This week I’m going to take a back seat and point you to someone else that I think is worth hearing. Her name is Megan Phelps-Roper, and not only does she have a fascinating story of being brought up in the Westboro Baptist Church, but she has some invaluable insights in how we should talk to one another if we really care about helping each other.
In case you don’t know, the Westboro Baptist Church is a small family church of about 40 people or so that is not officially affiliated with the Baptist Convention. They have become famous for hate speech and protesting funerals. I’m most amazed that the only time I have ever seen a comment section on the internet where everyone agreed was when people were talking about how awful the Westboro Baptist Church is.
So, hearing about the experience of being raised in that environment is intriguing. But, I am linking to this video, not out of curiosity, but because this woman has some invaluable insights on how people managed to overcome a seemingly impenetrable wall of denial and opposition to get through to her. These are tools we should all learn.
While her speaking style may be a little stilted, I highly encourage you to listen to everything she has to say. One of the lessons that has most stuck with me is:
“I thought my rightness justified my rudeness”
Just imagine how much the internet, our discussions and our relationships would improve if everyone believed that our rightness does not justify our rudeness.