Girl on a Wire: Walking the Line Between Faith and Freedom in the Westboro Baptist Church by Libby Phelps

Into the Wild

Read Girl on a Wire: Walking the Line Between Faith and Freedom in the Westboro Baptist Church Online Free - 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.”

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.

Title : Girl on a Wire: Walking the Line Between Faith and Freedom in the Westboro Baptist Church
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 151070325X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 pages


Beth rated it ★★★★☆

September 16, 2017

It was interesting and horrifying to learn about what happened behind the scenes for Libby Phelps as she was growing up in the Westboro Baptist Church. As she says, she was brainwashed which is accurate. Given the kind of environment she grew up in, it is remarkable that she was able to escape an...

Shawn rated it ★★★★★

December 09, 2017

Read it cover to cover, barely stopping to put it down. Fascinating story of the complicated life of a woman who is someone from whom we could all learn, especially in light of so much hatred and divisiveness in modern America. Must read!

Kayo rated it ★★★★☆

August 17, 2017

After watching the new all these years about the Phelps family, its nice to hear some good come out of it. Interesting!

Matt rated it ★★★★☆

March 19, 2018

Just a heads up: by necessity, this review is gonna contain some awful slurs. Sorry. Even if you don’t know the Westboro Baptist Church by name, chances are you’ve heard about their antics in the news over the past few years. Founded by Fred Phelps, the Kansas-based ultra-fundamentalist church has...

Ashley rated it ★★★★★

August 18, 2017

I've always been fascinated by the Westboro Baptist Church - any extreme religious movement, really - and while I read "Banished" by Lauren Drain, we really hadn't heard too much from members of the Phelps family themselves. The people who were born and bred to build the church. But that's change...

Megan rated it ★★★☆☆

January 01, 2018

Interesting book. I appreciate a more first hand insight on Westboro Baptist Church. The first part of the book just made me sad- for Libby Phelps hearing the trauma she endured and, of course, for all the people she and her family inflicted trauma upon. I have to agree with previous reviewers th...

Cori rated it ★★★★☆

March 12, 2018

An interesting look into the workings and family experiences of the Westboro Baptist Church, written by one of the family members who left the church. It's a quick easy read, and particularly interesting if you've ever seen them picketing. When I worked at the local newspaper, there was often a WB...

Nefertari rated it ★★★★☆

November 05, 2017

This is an amazing remembrance of a woman who pulled herself out of a cult and found her own direction in life. She's very open about the motives of those in charge and her own feelings towards the people that her church was screaming and picketing against. She expresses great regret, and offers...

Casey Wright rated it ★★★★☆

January 18, 2018

An interesting read... I grew up in Topeka and went to the same high school as the kids, so to be able to read about their family from this perspective was very interesting. I’m glad she was able to leave the church, but feel sad for her that she doesn’t have communication with her parents and ot...

Leslie rated it ★★★☆☆

October 19, 2017

Interesting if not well written account of a member of the Westboro Baptist church, famous for its picketing and knowledge of first amendment rights. Phelps is a direct descendant of the founding member Mr. Phelps, a famous attorney. I wish it had more details on how the church operated.

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