Megan Phelps-Roper and her younger sister, Grace, left Westboro Baptist Church last year, joining other former members in a life no longer consumed by inflammatory anti-gay demonstrations and praying for people to die.
On Wednesday, the granddaughters of Westboro founder and pastor Fred Phelps Sr. made their decision public for the first time. In an online statement, they expressed regret for their past actions, but also admitted that it was difficult to leave the only life they had ever known behind.
"We know that we’ve done and said things that hurt people," read the post, signed by both sisters. "Inflicting pain on others wasn’t the goal, but it was one of the outcomes. We wish it weren’t so, and regret that hurt."