Open letter to the Westboro Baptist Church

Westboro Baptist Church members from Topeka, K...

Westboro Baptist Church members from Topeka, Kansas protesting in front of RFK Stadium located in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It probably won’t be a surprise that I strongly disagree with pretty much everything you guys do. So does the rest of the world and I’m sure that is not only what you expected, you are probably told that it’s a good thing. If the evil world is angry with you, you must be doing it right.

Unlike many others, I see most of you as victims. And the couple documentaries I saw about you confirmed that. And I ask myself for which things and from which age on can you be blamed for what you do? And I still don’t know the answer.

If you teach a little kid that Jews are horrible people, he will probably grow up hating Jews until he either wakes up or meets other people and opens up to different opinions. Teach that same kid that Americans are evil, and he will believe you too. And that is what happened with a lot of you. You have been told that the whole world is evil, except for the sixty, seventy members of the Westboro Baptist Church. You have been told that you will burn in Hell if you disagree with whatever your pastor thinks he reads in the Bible. You have been told that if someone challenges you to think for yourself, it is actually the devil trying to spread doubt. It’s therefore better not to question anything and to act as if you have no doubts, even though you do. You are forced to kick your daughter out of the house because she had her questions. You have to act like you don’t care about her anymore but you do.

In a society it should be irrelevant if and what someone believes. I won’t even mention if I believe anything, I hate to preach but I do know the Bible. I also know that there is no verse in the Bible that says the Westboro Baptist Church is the one and only real church. Jesus never said that Pastor Fred Phelps from Kansas is the only one who has got it right.

It must be hard to live in an environment where you are told that you will burn in Hell if you disagree. And not only will you burn in Hell, you will also be kicked out of the house, you will have to leave your family, lose everything you seem to have. It’s hard to question anything. It’s easier, safer, to try not to think, because you know the consequences thinking can have.

Some did question what they were told and concluded it just couldn’t be right. Somewhere between Jesus being nice, friendly and caring for people who were going through a tough time and Pastor Fred Phelps ordering you to destroy a funeral for the same people, there seems to be a gap of information. Those in your church who doubted, had to go. Fathers kicked their daughters out of the house, because they dared to disagree. In a documentary Louis Theroux made at your church, some of you acted as if you didn’t care but you were about to cry while talking about the loss of your daughter. The only reason you didn’t cry is because you are told that emotions don’t matter. Not because the Bible says so, but because your Pastor says so. It takes a lot of effort to read in the Bible that it is forbidden to be a human being, but you have been warned what happens if you cave for your feelings. End of story. Find another home. Lose your family. Never hear from them again.

In another part of the documentary, a girl in your church was talking about her non-existing and not-allowed love life. She had better things to do. She mentioned that once a guy asked her to go for a coffee. She told him no. The interviewer asked ‘what was his name’ and she said ‘I don’t know, I don’t care’. The interviewer didn’t buy it and said ‘of course you do’ and she admitted ‘his name is Robert’. She said she didn’t care, but she did. She was just not supposed to.

As unimportant as it seems, this is a good example of what you are doing in your church. You are not allowed to be a human being. You are not allowed to miss your daughter. Twenty year old girls are not allowed to even think about having feelings for someone. Because a Pastor who has thirteen children says it’s not good. And the consequence of the slightest mistake is that you can pack your stuff and move out.

An inconsistent Pastor and a couple others claim to be the only ones who know the truth. The rest of you joins them whether you like it or not. Serious questions that people ask you are answered by ‘you are too dumb to understand’ which is English for ‘I don’t have an answer’. The whole bible is taken out of context there in Kansas and only certain parts of it are used. But don’t doubt it, because your name will be ‘false prophet’.

For those who believe, the most important thing in the Bible is that Jesus died for everyone who believes in him. It doesn’t say Jesus only died for the members of the Westboro Baptist Church. Or only for those who live like your pastor thinks one should live. No, it says for everybody who believes.  Period.

A closer look and analysis of your church shows structural inconsistency. Everything God does should be celebrated is what you say. And even if, in your opinion, that would mean you have to picket and celebrate the funeral of a soldier, then why don’t you also celebrate a beautiful forest when you see it? You think everything in the world is made by God? Have you ever picketed a beautiful sunset with signs ‘God loves sunsets’? If not, then you are not celebrating everything your God does.

Your anti-gay focus is also something that is more based on Pastor Phelps his opinion than on the Bible. According to some interpretations the Bible does say that being gay is not good. But it also says lying is wrong, it says cheating is wrong, a whole bunch of other things are also wrong and especially for you, it says judging is wrong. Imagine how your life would be if you stopped judging? There would be nothing left.

And never does the Bible say that the Westboro Baptist church gets to pick which ‘sin’ is more important than the other sin. That is a decision you made. Not based on the Bible but based on what your father, uncle, grandfather, said. Pastor Phelps. Never mentioned in the Bible, but apparently there is some secret part that says that he is the only one who can (mis)interpret whatever he wants. He can forget half of the Bible and put the other half in the wrong context. And in case you notice that he is not correct, he also has the power to call you a false prophet.

What this man did to you and your family is horrible. You live a life of lies. You feel things that you are not allowed to feel. You want to cry because you miss your daughter who you kicked out of the house, but you can’t cry, out of fear that you will be kicked out yourself. And you can’t even discuss your feelings with your husband, wife or sister, because being vulnerable may be a human thing that is not forbidden in the bible, but in your Church it’s called temptation. A trick all cults use to stop the people from walking away.

But there is one thing you can do. You can be honest to yourself. No one will find out. You are allowed to realize that you actually do miss your daughter, even if you can’t admit it. You are allowed to realize that none of what you are told is based on the whole Bible, but just on misinterpretations of a small part of it. You are allowed to realize you are unhappy. And I can tell you that so far, everyone who left your cult, seems to be happier than back when they were there. But they still miss you, because most of you are family.

Wake up, be honest to yourself and realize that you’re throwing away your life, because one person preaches hate and forbids you to think about it yourself. And if you’re not happy with that, then go, leave that place and go look for your daughter, son or brother. They miss you. And you miss them. I feel sorry for you.


3 Responses to Open letter to the Westboro Baptist Church

  1. Well said. I learned about the W.B.C.’s child “apparent” abuse and endangerment when they came to shout “god hates jews”, “god hates fags”, etc. at the Synagogue on my block. Since I had to speak to one of the Police Officers who was keeping the peace about getting my car past the anti-W.B.C. protesters, I learned that she too thought it was abuse and endangerment. Unfortunately her orders were to “prevent an incident” so that the W.B.C. would leave town without suing.

    When Shirley made her famous tweet about the Sandy Hook shootings, something inside me changed. I could no longer pretend that this evil does not exist. Someone who celebrates the death of children should have no access to children, just as the courts ban pedophiles from being around children.

    I could no longer ignore what these “apparently” sick people are doing to their children, and thus I made the petition at: and the web page at:
    There are two Topeka based groups that are concerned with this issue:

    Unfortunately I found that most people who are anti-W.B.C. also hate their kids as well. Compare the petitions few votes to the other anti-W.B.C., and the some of the comments I have received indicate that people view their children as willful participants.

    The children born into this “apparent” hate cult did not choose to be, anymore than our queer friends and relatives chose to be queer. Yet the W.B.C. wants us as a Nation to round all homosexuals up and kill them, which is “apparently” the main reason for their “picketing” (hate / freak show).

    We as a country seem to be making the same sort of judgment about their kids. Currently their are two estranged family members with visible web sites.:
    Over twenty three people have escaped the cult. I assume that the rest don’t want to be known as “Phelps” for a reason.

    Almost all of the countries who banned the W.B.C. from entering would have taken issue with their “apparent” child abuse and endangerment. Most would have criminally investigated them and taken their children in to care.

    Why does America protect “apparent” child abuse under freedom of expression and religion?

  2. Bryan Cooper says:

    Great letter – hope some of their members read it. While you have direct experience with this group, I would surmise that fear is their motivator. They live in fear of God and Hell, and they see everyone else in the world as going to Hell. They have failed to face up to their own fears, and their behavior is based upon ‘saving others’ from what they themselves fear. They effectively have created their own version of Hell by seeing everyone around them as destined to going there.

  3. crazy1nks says:

    Great Letter, I am with the Take Back Topeka group in Topeka and we as well feel sorry for the children and they are only a product of their enviroment. They didn’t ask to be brought in to the family of the wbc….We tell them often that when they turn 18 they are legal adults and can leave this life behind…

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