Westboro Baptist Church has lost two of its own. Megan Phelps-Roper, a prominent member of the group who found herself in the news more than once, has left the church her grandfather founded. Younger sister Grace went with her. Phelps-Roper, credited with getting the WBC onto social media, had been silent on Twitter for months before posting a link to an open letter yesterday. In the letter, she admits: "We know that we've done and said things that hurt people. Inflicting pain on others wasn't the goal, but it was one of the outcomes. We wish it weren't so, and regret that hurt." She promises to "try to find a better way to live from here on."
She also says they still love their family (the girls have nine more siblings), but have been cut off from them as "betrayers." Jeff Chu offers some background on the situation on Medium.com: Megan, 27, left the church in November. Her doubts started after a conversation she had with an Israeli web developer about her understanding of how the Bible justifies what appears on one of Westboro's signs: "Death Penalty for Fags." That's when she first realized maybe God doesn't actually want gay people put to death. She and her sister are staying with cousin Libby Phelps Alvarez, who left Westboro in 2009, and they're trying new things, like sushi. As for Westboro, a spokesperson tells the Kansas City Star that if the women don't change their ways, "they're going to hell." (Read more Megan Phelps stories.)