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Church State Issues

Tempe pastor calls for killing gays to end AIDS

Feb 1, 2015

Arizona Republic

One good reason to keep Church and State separate!!!

Tempe pastor calls for killing gays to end AIDS

Pastor Steven Anderson suggested all gays be killed to eliminate AIDS.

Tram Mai, 12 News 10:43 a.m. MST February 1, 2015

A recent anti-homosexual Sunday sermon by Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe has gotten tens of thousands of views on YouTube. In it, Anderson declares that no "queers" or "homos" are allowed in the church, and never will be as long as he's pastor.

He goes on to say killing gays is the way to an AIDS-free world by Christmas.

We showed the sermon to two local pastors who were familiar with Anderson, and they say what they saw was more hate than anything.

"I see a lot of drama," said Pastor Vernon Meyer with Sun Lakes United Church of Christ. "That's very offensive when he says 'homo'."

Anderson does more than use the disparaging term. In his sermon, he stated, "All homos are pedophiles. There, I said it, they're all pedophiles."

"He's a liar," Meyer said.

"I do not view him as a pastor," said Jeffrey Dirrim of Rebel & Divine United Church of Christ. "That's not what he's doing."

In the video, Anderson cites a Bible passage he says is the "cure" for AIDS:

"Here's what the Bible says, Leviticus 20:13, 'If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.' And that, my friend, is the cure for AIDS. It was right there in the Bible all along."

His message is that killing gays is a divinely sanctioned way to rid the world of AIDS.

"Because if you executed the homos, like God recommends, you wouldn't have all this AIDS running rampant," Anderson said on the video.

Meyer says Anderson is misinterpreting the Bible and compares Anderson to a terrorist leader.

"That's no different than what ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria," Meyer said. "God tells them to go kill anybody who's different from them."

This isn't the first time Anderson has created controversy. Five years ago, when President Obama was in town, the Baptist pastor says a Bible passage about how King David prayed against his enemies (Psalms 109:9-10) tells him he should hate the president.

"It's very difficult to listen to," Dirrim said. "I cannot identify with him whatsoever as a minister."

As an openly gay pastor himself, Dirrim works with LGBT youths who have been suicidal, homeless and hungry, rejected simply because they're gay.

"Words are powerful, and I have no doubt those words are going to kill someone," he said of Anderson's sermon.

Dirrim's message to those Anderson is targeting: "Someone cares about them, and that they're loved and they shouldn't listen to this hateful rhetoric. This is not church."

We left a message for Anderson at his church but we're still waiting to hear back.