Frank commented on one of my last posts and informed me that Shirley Phelps-Roper’s brother, Nate, is now an atheist. That makes me feel better. Rational thought and escape are possible. According to the only source on the Internet:
Nathan “Nate” Phelps is an American-born Canadian author, LGBT rights activist, and public speaker on the topics of religion and child abuse. He is the sixth of the thirteen children of Pastor Fred Phelps, from whom he — along with three of his siblings — has been estranged since his eighteenth birthday in 1976. Phelps permanently left Westboro Baptist Church in 1980. In the 20 years following his departure, Phelps tried to find a milder form of Christianity, and raised his own children within an Evangelical church, but his doubts only grew as he continued studying religion. At the Reason Rally in Washington on March 24, 2012, he told that the events of 9/11 finally brought him to disbelief:
“Then, one sunny September morning, the illusion of a personal God that I tried so hard to believe in, exploded over the skies of Manhattan. Even as the ashes and ruin of this horrific act of blind faith settled over New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, I watched people across the country scrambling to that same irrational altar for their answers. In the fierce storm of emotion that rolled across this country, one realization rose to the surface of my mind with blinding clarity: certainly this mechanism of unassailable blind faith is one of the greatest risks mankind faces today.”
He is known for his criticism of the Westboro Baptist Church through literature, interviews, public speaking at atheist conventions and his website. He states that his father physically abused him and the other Phelps children and he believes that the church is an organization for his father to “vent his rage and anger.” Phelps’ brother Mark supports and repeats Nathan’s claims of physical abuse by their father.