What if the hate that fuels the very homophobic Westboro Baptist Church stems from the leader being gay himself? A former member of the controversial church thinks it might be a possibility. Lauren Drain, who recently left the church after being a member since she was 15 has spoken out about the church and in an interview with the Advocate posted on Thursday, Drain talks about how head pastor Fred Phelps could be gay.
Drain says she first accepted the anti-teachings of the church and Phelps but begin to question the teachings of a church that believes the majority of people will go to hell. Also known as "God Hates Fags", the church has picketed funerals of soldiers and recently attempted to picked the funerals of the children killed at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
It was those kind of actions which made Drain doubt what the church was all about and she was ultimately cast out at the age of 22. Drain who is now 27 has written a book about her experience and has given her support to the NOH8 campaign, an organization aiming to promote marriage, gender and human equality.
Drain told the Advocate that she believed the motivation behind Phelps teachings is that he may be gay himself. She recalled his reaction when he was asked questions regarding homosexuality.
"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."
She believes something may have happened in his life to fuel his hatred towards gays and change his mind about the military. All of this is Drain's speculation but usually when someone is fueled by such hate it is often a recount of their own fear and internal emotional security.
Drain says one of the focuses of the Westboro Baptist Church towards their members was to strip away at human emotion, human connection and human empathy even for family members. But luckily she didn't allow the church to strip away at her own human sympathy. And she is happy to know that more members have left the church and apologized for their hateful words.
Lauren Drain's memoir, Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church, is now available in hardcover or as an ebook at amazon.com.