Straying from the fold: Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, is known for picketing military funerals with followers carrying placards that read “God hates fags” and “God hates America.” Members of his church are mostly from his family. But Nate Phelps, the sixth of Fred Phelps’s 13 children, will have nothing to do with his father’s work. Nate, 51, left home on the eve of his 18th birthday. He says that violence was ever-present in his upbringing and that he chafed at the rigid parenting he received. Now an atheist living in Calgary, Alberta, Nate says he rejects “any system that is sustained by hatred, any theology that acts with deliberate cruelty toward others, then revels in the suffering it causes, any ideology that would marginalize a group of people and debase them for whom they choose to love” (ENI).
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