The Westboro Baptist Church is the most controversial "church" in America. So far, three former members of the church have defected, all of them being grandchildren of the founder, Fred Phelps. On Feb. 13 Huffington Post shared a confrontation that Anderson Cooper facilitated on his show, "Anderson Live," between former church member Libby Phelps Alverez and the parents of Sterling Wyatt, a deceased United States Army Specialist who died in combat in Afghanistan.
Libby left the church in 2009. While talking to Anderson on set, she shared a tear-filled statement about what it was like to protest at the funerals of fallen soldiers. She says, "I thought I was doing good. I thought that the way to help my neighbor was to tell them that their sins were sending them to hell." That was the way that her grandfather raised her within the church and how the congregation operated.
Cooper then introduced Libby to the parents of Sterling Wyatt, the deceased soldier whose funeral Westboro Baptist Church picketed. Luckily there was a counter protest that created a human wall between the protesters and the funeral. Wyatt's mother, Sherry, commended Libby for leaving the church and detailed how she felt about the protest.
She says that at first she was appalled that they would do such a thing because her son had just died to give them the right to protest. She says that if she had a message for them is, "You are not helping us. You aren't saving our souls from hell, you are doing nothing but showing absolute hate."