A sermon delivered by Arizona preacher Steven Anderson has gone viral – and not for the right reasons. In a YouTube video uploaded Monday, the pastor called for LGBT people to be “executed” in order to have an “AIDS-free world by Christmas.”
In the video Anderson, 31, says LGBT people are “filled with disease because of the judgment of God." He calls the LGBT community “sodomites” and then asks congregants to turn to Leviticus 20:13 in the Bible.
“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,” Anderson said, quoting the Biblical passage.
“And that, my friend, is the cure for AIDS,” he said. “It was right there in the Bible all along — and they’re out spending billions of dollars in research and testing. It’s curable — right there. Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant.”
Anderson leads Faithful Word Baptist Church – an independent Baptist church located in an office space in a strip mall in Tempe, Arizona -- that has been listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. According to his biography on the church’s website, Anderson “holds no college degree but has well over 140 chapters of the Bible memorized word-for-word, including approximately half of the New Testament.”
His sermons have a reputation for being controversial. In a 2009 interview he gave to KSAZ-TV he said, “I hope that God strikes Barack Obama with brain cancer so he can die like Ted Kennedy.”
In March 2014, another one of Anderson’s sermons uploaded to YouTube had him saying women should remain silent in church.
"First of all, it's not for a woman to be doing the preaching. And second of all, it's not for women to be speaking,” he said. “Even if they were to have a question, they're not to ask that question in the church, number one. And number two, even if they wanted to ask questions of their husband, they should wait until they get home."
In April, Anderson said birth control had negative effects on a woman’s health and “character,” causing her to “be an idle, tattler, gossip, turning aside after Satan.” He adds, “It promotes promiscuity, it promotes whoredom!”
Anderson’s latest sermon has been viewed more than 98,000 times with more than 700 dislikes on YouTube.
“This guy needs to get out of his so-called Christian church and actually do something constructive such as volunteer helping children in Africa,” user ross049 wrote. “Instead of hating, how about spreading a little love, for after all, that is what God wants.”