they are so intelligent they know what’s coming.

    My son feels very strongly about the eating of meat, does not eat any meat including fish or fowl, and is quite happy to point out to me what a bad person I am for eating meat which I do when someone offers it to me. I am opposed to the vivisectionists and support all those who campaign vociferously on behalf of laboratory animals against the vivisectionists. I support Green Peace and Sea Shepherd in their fight against the Japanese and Norwegian whalers. I think that anyone who kills whales deserves to meet a horrible end.

    The classic liberal position espoused by John Stuart Mill in his brilliant essay “On Liberty” is great as far as it goes. But if you want to live a truly blameless life, you can’t live the self-indulgent life of a typical Westerner, gay or straight. You have to live the life of the Sky-clads – if you’re interested then see https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Digambar for a typical Wikipedia intro.

  21. Dayne
    June 22, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    Thank you for this interview, i thoroughly enjoyed it. Quite enlightening too, many thanks.

    Of course i dont believe a word shes saying about God but still it clears up many questions we have about her family and church

  22. John C
    May 18, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    Maybe what AB experienced, which no one else did in the same capacity, is a hint of legitimate human quality wrapped up in beliefs taught at a young age. It’s easy to say “she’s crazy” or whatever you may say. But watch your tone objectively as possible, so that you don’t become the very object of your hatred. “Hate leads to fear…” it’s a thin line that both parties flirt with.

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