JK Rowling compared to God by granddaughter of Westboro Baptist Church founder: ‘She’s a kind of saint’
JK Rowling is set to start podcasting with a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church. And we are so very tired.
The Harry Potter author is joining Megan Phelps-Roper, who became famous after choosing to leave and criticise the notoriously bigoted baptist church, for a new podcast focused on her views on trans people and trans rights.
The Westboro Baptist Church is considered one of the most hateful groups in the US, to the point of infamy, being known for its blatant homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, Islamophobia and more.
Church members are commonly associated with the phrase “God Hates F*gs” – which is also the title of the group’s main website – and are routinely seen holding signs up which spread similarly vile messages.
The Topeka Church was founded in 1955 by Fred Phelps – Megan Phelps-Roper’s grandfather – after he became an associate pastor of the East Side Baptist Church.
After 26 years of preaching the group’s hateful messages, Phelps-Roper decided to leave in 2012 after becoming active on Twitter and finding doubts in her belief system.
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Since then, she has criticised the organisation for its bigoted belief system, and has signalled support for homosexuality.
But several pro-trans groups have criticised her description of Rowling as “a kind of saint” (in her essay announcing the podcast) and her association with so-called “gender-critical” pundits.
“JK Rowling is arguably the most successful author in the history of publishing, with the possible exception of God,” Phelps-Roper wrote in a Tuesday (14 February) post. “And Harry Potter was a kind of bible for my generation.”
The podcast series, which sees Phelps-Roper interview Rowling about the years following her assertion that the phrase “people who menstruate” was somehow erasing cis women, is to begin on 21 February.
The former Westboro Baptist Church member explained that she felt like the best person to interview Rowling about the controversy, claiming she knew what it was like “to be an object of intense hatred”.
Trans activists have said the podcast’s attempt to be impartial had already got off to a shaky start.
Replying to a tweet from activist Rose Schmits, which details Phelps-Roper’s comparison of JK Rowling to God, one user wrote: “Legitimately the funniest sentence you can kick off an ‘impartial’ profile with.”
Another wrote: “This announcement also compares [JK Rowling’s] ‘cancellation’ to fundamentalist Christians who protested [against] her book in the ’90s.
“Naturally, it makes no reference to current book bans or the religious right’s latest target – trans people.”
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