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Steven Lee Anderson (born July 24, 1981) is an American Independent Baptist pastor and founder of the nonprofit Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. The church is currently listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) because of Anderson's radical stands, including the belief that homosexuals should receive the death penalty. In Anderson's opinion, all homosexuals are pedophiles and will have sex with anything. In short, he is the new Fred Phelps.
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. He also studied German at Sierra College but didn't graduate.
Faithful Word Baptist Church
Establishment and mission statement
Anderson established the church on December 25th, 2005 at his home address. He established it as a "totally independent organization". 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 Anderson's fire alarm installation business. When questioned about the relationship between the for-profit business and the not-for-profit church in 2009, Anderson responded angrily. In 2015, the congregation numbered around 150 parishioners.
As stated on their website, the church believes in King James Only (seemingly unaware that the KJV was ordered by a likely bisexual monarch), salvation by faith alone, "once saved, always saved", a literal Hell for all those who are unsaved, Jesus is Lord, only in the Local Church and not in a universal church, rejection of Calvinism, rejection of dispensationalism, life begins at conception, homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty and opposition toward worldliness, modernism, formalism, and liberalism.
Pastor Anderson believes in hard preaching, which is preaching the parts of the Bible, which are seen as "offensive" or "not applicable these days" by many. However, Anderson likes to go too far with it and starts bringing up irrelevant topics or saying irrelevant things about people and then claims it as "hard preaching" such as:
- Bullying people for the way they look, think, and act.
- Making false accusations about someone.
- Forcing a sexuality on someone for arbitrary reasons (calling someone a homosexual because they're a celebrity, appeal to women and teen girls, or "look effeminate").
- Praying for death onto others.
- 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".
- Mocking anyone that disagrees with or questions him.
- Mocking anyone he disagrees with.
- Circular reasoning
- Yelling at people to leave if they don't agree with him or question him.
- Claiming that all actors that women "idolize" are "sodomite faggots" who "don't even like women" such as Leonardo DiCaprio, 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.
Examples of wingnuttery
“”May we all live our lives so that people like Anderson demonize us after we’re gone.
Anderson has made his church's extremist positions publicly known in recent times. He holds a number of views informed by Biblical scripture that would be described as far-right authoritarian. Anderson opposes abortion, feminism, communism, high taxes, and big government. He is not a supporter of either major US political party and strongly dislikes Donald Trump, believing him to be vain, prideful, and arrogant. He is especially well-known for praying for the death and eternal torment of people who disagree with him (mostly Barack Obama, Democrats, and gays). In December 2014, he stated in a sermon that a 'cure' for AIDS would be for governments all across the world to execute LGBT persons, and used quotes from the Book of Leviticus to justify his stance. Such an absurd, vile and ridiculous proposition resulted in Anderson being dubbed the "Hitler Pastor" by Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk Radio. Refusing to be out-Godwinned, in a May 2015 YouTube broadcast, Anderson argued that the Holocaust never took place. 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. Anderson prayed for the death of Caitlyn Jenner in 2015 during a sermon, and made a series of transphobic remarks. If you want to have an idea of his hateful speech, it can be found here.
To no one's surprise, Anderson is also somewhat of a conspiracy theorist, and appeared on Alex Jones' Infowars to discuss New World Order nonsense with Jones' cohort Jakarri Jackson. Anderson also believes that all modern Bible versions have been corrupted by Satanic New World Order elites and that the only legitimate Bible is the King James version. To no one's further surprise, Anderson is a Young Earth Creationist who has nailed the earth's age down to 6,244 years, give or take a few. Anderson also believes going to college makes you dumb.
Anderson is an advocate of abolishing police and prisons and using slavery as a form of punishment. Anderson believes in the death penalty for homosexuals, adulterers, murderers and any others condemned to death by the Bible.
Steven Anderson claims that the good news about the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting is that there are 50 fewer pedophiles around. Anderson has no explanation for why he thinks the victims were all pedophiles; he just insists they were. 'Shooting up' a gay bar was according to Anderson wrong but he claims a 'righteous government' should have tried the victims in court and had them executed according to 'God's perfect law' (Leviticus 18:22). Because of the publicity of his anti-LGBT rantings, several on-line fundraising accounts for his church were shut down.
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.
|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 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.|
— Interview on The Point with Reginald Richardson: Gabz FM "Breakfast with Reg" 20 September 2016
Clearly, Anderson could do with a big heaping helping of Matthew 7:1.
Anderson made national news following a confrontation with 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.
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.
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. 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. Anderson told ABC News affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix that the Secret Service contacted him after this event.
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." That's ok, he's undesirable here too.
Anderson was also banned from entering the United Kingdom leading him to change his travel route to Botswana by flying via Ethiopia. On 20 September 2016, Anderson was banned and deported from Botswana.
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.
On January 29, 2018, Steven 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.
YouTuber Ben the Baptist, part of Anderson's IFB YouTube network, was banned from YouTube a second time for at least two weeks starting in mid-June for hate speech, particularly for celebrating the Parkland High School Shooting and Stephen Hawking's death.
The Netherlands refuses Anderson admission. This effectively blocks him from Europe (the 'Schengen' area) totally. Anderson now wears his country bans (31 by his count as of May, 2019) like a badge of honor, although it's unclear how getting kicked out of Iceland could be considered cool even in Fundamentalist circles.
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. Displaying remarkable ignorance, she provides fine examples of fine Christian womanhood. For example, here ZsuZsu 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. 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. She runs the "world-famous" swimsuit company Cute and Covered, providing very "sexy" swimsuits for Christian fundamentalists, guaranteed to make any man aroused.
Steven Anderson judges other pastors by performing, of all things, fruit inspections. 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.
- Independent Baptist — a particularly cranky fundamentalist branch of unaffiliated Baptists.
- Make America Straight Again
- 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
- Lengell, Sean. "Family Research Council labeled a 'hate group'". The Washington Times. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/nov/24/frc-labeled-a-hate-group/. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Hate Preacher Steven Anderson in BBC Documentary: Gays Are Pedophiles Who Should “Kill Themselves”
- "Our pastor". Faithful Word Baptist Church. http://www.faithfulwordbaptist.org/page2.html. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
- Schlatter, Evelyn. "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda: Faithful Word Baptist Church". SPLC. http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/the-hard-liners. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
- 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". http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/steven-andersons-three-alarm-baptist-church-barry-lynn-of-americans-united-for-the-separation-of-church-and-state-weighs-in-6500499. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
- 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)". http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/steven-anderson-flips-out-admits-business-and-church-share-an-address-says-hes-been-contacted-by-us-secret-service-w-update-6498941. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
- Riley, Jennifer (September 8, 2009). "'I Hate Obama' Pastor Draws Protesters Outside Church". http://www.christianpost.com/news/i-hate-obama-pastor-draws-protestors-outside-church-40764/. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
- James, Susan Donaldson (September 7, 2009). "Protesters Rally Against Pastor's 'Why I Hate Obama' Sermon". ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/arizona-protesters-rally-obama-hating-pastor/story?id=8510835#. 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."
- Magahern, Jimmy (June 2015). "West of Westboro". http://www.phoenixmag.com/People/west-of-westboro.html. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
- See the Wikipedia article on Personal relationships of James VI and I.
- "Doctrinal Statement". Tempe, Arizona: Faithful Word Baptist Church. http://www.faithfulwordbaptist.org/page6.html. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
- Christian Hate-Pastor: George Michael “Was a Sodomite Reprobate” Who’s “Burning in Hell Right Now”
- Patheos.com: Pastor Steven Anderson Lied to a Holocaust Survivor and Duped Him Into Appearing in an Anti-Semitic Film
- Christian Hate-Pastor Steven Anderson: “The Bible Makes You Smart. College Makes You Dumb”
- Christian Hate-Pastor Tells Congregation How to Convert Hindus: Remind Them Their Lord is Satan
- Christian Hate-Pastor: “The Biggest Problem With India Today is Hinduism”
- Christian Pastor Celebrates Nightclub Massacre: “There’s 50 Less Pedophiles in This World” Response to Orlando Gay Bar Shooting (Florida nightclub)
- RawStory.com: ‘Kill the gays’ pastor has a pulpit-stomping meltdown after he’s booted from online fundraising
- Video: Chick Publications and Their Lies
- J.J. Hensley, Tempe pastor says border agents stopped, beat him, Arizona Republic (April 17, 2009).
- Gilbert, James (August 13, 2010). "Pastor acquitted in Interstate 8 checkpoint incident". Yuma Sun. http://www.yumasun.com/pastor-acquitted-in-interstate-checkpoint-incident/article_768275ba-5d06-5877-a4df-abb401d375c2.html.
- King, Colbert I. (September 18, 2009). "Obama needs prayers amid growing hostility". The Washington Post.
- Reid, Betty (September 6, 2009). "Church defends pastor; protesters rally". Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ): p. B.8. http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/09/06/20090906rally0907.html. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
- Doland, Gwyneth (December 4, 2009). "Kokesh and the guy who brought an assault rifle to an Obama event". The New Mexico Independent. http://newmexicoindependent.com/42647/kokesh-and-the-guy-who-brought-an-assault-rifle-to-an-obama-event. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- "Gay hating preacher who called Orlando victims ‘paedophiles’ banned from coming to UK". 2016-09-16. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/711455/Gay-hating-preacher-called-Orlando-victims-paedophiles-banned-coming-UK.
- "Anti-gay pastor Steven Anderson banned from UK". http://www.christiantoday.com/article/anti.gay.pastor.steven.anderson.banned.from.uk/95585.htm.
- "Anti-gay pastor barred from South-Africa: ‘It’s not really that cool of a place.’". https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/09/14/anti-gay-pastor-barred-from-south-africa-its-not-really-that-cool-of-a-place/.
- "Botswana to deport anti-gay US pastor Steven Anderson" (in en-GB). BBC News. 2016-09-20. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-37418875.
- "Botswana deports U.S. pastor Steven Anderson over anti-gay views". Reuters. 2016-09-20. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-botswana-lgbt-idUSKCN11Q1CS.
- "Govt. blocks anti-gay pastor from coming to Malawi". 2016-10-26. https://malawi24.com/2016/10/26/govt-blocks-anti-gay-pastor-from-coming-to-malawi/.
- Collison, Carl. "Malawi government says 'kill the gays’ pastor 'will not be received' in the country". The M&G Online. http://mg.co.za/article/2016-10-24-00-kill-the-gays-pastor-now-trying-to-infiltrate-malawi.
- "‘Death to gays’ preacher Steven Anderson banned from Netherlands". Dutch News. https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2019/05/death-to-gays-preacher-steven-anderson-banned-from-netherlands/.
- Anti-gay preacher Steven Anderson banned from Ireland
- Steven Anderson — How to Perform a Fruit Inspection