Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred
Phelps' homophobia may have roots in his sexual orientation, a former
church member speculates.
The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro
Baptist Church, infamous for coining the phrase “God Hates Fags,”
has said its members protest the funerals of fallen American soldiers
because they died protecting a nation which supports homosexuality.
Lauren Drain, 27 and the author of
Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church,
was cast out of the church for challenging many of its beliefs.
In an interview with gay glossy The
Advocate, Drain was asked to speculate on what prompted
Phelps to launch his crusade against gays.
“I never understood why, when [the
media asked him], 'Why are you so against the homosexuals? Did you
have a homosexual experience? Do you have homosexual tendencies?' And
he would get so mad, he would shut down,” Drain said. “And he'd
be like, 'I can't talk to this person anymore, they're stupid.' His
reaction to that was stronger than any other question you can ask
him. So I always wondered that – why does he get so mad? If I'm
not gay, I'll just say, I'm not gay. And I'm not going to freak out,
like, 'Why are you calling me gay?' I always thought that was super
strange. … I don't know what happened there, so [speculation] is
all that I can leave it at. But something happened, and something
made him change his mind about the military, and in turn have kind of
a crusade against sexual immorality and homosexuals.”