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Steven Anderson

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Anderson at his church in 2017
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Anderson is the embodiment of hate and makes the late Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church look like Gandhi.
—Michelangelo Signorile[1]

Steven Lee Anderson (July 24, 1981–) is an American Independent Baptist pastor and founder of the nonprofit Faithful Word Baptist Church, which is an abusive cult located in Tempe, Arizona, and the head of the New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Movement. The church is currently listed as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.[2] His YouTube channel was terminated on July 6th, 2020, according to a Facebook post.[3] In short, he is the new Fred Phelps, with even more influence than Phelps could imagine or want.

Early life[edit]

Anderson was born and raised in Sacramento, California to an Independent Baptist family. He attended Woodcreek High School in Roseville, CA and upon graduating, he traveled throughout Germany and Eastern Europe for three months serving in local Independent Baptist churches, studying languages, and getting experience in the ministry. During his travels, he met his future wife Zsuzsanna while out evangelizing in the streets of Munich, Bavaria. He converted her to Christianity and they were married shortly afterward.[4] He also studied German at Sierra College but didn't graduate.

Faithful Word Baptist Church[edit]

Establishment and mission statement[edit]

Anderson established Faithful Word Baptist Church on 25 December 2005 at his home address. He established it as a "totally independent organization".[5] The church's website states, "Faithful Word Baptist Church is a totally independent Baptist church, and Pastor Anderson was sent out by a totally independent Baptist church to start it the old-fashioned way by knocking doors and winning souls to Christ." About a year and a half later the church was moved to a strip mall that was also used by his fire alarm installation business. When questioned about the relationship between the for-profit business and the not-for-profit church in 2009, he responded angrily.[6][7][8][9] In 2015, the congregation numbered around 150 parishioners.[10]

Doctrine[edit]

As stated on their website, the doctrine and ideology of the church include tenets such as:

“Hard” preaching and freakouts[edit]

Steven Anderson in his alternative form

He believes in hard preaching, which is preaching the parts of the Bible, which are seen as "offensive" or "not applicable these days" by many. He even runs a think-tank promoting it.[13] However, Anderson also uses the term "hard preaching" to excuse overly aggressive and/or outright childish behavior with no relevance to the Bible, such as:

  • Bullying people for the way they look, think and act.
  • Making false accusations about someone.
  • Forcing sexuality on someone for arbitrary reasons (calling someone a homosexual because they're a celebrity, appealing to women and teen girls, or "look effeminate").
  • Praying for the death and eternal torment of those he doesn't like.
  • Using childish derogatory terms like "libtard", "faggot", "queer", "sissy", "retard" and "homo" to describe people, including other pastors and President Obama and claiming it as "Biblical language".
  • Generalizing classes of people, "All actors are sodomite faggots" and "People who don't like me are homos".
  • Attacking other preachers because they don't preach against homosexuality, abortion, or other religions.
  • Attacking other peoples' religions.
  • Attacking other Christian fundamentalists (Ray Comfort, Jack Chick) for not believing exactly like he does.
  • Mocking people with disabilities such as autism and Down syndrome.
    • Or believing that those disabilities are just a pharmaceutical hoax and that they "just need more beatings". Unsurprisingly, Anderson is also an anti-vaxxer.
  • Mocking anyone that disagrees with or questions him.
  • Mocking anyone he disagrees with.
  • Circular reasoning
  • Claiming that all actors that women "idolize" are "sodomite faggots" who "don't even like women" such as Leonardo DiCaprio, and Keanu Reeves (Anderson claims that he acted in "sodomite porn", but of course has no proof of this), Justin Bieber (who is actually a singer, not an actor), Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp.
  • Basically he hates all celebrities and mocks any that die such as Prince and George Michael.

"Hard preaching" is also used to excuse his very hot temper and tendency to kick out churchgoers who disagree with him, question him, or just don't like him. In 2018, after a man requested a prayer, Anderson had the man forcefully dragged out by his security, followed up by yelling, screaming, and ranting, implying that allowing that man to ask for prayer would've threatened Anderson's leadership.[14]

Homophobia[edit]

To me LGBT stands for Let God Burn Them, but to them it means lesbian gay bisexual transgender. You say, "Well, it's LGBTQ." Well then you could say, Let God burn Them Quickly or Let God Burn Them Queers.
Steven Anderson

He is obsessed with homosexuals and has ranted many times about how much he hates them and wants them to die. Like many other Christian homophobes, he cites Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 to justify his homophobia instead of confronting his own biases, while loudly ignoring the other laws of Leviticus and the Bible as a whole: and also, Galatians 3:22-25, which states that these ancient Jewish laws are no longer applicable to Christians today. Though he admits that stuff like conversion therapy doesn't work, he believes that nobody is born homosexual and that God makes people homosexual later in life as punishment for rejecting the Bible. [15] He often uses the term "Sodomite" and refuses to either use the term "gay" or distinguish between homosexuals, bisexuals, etc, because he believes that all non-heterosexuals are predators who will have sex with anything and anyone and should kill themselves; unsurprisingly, he also believes in the homosexual recruitment conspiracy theory.[16][17][18][19]

He believes that AIDS was created by God to punish homosexuals and fornicators.[20] In December 2014, he called for governments across the world to execute all LGBT people to eradicate AIDS by Christmas. In a bizarre news interview shortly afterward, he stated when asked about his children's sexualities that they would never become homosexual, and if they did, it was the same as if his daughter became an axe-murderer, or his son grew up to be like Adolf Hitler.[21] On the topic of Adolf Hitler, his vile and absurd proposition resulted in him being dubbed the "Hitler Pastor" by Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk Radio.[22]

After the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, he insisted that the victims were pedophiles and that he was glad there were "50 less pedophiles around", and claimed it was bad there were survivors. Nonetheless, he did state that the shooting was wrong, but that the victims should have been tried and executed by a "righteous" government.[23] Because of the publicity of his anti-LGBT rantings, several on-line fundraising accounts for his church was shut down.[24]. He also attended the notorious Make America Straight Again conference.

Other examples of wingnuttery[edit]

May we all live our lives so that people like Anderson demonize us after we’re gone.
Hemant Mehta[25]

Aside from his abhorrently hateful views on homosexuality, his opinion on almost any given topic can be described as far-right authoritarian. Interestingly, he did not support and strongly dislikes Donald Trump, believing him to be vain, prideful, and arrogant, and he does not support either of the two major US political parties.[22] In a May 2015 YouTube broadcast, he argued that the Holocaust never took place.[26][dead link] Holocaust survivor Rabbi Leo Abrami has accused Anderson of lying to him in order to have him appear in his anti-Semitic "documentary", Marching to Zion, that he co-produced.[27] He prayed for the death of Caitlyn Jenner in 2015 during a sermon and made a series of transphobic remarks.[28][dead link] If you want to have an idea of his hateful speech, it can be found here.

Anderson is an advocate of abolishing police[29][dead link] and prisons and using slavery as a form of punishment.[30] Anderson believes in the death penalty for homosexuals, adulterers,[31] murderers and any others condemned to death by the Bible.

Anderson is also a massive misogynist and opposes divorce for women, as well as women's suffrage, and women in the workforce and in politics, and states that women should be "obedient" and "good" for their husbands. No, not like that. He justifies these positions by citing 1 Timothy 2:12.[32][33]

He is also a conspiracy theorist, and appeared on Alex Jones' Infowars to discuss New World Order nonsense with Jones' cohort Jakarri Jackson.[34][dead link] He's also a Young Earth Creationist who believes the Earth to have been created in 4,234 BC, but possibly between 25 years earlier and 25 years later.[35] Anderson also believes going to college makes you dumb.[36]

Anderson believes that Hindus worship Satan.[37] He said that to cure poverty in India one should teach Hindus the Bible so that God won't forsake them.[38] In the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks, Anderson claimed that God allowed the attacks to happen to punish France for being a "sinful nation", citing (along with other things) that Paris is considered to be a very "queer" friendly city. In the same sermon, he claimed that listening to death metal is akin to worshiping Satan (and that those who were killed in the Bataclan theater deserved death), that Muslims worship Satan, and that Muslims were taking over France (which he stated was also part of God's punishment).[39]

Anderson has even claimed that Mormons and Jews worship Satan. Pretty much, Anderson hates anyone who isn't a Baptist and believes that anyone who isn't a Baptist worships Satan, but he has a distinctive and strong hatred for Catholics and Orthodox Christians, claiming them to be crossdressing pagans disguised as Christians. Anderson has stated that when he was 16, he went to a pool party and a girl was told that she looked like Mother Teresa after pulling a towel on her head, to which Anderson responded by first doing an impression of Mother Teresa laying down dead and then followed up with an impression of her screaming in hell. He also praised the idea that Antonin Scalia was burning in hell shortly after his death,[40][41][42] although he may be right about that[citation NOT needed].

Many Christian fundamentalists praised the idea that Stephen Hawking was burning in hell after Hawking's death, and Anderson was not an exception, stating that Hawking was in hell "experimenting with extreme temperatures" in a "zero gravity environment." [43]

Ironically, Anderson hates Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church because he believes that Phelps was on the government payroll and that the Westboro Baptist Church doesn't preach any message of love. In addition, while many Christian fundamentalists take a vehemently pro-Israel stance in the conflict with Palestine, Anderson does not support either side in the conflict, believing that nobody truly owns the land and that all land is owned by God. He even posted a video in which he rants against fundamentalist Christian writer and publisher Jack Chick, and his stand on Israel.[44][45][dead link]

God has chosen me to be a prophet to the nations, to preach the word of god, and to sound it out with no fear with a boldness, not like these preachers who are only interested in people's money so they tell them what they want to hear for money. I don't want your money, I want to preach the truth; you can like it or lump it.[46]

Clearly, Anderson could do with a big heaping helping of Matthew 7:1.

Legal issues[edit]

Anderson made national news following a confrontation with the United States Border Patrol agents at an interior checkpoint on Interstate 8, about 70 miles east of Yuma, Arizona. A police dog gave an alert after sniffing Anderson's car, and Anderson refused to move his car or roll down his windows, triggering a 90-minute standoff and the calling of Arizona Department of Public Safety officers to the scene. The confrontation ended when authorities broke Anderson's car windows and forced him to the ground. Anderson asserts that authorities beat him and shocked him repeatedly with a taser while he was lying prone on the ground.[47]

At his arraignment in April 2009, Anderson pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of resisting a lawful order. He was acquitted of the two charges by a jury in August 2010.[48]

A day after Anderson delivered his "Why I Hate Barack Obama" sermon, one of his parishioners, Chris Broughton, carried an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a pistol to the Phoenix Convention Center, where President Obama was speaking.[9][49][50] Broughton explained that he was not motivated by the sermon although he agreed with it. The New Mexico Independent reported that Broughton's appearance at the rally was part of a publicity stunt organized by conservative radio talk show host Ernest Hancock, who also came to the rally armed, and engaged in a staged interview with Broughton which was later broadcast on YouTube.[51] Anderson told ABC News affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix that the Secret Service contacted him after this event.[9]

Bans[edit]

Anderson has been banned from at least 35 countries due to his horrific hateful views. Anderson has been banned from entering Australia, Botswana, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Malawi, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. He is also banned from entering all of the countries in the Schengen Area,Wikipedia an open border area that includes the majority of Europe. Many of the countries in the Schengen Area had previously banned him from there.

In September 2016, after Anderson had announced his intention to travel to South Africa. Malusi Gigaba, the Minister of Home Affairs banned Anderson and his followers, citing the Constitution of South Africa and stating, "I have identified Steven Anderson as an undesirable person to travel to South Africa."[52] That's ok, he's undesirable here too.

Anderson was also banned from entering the United Kingdom[53][54] leading him to change his travel route to Botswana by flying via Ethiopia.[55] On 20 September 2016, Anderson was banned and deported from Botswana.[56][57]

In a YouTube video, Anderson mentioned a planned trip to Malawi in order to set up a church there. Malawian authorities subsequently made it known that he would not be welcome in the country and that he would also be banned from entering it in the future.[58][59]

Anderson has also mentioned that he was banned from entering Canada (at the time, it appeared to be only his fourth banned country).[60][dead link]

On January 29, 2018, Anderson announced on his YouTube channel that he was banned from "even stepping foot" in the country of Jamaica. He had been planning a mission trip there and was scheduled to arrive on the island that week.[61][dead link]

The Netherlands refuses Anderson's admission. This effectively blocks him from Europe (the 'Schengen' area) totally.[62] Anderson wears his country bans like a badge of honor, although it's unclear how getting kicked out of Iceland could be considered cool even in Fundamentalist circles.[63]

He is the first person to have been banned from the Republic of Ireland by an exclusion order.[64]

On July 23, 2019, Anderson was denied entry to Australia. He later claimed that the Australian bushfires were the result of God punishing Australia for banning him.[65]

On August 7, 2019, Anderson was denied entry to New Zealand.[66]

Anderson's entire YouTube ecosystem was completely purged in the summer of 2020.[67][68]

His family[edit]

Zsuzsanna Anderson[edit]

His wife has also followed her husband down the fundie path, holding forth in her blog on how Godly her life is and how unGodly everyone else is.[69] Displaying remarkable ignorance, she provides fine examples of fine Christian womanhood. For example, she says she disregards all science that is contrary to the Bible in her homeschooling, discourses on how every male OBGYN is a pervert, and comments on how she would abandon and disown any child of hers who was homosexual.[70] She also believes that church nurseries are sometimes run by pedophiles, so any church that has a separate place for young children during services is possibly raping children.[71] She runs the "world-famous" swimsuit company Cute and Covered, providing very "sexy" swimsuits for Christian fundamentalists, guaranteed to make any man aroused.[72]

His children[edit]

Anderson has 12 children.

Sex scandal involving his sons[edit]

Fruit inspections[edit]

Anderson judges other pastors by performing, of all things, fruit inspections.[73][dead link] This does not mean that Anderson is working for the USDA. Rather fruit inspections are his favored method of divination to ascertain the health of a particular congregation, church and pastor. Usually it involves visiting the congregation and checking out the congregation's bananas, nuts and melons. If the melons and nuts pass the Anderson test for melon health your congregation is considered saved. Anderson, never the shrinking violet, encourages other pastors to check him out by performing a fruit inspection on him.

Stopped clock[edit]

Despite being a young-Earth creationist, Anderson has criticized fellow creationists for trying to 'prove' a young Earth scientifically. He fully concedes that the astronomical evidence points to an old universe but adopts the "apparent age" hypothesis to preserve his interpretation of the Bible. He also criticized Kent Hovind for his misuse of the word 'theory' and said that many fundamentalists unfairly criticize scientists and malign their work by presuming bad intent.[74][dead link]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Meet the Pastor Who Told Me He Hoped I Got Brain Cancer and Died by Michelangelo Signorile (Posted: 12/05/2014 12:25 pm EST Updated: 02/04/2015 5:59 am EST) HuffPost
  2. Lengell, Sean. "Family Research Council labeled a 'hate group'". The Washington Times. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  3. Facebook post by Steven Anderson, 6 July 2020.

    ALL of my YouTube channels have been deleted this morning. Even channels that are on totally separate email accounts have been deleted. Oh, well. It was a good run!

  4. "Our pastor". Faithful Word Baptist Church. Retrieved December 13, 2015. 
  5. Schlatter, Evelyn. "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda: Faithful Word Baptist Church". SPLC. Retrieved December 13, 2015. 
  6. Lemons, Stephen (September 10, 2009). "Steven Anderson's Three Alarm Baptist Church: Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State Weighs In". Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  7. Lemons, Stephen (September 6, 2009). "Steven Anderson Flips Out, Admits Business and Church Share an Address, Says He's Been Contacted by U.S. Secret Service (w/Update)". Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  8. Riley, Jennifer (September 8, 2009). "'I Hate Obama' Pastor Draws Protesters Outside Church". Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 James, Susan Donaldson (September 7, 2009). "Protesters Rally Against Pastor's 'Why I Hate Obama' Sermon". ABC News. Retrieved August 25, 2012. "a Faithful Word congregation member who showed up outside of the Phoenix Convention Center toting an assault rifle in August, when Obama spoke there." 
  10. Magahern, Jimmy (June 2015). "West of Westboro". Retrieved June 17, 2016. 
  11. See the Wikipedia article on Personal relationships of James VI and I.
  12. "Doctrinal Statement". Tempe, Arizona: Faithful Word Baptist Church. Retrieved December 13, 2015. 
  13. Hard Preaching
  14. Pastor Flips Out When Churchgoer Asks for Prayer 😳 by Wide World of Ratchetness, January 6, 2022, Youtube
  15. The Homo Agenda vs Reality
  16. Truth about Homosexuals Faithful Word Baptist Church
  17. Hate Preacher Steven Anderson in BBC Documentary: Gays Are Pedophiles Who Should “Kill Themselves”
  18. "The Gainsaying of Core" Christian Preaching (Baptist KJV sermon) January 26, 2014, Faithful Word Baptist Church
  19. "Jeremiah 9" KJV Bible Study (Verse-by-verse preaching) May 4, 2016, Faithful Word Baptist Church
  20. Physicians of No Value April 7, 2009, Faithful Word Baptist Church
  21. Pastor defends his anti-homosexual sermon by USA TODAY, December 6, 2014, YouTube
  22. 22.0 22.1 America Has A 'Hitler Pastor' Calling for Genocide by Secular Talk, December 4, 2014, YouTube
  23. Christian Pastor Celebrates Nightclub Massacre: “There’s 50 Less Pedophiles in This World” by Hemant Mehta, June 12, 2016, Friendly Atheist
  24. ‘Kill the gays’ pastor has a pulpit-stomping meltdown after he’s booted from online fundraising by Bethania Palma Markus, June 24, 2016, The Raw Story
  25. Christian Hate-Pastor: George Michael “Was a Sodomite Reprobate” Who’s “Burning in Hell Right Now” by Hemant Mehta, December 28, 2016, Friendly Atheist
  26. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rhGMCYWqKI
  27. Pastor Steven Anderson Lied to a Holocaust Survivor and Duped Him Into Appearing in an Anti-Semitic Film by Hemant Mehta, December 13, 2014, Friendly Atheist
  28. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlZVyJZGowc
  29. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwgmmN0_U1A
  30. What Does the Bible Say about Slavery? by sanderson1611, February 23, 2016, YouTube
  31. Adultery Steven L Anderson
  32. Women Preachers
  33. Video: Women's Rights in Light of the Bible
  34. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWHZbFJVAjA
  35. The Exact Age of the Earth by Pastor Steven L Anderson, May 7, 2010, Steven L Anderson
  36. Christian Hate-Pastor Steven Anderson: “The Bible Makes You Smart. College Makes You Dumb” by Hemant Mehta, February 16, 2017, Friendly Atheist
  37. Christian Hate-Pastor Tells Congregation How to Convert Hindus: Remind Them Their Lord is Satan by Hemant Mehta, January 24, 2017, Friendly Atheist
  38. Christian Hate-Pastor: “The Biggest Problem With India Today is Hinduism” by Hemant Mehta, February 25, 2017, Friendly Atheist
  39. The Sinful Nation of France November 15, 2015, Faithful Word Baptist Church
  40. My Impression of Mother Teresa - Pastor Steven L Anderson by Cloud Work, Youtube
  41. "The Everlasting Punishment of Hell" KJV Baptist Bible Preaching February 14, 2016, Faithful Word Baptist Church
  42. "Orthodoxy in Light of the Bible" KJV Bible Preaching (Christian Sermon) December 27, 2015, Faithful Word Baptist Church
  43. Pastor Steven Anderson Mocks Stephen Hawking archived from December 30, 2021
  44. Video: Chick Publications and Their Lies
  45. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_ja8fftH8A
  46. Steven Anderson, Interview on The Point with Reginald Richardson: Gabz FM "Breakfast with Reg" 20 September 2016
  47. J.J. Hensley, Tempe pastor says border agents stopped, beat him, Arizona Republic (April 17, 2009).
  48. Gilbert, James (August 13, 2010). "Pastor acquitted in Interstate 8 checkpoint incident". Yuma Sun. 
  49. King, Colbert I. (September 18, 2009). "Obama needs prayers amid growing hostility". The Washington Post. 
  50. Reid, Betty (September 6, 2009). "Church defends pastor; protesters rally". Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ): p. B.8. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  51. Doland, Gwyneth (December 4, 2009). "Kokesh and the guy who brought an assault rifle to an Obama event". The New Mexico Independent. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  52. South Africa bars anti-gay US pastor Steven Anderson by 13 September 2016, BBC
  53. "Gay hating preacher who called Orlando victims ‘paedophiles’ banned from coming to UK". 2016-09-16. 
  54. "Anti-gay pastor Steven Anderson banned from UK". 
  55. "Anti-gay pastor barred from South-Africa: ‘It’s not really that cool of a place.’". 
  56. "Botswana to deport anti-gay US pastor Steven Anderson" (in en-GB). BBC News. 2016-09-20. 
  57. "Botswana deports U.S. pastor Steven Anderson over anti-gay views". Reuters. 2016-09-20. 
  58. "Govt. blocks anti-gay pastor from coming to Malawi". 2016-10-26. 
  59. Collison, Carl. "Malawi government says 'kill the gays’ pastor 'will not be received' in the country". The M&G Online. 
  60. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DerTHIrIDlg&t=148s
  61. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBXKSiYPxds
  62. "‘Death to gays’ preacher Steven Anderson banned from Netherlands". Dutch News. 
  63. Official Letter from Netherlands on Pastor Anderson ban by sanderson1611, May 5th, 2019, Steven L Anderson
  64. Anti-gay preacher Steven Anderson banned from Ireland 13 May, 2019, BBC
  65. Anti-Gay Tempe Pastor Says Australia Bushfires Are God’s Revenge for Banning Him by Ali Swenson, January 6th, 2020, Phoenix New Times
  66. The New Zealand entry denial Faithful Word Baptist Church
  67. Notorious Anti-LGBT Pastor Steven Anderson Permanently Banned from Youtube. Archived from pulpitandpen.org, 7 July 2020.
  68. Hemant Mehta, YouTube finally took down the channels of Christian hate-pastor Steven Anderson. friendlyatheist.patheos.com, 11 September 2020.
  69. ARE THEY ALL YOURS?!?? Archived from stevenandersonfamily.blogspot.com, 2 July 2019.
  70. Questions and Answers. Archived from stevenandersonfamily.blogspot.com, 16 June 2012.
  71. Why I hate church nurseries. Archived from stevenandersonfamily.blogspot.com, 28 January 2009.
  72. Cute and Covered, "fashionable and modest swimwear in any size or for any age."
  73. Steven Anderson — How to Perform a Fruit Inspection
  74. Live Stream on Astronomy, Creation, and the Bible. YouTube.