Inside the Westboro Baptist Church

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Lauren Drain talks about her experience in the Westboro Baptist Church, the organization notorious for holding offensive signs, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards. Drain’s book Banished: A Memoir, written with Lisa Pulitzer, is an account of joining as a child and being raised on the church's compound. When she began to challenge some of the church's tenets, she was cast out and permanently cut off from her family and from everyone else she knew and loved.


Lauren Drain

Comments [16]

Noach (Independent, Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

@ dboy (01:56 p.m.):
"Religion: JUST SAY NO!!"

I am an unapologetic traditionalist; an Orthodox Jew with conservative sexual mores and sensibilities similar to those widely ascribed to the "Christian right". I cannot imagine anyone sincere and conscientious who shares these values-- whether Jewish _or_ Christian-- not also finding, as I do, the antics of Westboro Baptist Church to be vile, repugnant, reprobate and reprehensible.

WBC is about as fringe as it gets: a complete /outlier/ in the world of religion.

Yet, you, "dboy", use this segment on WBC as yet another opportunity to parrot an incredibly simplistic, blanket condemnation of _all_ religion; you write simply,"religion", with no distinctions or qualifiers.

And yet, I have seen you use phrases such as, "idiotic ideologues"[1], to refer to others.

Do you really see no problem with this? (Even if said descriptions may indeed have validity for the individuals they are being applied-to).


[1] That was the exact phrase you had used in post you had made back on February 13th, in which you actually complimented me. You wrote,

"@ Noach ~

You seem like a bright, insightful person. Why do you bother to engage the idiotic ideologues?"

I had wanted-to reply at the time (but never did so) by telling you that while I thank you for the compliment, I suspect that it is only a matter of time before you will see me express views that will clash considerably with yours. And when that happens, I would not be surprised if you were to direct a phrase not terribly unlike, "idiotic ideologue", against /me/...

Mar. 06 2013 05:00 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

No, Tony from Canarsie, you're still not reading me correctly. But do enlighten us as to what unique insights could be derived from this interview and book.

Mar. 06 2013 02:31 PM
Tony from Canarsie

thatgirl from manhattan -- If I'm reading you correctly, you're essentially saying "been there done that so why bother?" Sounds a bit jaded to me.

Mar. 06 2013 02:06 PM
Darrellx from New York

I think that Phelps started picketing military funerals after "Don't Ask Don't Tell". She would be too young to remember that time, it was under President Clinton.

Mar. 06 2013 01:59 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Tony from Canarsie - If one has read anything prior about fanatical religions, cults, or whatever you'd care to call them--or read one or two NYT pieces on the WBC, they'd agree that they've heard nothing new from this interview.

To say that I am advocating "out of sight, out of mind," or that talking about a subject equals condoning it simply means you've jumped to conclusion. We've had plenty of cult escapees write about their experiences, as well as those who've planted themselves within them report their modus operandi. WBC really isn't different from Scientology or the others in any of its tenets--at least not as we've learned here.

Mar. 06 2013 01:58 PM

Religion: JUST SAY NO!!

Mar. 06 2013 01:56 PM
The Truth from Becky

Not surprised by any of this...and meanwhile, still occurring right now.

Mar. 06 2013 01:47 PM

This sort of voyeurism isn't quite prurient, but what good is served by talking at such length about what everyone already knows is destructive fanaticism?

Mar. 06 2013 01:46 PM
Tony from Canarsie

thatgirl from manhattan -- I don't understand the point of your negative comments. Talking about a controversy subject is not the same thing as condoning it, and "out of sight, out of mind" is a lousy philosophy.

Mar. 06 2013 01:45 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

This is a very courageous person.

Some New Yorkers live in a cocoon.
They have no idea what goes on in
America when it comes to cults.

Mar. 06 2013 01:45 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Nothing new to learn here--move along.

Mar. 06 2013 01:43 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Fifteen years old is "young?" How old is the author such that this represents a "life" spent in the WBC?

Mar. 06 2013 01:29 PM
Quick Question from BK

I am actually curious as to how Ms. Drain has reconciled with her faith after leaving and being cast out from a group whose bonds are centered around their faith no matter how distorted. Also, could Ms. Drain dispell any misconceptions about WBC and clarify any assumed truths?

Mar. 06 2013 01:27 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Seriously, Leonard--is there really anything new we can or would want to learn about this hate group (which is a "church" as much as the Duggar family is) that we don't already?

Must be the week for c-list author talks.

Mar. 06 2013 01:25 PM
justsearch from missouri

wow I got the book yesterday,
I think it is great
I think the wbc cult is pretty cool
like the old vampires wbc reminds me of vampires
I think the christians are trading places with the vampires witches and pagans
pagans are becoming more like christians and christian are becoming more like pagans
pretty soon they will be making movies about horror movies of the evil christians, like red state
wow would it be cool to belong to wbc church wow

Mar. 06 2013 12:59 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Looking forward to this interview almost as much as I look forward to the day when we no longer hear about this disgusting group.

Mar. 06 2013 12:04 PM

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