The Michigan Secular Student Alliance is proud to host quite a spectacular speaker this upcoming October 10th: Nate Phelps, secular and LGBT activist, will be coming to Ann Arbor for a presentation at Rackham Auditorium.
Nate is the son of Pastor Fred Phelps, infamously known for founding and heading the Westboro Baptist Church (in the astoundingly rare event that you do not know about this church, here ya go). Nate became the estranged son of Fred at the age of 18 and left the church in 1980, as his culminating separation from religious belief in the years following concluded with the attacks on September 11th. He has since worked as a secular activist for both the Center for Inquiry Canada and Recovering from Religion, and quite contrary to his namesake's church, has become a passionate LGBT activist. Salon interviewed Nate almost a year ago to the day; it is worth the read.
And, he will soon be giving a talk here in Ann Arbor at Rackham, titled "The Uncomfortable Grayness of Life." As we understand it, Nate plans to talk about his life within the Westboro Baptist Church, and his escape from it and religion in general. The talk ought to serve as a window into some of the details of his troubled life, and serve as a prologue for his biographical book that he plans to finish writing in the near future.
The Michigan Secular Student Alliance would like to extend a warm and open invitation to anyone that would be able to attend this event. The talk will start at 7:00pm on October 10th, but the doors will be open to the general public starting at 6:30pm. Here is our Facebook event page for it, which includes more details such as parking locations.
As with all of our events to date, there will be no cost for attending. We appreciate the help of the Center for Inquiry, Michigan Chapter, for being our co-sponsor of the event and for acting as our intermediary with Nate; and we also appreciate anyone who at the event wishes to donate to our group, so that we may continue to host speakers and plan large events of interest. Any contributions can go a long way to improving our group and expanding our influence on – and off – campus.
If you want to attend and are able to, we encourage you to make the trip. If you want to attend but cannot, we encourage you to help us spread the word to others that might be interested in listening to an inside perspective on the Westboro Baptist Church, and to the life story of someone who has struggled against that church since dissolving such close connections with it.
I look forward to participating in this with you!
- Alexander Coulter
President, Michigan Secular Student Alliance