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Central Standard

Westboro Defectors

The Westboro Baptist Church is notorious in the area and nation-wide for their protests of soldier's funerals and anti-gay messages. Fred Phelps and his followers, based in Topeka, travel the country spreading their messages of hate and last year a petition to label them an official hate group was introduced.

But what is life like for members of the church if they decide to walk away from the beliefs at Westboro? Lauren Drain, a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church and author of the book, Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church joins us on this Central Standard. In the book, Drain talks about the activities of the church she was involved in as a teenager and why she decided to leave, as well as the struggle of being banished by her family members and loved ones.

We also hear an interview from Nate Phelps, the son of Fred Phelps, from 2011 about his defection from the church and his work on behalf of LGBT rights and victims of child abuse.

Central Standard Westboro Baptist Church
As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer, Media Training Manager and now the Community Engagement Manager at KCUR. You can reach him at Matthew@kcur.org, or on Twitter @MLMIndustries.