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Girl on a wire : walking the line between faith and freedom in the Westboro Baptist Church

by Phelps, Libby,

Format: Print Book 2017
Availability: Available at 7 Libraries 7 of 7 copies
Available (7)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Carrick Non-Fiction Collection BR1725.P483 A3 2017
Location  CLP - Carrick
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  BR1725.P483 A3 2017
CLP - East Liberty Non-Fiction Collection BR1725.P483 A3 2017
Location  CLP - East Liberty
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  BR1725.P483 A3 2017
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction BR1725.P483 A3 2017
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  BR1725.P483 A3 2017
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection BR1725.P483 A3 2017
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  BR1725.P483 A3 2017
Carnegie Library of McKeesport Nonfiction 286.092 P514
Location  Carnegie Library of McKeesport
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  286.092 P514
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 286.092 Phe
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  286.092 Phe
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 286.092 PHE
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  286.092 PHE
It wasn't until Libby Phelps was an adult, a twenty-five year old, that she escaped the Westboro Baptist Church. She is the granddaughter of its founder, Fred Phelps, and when she left, the church and its values were all she'd known. She didn't tell her family she was leaving. It happened in just a few minutes; she ran into her house, grabbed a bag, and fled. No goodbyes.

Based in Topeka, Kansas, the Westboro Baptist Church community is one the country's most notorious evangelical groups. Its members are known for their boisterous picketing--their zealous members with anti-military, anti-Semitic, and anti-gay signs--"Thank God for Dead Soldiers," "God Hates Jews," or "Thank God for 9/11"--and their notorious catchphrase "God hates fags." Search for them online and you're directed to their website, www.godhatesfags.com.

The church makes headlines in news across the country. You've driven past its picketers or seen them on TV. It has seventy members and ninety percent of them are part of Libby's family. They picket concerts, football games, other churches, and, most notoriously, the funerals of servicemen and victims of hate crimes. For its members, to question its rules is to risk going to hell--where worms eat at your body and fire shoots out of your eyeballs.

In Girl on a Wire , Libby is candid about her experience and what's happened since her escape. On Anderson Cooper Live , she was confronted by the mother of a soldier whose funeral had been picketed, and had to respond. Despite it all, she cares for her family. Her grandfather's sermons were fear mongering, but she loves him. This unusual memoir presents a rare, inside look into a notorious cult, and is an astonishing story of strength, bravery, and determination.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "It began in 1991 with a single sign: Watch Your Kids! Gays in Restrooms. It was waved about during the first demonstration by the now notorious Westboro Baptist Church, whose founder, Fred Phelps, had decided that homosexuality was a menace American culture was trying to promote. The Phelps' picketing grew apace, and by 1998 it had gone national, and the church members were present at the funeral of Matthew Shepard (Matt in Hell), while in the wake of 9/11 they targeted New York firefighters (Thank God for September 11). Phelps' granddaughter, who left the church eight years ago, recalls with coauthor Stewart, these and other controversial incidents. If there is a villain in this fascinating memoir, it is her humorless Aunt Shirley, not Phelps' late grandfather, for whom she still has warm feelings, noting he genuinely felt he was lovingly saving people from hell by pointing out their sins. There is a fine line between love and hate, however, and readers will decide for themselves which emotion was the actual motive.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Phelps tells the riveting story of growing up in "the Most Hated Family in America," led by her grandfather and family patriarch Fred Phelps, who founded Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kans. Seeking out the spotlight for controversial religious reasons, Libby's family rose to national prominence after protesting the funerals of 9/11 victim Father Mychal Judge, murdered teen Matthew Shepherd, and numerous fallen U.S. soldiers with signs that read "God Hates Fags," "Fags Doom Nations," and "God Sent IEDs"-arguing that these deaths were the consequence of American society's move away from Christian values. At one time Phelps agreed with that position, but, over the course of the book, she reveals how her thinking has changed. At age 25, she had a traumatic break with the church and her family after an argument with her father. "On the outside," she writes, "I felt terror at what might become of me when the day of reckoning was at hand." Phelps now finds ways to "undo the legacy of hate" she helped to create, including by volunteering with Equality House, the LGBT-advocacy office located across from Westboro Baptist Church. From the inside of one of America's most infamous churches, Phelps delivers a captivating study of how free speech can become a vehicle for cruelty and hatred. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Phelps, Libby.
Westboro Baptist Church (Topeka, Kan.)
Baptists -- Biography.
Christianity and politics -- United States.
Publisher New York, NY :2017
Contributors Stewart, Sara, author.
Language English
Description 208 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
ISBN 9781510703254
Other Classic View