Megan Phelps-Roper On Leaving The Westboro Baptist Church, AKA 'America's Most Hated Family'
We talk about rapper T.I.'s incredibly creepy confession that he gets his teenager daughter's hymen checked every year, what 'shitposting' really means and Emma Watson's re-naming of singledom as 'self-parternering'. And of course: there are some updates in the now legendary segment, Dolls Polls.
This week we have one of the most important and moving author specials we have ever had. Megan Phelps-Roper's memoir, Unfollow, charts her upbringing in the radical Westboro Baptist Church, a church in Kansas made famous by their shocking picketing of funerals, where they held up signs that read: God Hates Fags, and Pray For More Dead Soldiers. They were also the subject of two Louis Theroux documentaries, including the 2007, 'The Most Hated Family In America' - as WBC then became known. Megan left the church in 2012, aged 26, after her conversations with 'outsiders' on Twitter opened up an internal chasm in her faith.
We talk about radicalism, indoctrination, religion and how the ideology of a binary, black and white world, is not something specific to Westboro. It defines the time that we live in, too. And Megan describes the agony of leaving her family behind with her faith. "I left the church - but never you. And never will" she writes in her epigraph to her parents.
Unfollow, by Megan Phelps-Roper
Do Humankind's Best Days Lie Ahead? By Pinker, Ridley, De Botton and Gladwell
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, by Elizabeth Smart
Emma Watson interviewed by Paris Lees for British Vogue www.vogue.co.uk/news/article/emma-watson-on-fame-activism-little-women
What is shitposting? By Sarah Manavis for The New Statesman https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/media/2019/11/what-is-shitposting-and-why-does-it-matter-bbc-brexitcast-laura-kuenssberg-got-it-wrong
Cruel Intentions, on Netflix
The Souvenir, on Amazon Prime
Black Woman, by Twayna Mayne on BBC Sounds www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07r9qy3
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