Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving Westboro Baptist Church by Megan Phelps-Roper
At the age of five, Megan Phelps-Roper carried signs protesting homosexuality and other alleged vices alongside fellow members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. As she grew, she watched the church - an enterprise consisting almost entirely of her immediate relatives - expand its activities. It became notorious for picketing soldiers' funerals and celebrating death and tragedy, causing the BBC to label the Phelpses "the most hated family in America."
A gripping memoir of escaping extremism and falling in love, Unfollow relates Megan's painful departure from Westboro and how she replaced the dogmas she had absorbed with a new community. The tale of her moral awakening is rich with suspense and thoughtful reflection, exposing the dangers of black-and-white thinking - and illuminating a possible way out of our age of angry polarization.
South Dakota's 2020 One Book (South Dakota Humanities Council)
Megan Phelps-Roper is a writer and an activist. Formerly a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, she left the church in November 2012 and is now an educator on topics related to extremism and communication across ideological divides. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, Chad, and daughter, Solvi Lynne.