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Steven Anderson: “If You’re A Homosexual, I Hope You Get Brain Cancer”

Jim Burroway

September 1st, 2009

And those were the kindest words Tempe, Arizona, Baptist preacher Stephen Anderson said to Michelangelo Signorile. Anderson appeared in Signorile’s Sirius OutQ program yesterday and, well, you have to hear this for yourself.

YouTube Preview Image
Beginning at 4:11:

Signorile: You want all gay people to be executed, correct?

Anderson: That is correct. That’s what the Bible teaches.

Signorile: Yeah, so that, you would like to see as the law of the land. So under the American law right now, if somebody were to go out with a machine gun and spray down a crowd of gay and lesbian people, would you think that was okay?

Anderson: No I would not think it’s okay because I believe in due process and I beleive in ….

Signorile: Would that person be a murderer?

Anderson: I would not judge them as a murderer, no. That’s my….

Signorile: Should that person go to jail? Should that person be…

Anderson:  … because they should be given a trial by jury. I believe that we should abide by the law of the land. Okay?

Signorile: So wait, that person should not be given the death penalty for killing thirty people? Let’s say he kills thirty people who he believes are homosexual. Should he not be given the death penalty?

Anderson: Well, you know I’m not a lawyer. I don’t know.

Signorile: Oh you have opinions about every… Wait a minute, you have opinions about everything. And now you’re not a lawyer? Come on! You’re a preacher! Tell me what you think!

Anderson: I’m an expert on the Bible, not an expert on the law.

Signorile: What do you think should happen to that man? You have told us what you think should happen to everybody under… what?

Anderson: …should have been tried and executed in the first place. You’re trying to get me to make all these hypotheticals within a paradigm…

Signorile: So wait, that man should not be executed?

Anderson: Okay, how about the woman who went into the courtroom and shot the pedophile that molested her son? The homosexual pedophile…

Signorile: I don’t know anything about it.

Anderson: She brought a gun into the court room and killed him. It was a really famous case, I think it was ten years back.

Signorile: And she should go to jail for murder. Yes, she’s a murderer. She is a murderer and she should go to jail. So, do you believe that if somebody goes out and shoots a whole crowd of gay and lesbian people, that person should not be executed?

Anderson: I do not believe that they should received the death penalty, no. But I do believe that they’re a criminal, because…

Signorile: Okay, how long should they go away for?

Anderson: … our laws as far as giving people a trial and due process.

Signorile: How long should they go away for for that? A couple of months, what should they do?

Anderson: That’s not for me to decide. I’m not running this country. I’m a preacher. I’m telling you what the Bible says.

At 6:30 in the video:

Anderson: You know why homosexuals go to church, it’s because they probably can get some action with the children. That’s probably why they even go to church.

Signorile: Oh, that’s why they go to church. Why, have you seen a lot of this?

Anderson: I believe that’s why they go to church. Oh yeah, I’ve seen homosexuals infiltrate church and molest kids in Sunday School. You see that in Phoenix almost every day.

Signorile: You know, I’m gay..I’m gay, and I don’t molest any children. What do you think…

Anderson: Well, I’d say you’re lying.

Signorile: Yeah, you think i must be molesting children, right?

Anderson: Exactly, right.

Signorile: Do you pray that I’ll died tonight?

Anderson: If you’re a homosexual, I hope you get brain cancer like Ted Kennedy. [Click]

And with those words, the good pastor hung up. Michelangelo explained in his blog why it was important to have Anderson on his show:

I had Anderson on the show… because I believe we can’t afford to ignore these violence-inciting individuals, not in this time in which Republicans are whipping them into a frenzy. One of the men who brought an assault weapon to President Obama’s speech in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago attends Anderson’s church. Better to expose them and let the world hear them.

And by the way, has anyone noticed the deafening silence from fellow pastors?

Comments

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Dan
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Whether it’s Phelps, or Anderson, these clowns are helping our cause.

They should put him on 60-minutes!

Chris McCoy
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

I am at a loss to find the exact quote, but I recall one of the founding fathers said about free speech something to the effect of “That speech we like the least must be protected the most.”

We may not like Rev Steven Anderson, but he has the right to say what he wants, even if they are vicious and hateful and lies.

If we, even for a moment, imagine that he should be stopped from saying his piece, remind yourself of the many times in history that speech supporting our cause has been censored, or vilified.

Priya Lynn
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Chris I’m mystified as to why you want to get all sentimental over protecting this guy’s speech. In Canada and many other countries he wouldn’t be allowed to advocate killing people and society hasn’t collapsed here because of such laws. There isn’t some dreadful downside to outlawing hate speech, the countries with such laws work just fine, there’s been no problems associated with it. Think about it this way, there’s a reason why Canada’s crime rate is a fraction of the U.S.’s. Maybe if you weren’t so tolerant of evil you wouldn’t have thousands of people murdered every year versus the couple dozen murdered in Canada every year.

Jim said “And by the way, has anyone noticed the deafening silence from fellow pastors?”.

I hadn’t noticed that, but now that you mention it, it is outrageous. Can you imagine how they’d be screaming bloody murder if some gay person had been advocating death to heterosexuals?

Alex
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Chris,

Remind us, when was the last time that speech supporting gay rights included the systematic murder of our opponents? I’m sorry, but you’re comparing apples and oranges.

Chris McCoy
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Priya Lynn said:

Chris I’m mystified as to why you want to get all sentimental over protecting this guy’s speech. In Canada and many other countries he wouldn’t be allowed to advocate killing people and society hasn’t collapsed here because of such laws. There isn’t some dreadful downside to outlawing hate speech, the countries with such laws work just fine, there’s been no problems associated with it. Think about it this way, there’s a reason why Canada’s crime rate is a fraction of the U.S.’s. Maybe if you weren’t so tolerant of evil you wouldn’t have thousands of people murdered every year versus the couple dozen murdered in Canada every year.

Canada doesn’t have Free Speech, the U.S. does.

I believe that if we say that we should have the freedom to talk about our point of view (that homosexuality should be legal, that same sex marriage is our right, that homosexuals are not deviant) but that Steven Anderson should not be free to talk about his, then we are hypocrites.

It wasn’t so long ago that speech (and print) about homosexuality and homosexuals was censored. Brave souls who came before us argued successfully that the 1st Amendment protects our right to be able to freely express our view, even though it was unpopular at the time.

Equal rights for us also includes Equal rights for the people we don’t like. The same goes for them. If they want the right to proclaim their view, then we must also be granted the same right.

Take away one and you take away the other.

Chris McCoy
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Alex said:

Remind us, when was the last time that speech supporting gay rights included the systematic murder of our opponents? I’m sorry, but you’re comparing apples and oranges.

It is not against the law to say “I wish you were dead.”
To kill someone, that is against the law.

I think you assume that because I say Mr Anderson has the right to say what he does, that I agree with him. I do not – but I recognize that his right to say things that are hateful is just as valid as my right to say things that he may view as just as hateful.

Christopher™
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Analyzing this situation is easy.

If a *gay* pastor called for the death of Pat Robertson or Rick Warren on a few YouTube videos, the Christian press would be all over it. ALL over it. WorldNetDaily and OneNewsNow would be cranking out stories for weeks about this.

However, this pastor calls for the death of the President as well as gays everywhere–not just on YouTube, but on numerous TV and radio interviews (and even gets coverage on CNN), and what do we hear from Christian leaders or the Christian press?

Nothing. Crickets.

I’m surprised Michael Brown hasn’t taken the opportunity to pimp himself by issuing a public condemnation of Anderson, but it’s likely because, on a practical level, their positions are the same. “I don’t know why you don’t understand my use of violent rhetoric in condemning gay activism… this is spiritual warfare we’re in.”

Both men use the *exact* same argument. And because Michael Brown uses extremist Peter LaBarbera as a “reference” on his Coalition of Conscience website, he likely also believes, like Anderson, that gays molest children at a higher rate. (Even though it’s not true.)

No wonder Brown has been silent. And then he can’t understand why we view his “kinder and gentler” approach as utterly disingenuous and self-serving.

At least Anderson doesn’t hide his hatred for us under a thin veneer. He just lays it out there.

Priya Lynn
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Chris said “Canada doesn’t have Free Speech, the U.S. does…It wasn’t so long ago that speech (and print) about homosexuality and homosexuals was censored. Brave souls who came before us argued successfully that the 1st Amendment protects our right to be able to freely express our view, even though it was unpopular at the time.”.

In Canada it wasn’t so long ago that speech and print about gayness and gays was censored. Brave souls who came before the courts argued succssfully that we should have the right to be able to freely express our view, even though it was unpopular at the time, and we didn’t need no stinking first amendment to do so.

So, in other words you’re mistaken in claiming Canada doesn’t have free speech. Free speech isn’t absolute in either country and if you think it is you’re sadly mistaken. You can’t slander or libel someone in your country, you can’t call for the murder of a particular individual, you can’t legally communicate for the purposes of committing a crime, etc.

If by your logic any restriction on speech means a country doesn’t have free speech then you’re also saying the U.S. doesn’t have free speech.

Canada goes one further than the U.S. and outlaws hate speech such as calling for the death of an identifiable minority. You can waw poetic about how disallowing this disallows our own equal rights, but in fact there’s no truth to that. There are no negative consequences to disallowing the advocation of group murder.

You act like disallowing hate speech would cause your democracy to collapse – popycock. The democracies in countries with hate speech laws operate just fine, in fact better than the American one.

Priya Lynn
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Chris said “It is not against the law to say “I wish you were dead.”
To kill someone, that is against the law.”.

And its not against the law to say that in Canada either. Problem is, that’s NOT what Anderson is saying. He’s saying “you should be killed” – that’s an entirely different situation.

Priya Lynn
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Chris said “However, this pastor calls for the death of the President as well as gays everywhere”.

You’re missing the critical distinction once again. He said he wished Obama would die, he didn’t call for him to be killed as he did with gays. If he had I’m sure the way he’s been treated would have been substantially different.

Timothy Kincaid
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

I support the right to speak the outrageous, the ridiculous, the hateful, the socially unacceptable, and radical. I support the right for free speech – even for the freedom of hate speech.

There are only two objections to hate speech: 1) it’s a danger to society, and 2) we don’t like the content.

I’m sure it would be delightful to be able to remove all dangers to society. The problem is in who gets to decide what is dangerous.

There are many good and decent people who only want to protect society from evils and dangers who would jump at the chance to remove Heather Has Two Mommies from their local library. Or who would rush to ban any person from being a teacher and having access to our children who “advocates a homosexual lifestyle”. Threats, dangers.

In the history of society, I have been considered a “danger” as often as not, and my speech in defense of my rights to live in accordance with my own values was most definitely “dangerous”. Start banning the speech you don’t like and its a very short step to banning my speech.

And as for whether I like the speech, well I know that there are those in my own community who would gladly shut me up about half the time. Every community has its would-be petty dictators and totalitarian minded autocrats.

So when I stand for Anderson’s right to declare his view of the world, I do so for selfish reasons; I do so because I want the right to declare MY view of the world. And I’m not so much a fool as to think that once he’s silenced that someone else wouldn’t be next. And eventually that ‘someone else’ would be me.

Timothy
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

God hates no one! People hate people and use God as their scape goat. That will be one church to fall. Be Careful
what you wish for you will shurly get it in the end….. As God is a loving God he does not like when you speak so badly about his children. Weather or not you like his children…you should still embrace all other wise you are only here for your selfish gain. I feel very sorry for you as I would not like to have God angry with me for not loving all of his children. GOOD LUCK TO YOU IN YOUR FUTURE DISASTERS……

Christopher™
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Priya, you’re correct… he just “wishes” the President would die. A step back from calling for his death, but not by much.

But my fundamental point still stands–Steven Anderson and Michael Brown are very much on the same page when it comes to how they view the gay community. They both excuse their rhetoric by screaming “it’s just *spiritual* warfare terminology!” and they both view us as a major threat to society. I wanted to draw that comparison.

Regan DuCasse
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Chris, I think you’re being disingenuous. Sometimes the Klan would say to the mainstream press “we don’t condone violence”, but how hollow a statement is that when so many of their members indeed committed terrible acts of violence?

When children are taught about all the rights of free speech, but not the responsibilities and LIMITS of it, it’s conveniently forgetting that harassment, threat, libel and slander are not only dangerous acts of speech, but are NOT protected.
Incitement to violence is a VERY real issue, especially for gays and lesbians.
The PURPOSE of anderson’s speech, isn’t kept at home where only he can hear it.
He ALSO knows that he lives in a country with free and easy access to lethal weapons and mindsets willing to carry out the dirty work.
On Signorile’s show, he was an example of CYA. He doesn’t want to be held accountable for the fuse he’s lit.

Priya Lynn’s points as a Canadian are valuable.
The religious right uses the threatened censure of a few ministers up in her country, as a trend that will happen in the US as a means to deny gay people their equality.
But Americans are ignorant about when their speech becomes a liability. Not just a legal one, but a moral one.
Hate speech costs. When someone takes that speech and uses it as action, what happens after is VERY costly and the Canadian government feels an obligation in warning certain people when that liability is near.

So many Americans are well versed on what they think are their rights, but not the responsibility to the consequences of them.

Anderson’s admittance that he doesn’t know the law, just the Bible is telling enough about ministers like him.
The Bible doesn’t say that gay people are pedophiles, or are mentally ill.
It doesn’t have to.
Anderson will make up whatever he wants to incite enough fear and loathing and doesn’t care where that leads, who pays the price or who gets hurt.
Justice would be that his own ass would spontaneously combust.

BCCanuck
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Thank you, Priya Lynn, for your coherent and insightful comments.

Priya Lynn
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Timothy said “Start banning the speech you don’t like and its a very short step to banning my speech.”.

Yes, and if you allow gay marriage its a very short step to allowing marriage to your daughter or a dog.

Once again, Poppycock. The Canadian hate speech law outlaws a very specific type of speech, just as U.S. law outlaws certain very specific types of speech, such as slander, libel, and solicitation of murder. The idea that you can’t restrict anything or everything is in danger doesn’t hold true in your own country, let alone Canada.

Other than speech that incites hatred towards a minority, can any of you doomsayers give an example of something you can say in the U.S. that you can’t say in Canada? Your doom and gloom predictions are merely empty rhetoric, you’ve romanticized your first amendment beyond all connection with reality. There are no negative consequences to preventing someone from advocating the murder of others. Banning that speech in no way infringes upon your right to say anything other than that. If Anderson loses the right to call for the death of gays it neither breaks his leg nor picks his pocket – it deprives no one of anything of value.

William
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Let that pillock Steven Anderson say whatever he wants. Give him enough rope to hang himself, which he’s already done.

In his insistence that all gays are child molesters, he has forgotten that “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” is still one of the Ten Commandments, and that there’s no qualifying clause such as “unless he or she happens to be homosexual”.

Priya Lynn
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

And I might add, in Canada no one has removed “Heather has two mommies” from a libary in Canada or banned anyone from teaching who might “advocate the gay lifestyle”. That’s the sort of thing that happens in the States despite your first amendment. Its rather ironic that you’d suggest this amendment protects the advocation of gay equality when you don’t have equal rights for gays, but Canada does.

Priya Lynn
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Hi Regan! I’ll call you tonight.

Timothy (TRiG)
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Where did that defence of free speech come from, Chris? No one in the original blog post was saying that this kook should be silenced. Quite the opposite, in fact.

He’d probably be pulled up on incitement to violence charges over here.

TRiG.

Alan
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

While it’s an interesting theory, to suggest that Canadian hate speech laws are the reason for the differences in violent crime, it doesn’t strike me as very plausible.

There are many other differences between Canada and the US that might also account for that…everything from guns to economic inequality to urban poverty.

And we also shouldn’t forget that Canada was a colony of Great Britain more recently than the US. Which explains the differing opinions on hate speech (ie American vs. European views).

Alan
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

And I’m not sure I agree with Signorile…giving this guy publicity may end up only helping his cause.

jim
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

And today’s cryptoquote, “The right to be heard does not include the right to be taken seriously.” Hubert H Humphrey.

This guy’s a nut job. Thanks for pointing him out.

KZ
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

This is the kind of person to whom one could hold up a rectangle cut out of red construction paper and listen to him insist that it’s a blue circle.

David
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid: Very well said. Probably the most sensible post on here so far.

I’ll add this. In no way would I want to hinder Mr. Anderson from voicing his beliefs. Hearing these horrifying and repugnant words straight from the mouth of someone who believes it in earnest is a wake up call to many who feel gays and lesbians don’t really face any oppression these days.

Listen to Mr. Anderson and you’ll see they do. So no, I do not wish to silence him. Let him speak so neutral parties can see how people like him, people who represent the church, so viciously try to dehumanize and denigrate gay people.

KZ
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

This idiot is flip-flopping more than John Kerry…

Bearchewtoy75
September 1st, 2009 | LINK

Please Please PLEASE don’t turn this guy into another Fred Phelps. The media is the one who helped him become more well-known by giving him a microphone to help voice his warped views.

Anderson is now pulling a Phelps! He’s going to say more and more outrageous things and he’s going to get national attention for it.

Please ignore this guy!

Entdinglichung
September 2nd, 2009 | LINK

more stuff on this fascist weirdo here: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2009/9/1/125513/4972/Front_Page/In_2nd_Death_Prayer_Sermon_Pastor_Declares_quot_Somebody_Should_Abort_Obama_quot_

Désirée
September 2nd, 2009 | LINK

“Pastor Anderson has also called for the imposition of Biblical Law and Biblical government and stated that if he “were king” he would decree the execution of homosexuals and children who curse their parents.”

I wonder how he feels about children who curse their gay parents?

Christopher Waldrop
September 2nd, 2009 | LINK

What interests and worries me is how clearly emotional Anderson gets when his views are questioned. As much as I’d like to see him make the talk show rounds spewing his hate-filled ideas I’m afraid he’s too much of a loose cannon to do that.

Of course that’s also what frightens me about this guy. It appears he has very few followers, but I’m still worried he might do something really terrible, even if he’s only acting alone.

Bene D
September 5th, 2009 | LINK

A Baptist minister did speak up against Anderson hate speech at Ethics Daily.

Richard W. Fitch
September 5th, 2009 | LINK

@Bene D – Could you provide a link? I scanned several areas of the website, but didn’t find a specific article about Anderson. What I did find, though, were several very well presented items on how conservative churches are poisoning themselves from the inside-out with a constant barrage of hate speech.

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