Book Review of “Banished”

Book Review of "Banished"
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In “Banished”, Laura Drain with Lisa Pulitzer shares her experience growing up in the Westboro Baptist church of Topeka, Kansas. It’s hard to believe that in America today, there are still cults. Hopefully, by sharing experiences others will use discernment when seeking a new church home.

Laura’s father was initially an unbeliever set out to film a documentary on the church and ended up moving his family to join it. Westboro Baptist Church is known for its picketing against homosexuals and using slurs. Although it uses the word Baptist in its name, it is not associated with any other denominational churches. It is mostly a single family with few outsiders.

It’s hard for a child who was raised one way to have to change suddenly when a parent changes their belief system. Laura complied with everything that was asked of her through college but when she began questioning, she was banished from both the church and her family home.

Essentially, the family was controlled to the point of having no individual thinking. Laura was not permitted to date or marry anyone outside the church.

It’s discouraging to hear these stories. It’s difficult enough trying to ask your teen children to attend church with the family while going through the rebellious stages without the added frustration of these examples.

It seems the best way to determine the right place to attend services is to see if they allow individuality and answers to valid questions. I’ve been in situations that made me uncomfortable but followed my instincts and left. I’ve never regretted it and they are always right.

I hope that Laura Drain will find peace, happiness and a healthy church home. It must be frightening looking again for the right place.

I believe most Christians would agree that God would not endorse using slurs and hateful actions in His name.

One benefit in staying within a denomination is that there is accountability, rather than one man building an empire for himself.

For those searching for a church home consider the following:

1. Visit the website and read the statement of beliefs
2. Ask about position statements that are important to you
3. Do they do community service outreach and missions?
4. Who is permitted to serve in leadership positions?

Visit several churches before making a commitment to one. Include your children in giving input. Family comes first. Make sure your life remains balanced and pray for God to give you a sense of peace about your decision.


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