Okay, so there’s this preacher in Tempe, Arizona named Steven Anderson who has a habit of saying controversial things. And, by “controversial”, I mean “really douchey crap calculated to draw attention”. He first came to my attention a few years back, when he went on record saying he was praying for President Obama’s death. Since then, his sermons have played like a greatest hits compilation of conservative Christian craziness((I seriously thought about saying “Konserative Kristian Kraziness”, but that’s too inflammatory even for me. Plus, I hate alliteration)), saying women should shut up in church, that all gay people are pedophiles and that all people who identify as LGBTQ should be executed. The last one is a recurring theme with Anderson and he came back to it last Sunday, saying that executing gay people is the quickest way to cure AIDS. Right, because only people who are LGBT get AIDS. Calling Anderson bat-shit crazy may just be the understatement of the century.
Yes, Anderson a nut job’s nut job, but he’s not the only one who believes this stuff. It’s no secret there are all too many people who agree with him; they’re just a little more circumspect about saying so out loud. Because of that, I decided to take a look at the salient points of his argument ((well, the only ones I pick out in the short time I could stomach his “sermon”)) and see if they hold up:
- ” Anyone who’s a homo or bi, it’s all the same category to me. Sodomite is what the Bible calls them”. Yes, that’s exactly what the Bible says. Well, it does if you ignore Ezekiel 16:49, Isaiah 1:10-17 or Zephaniah 2:8-11. But, hey, that’s only three scriptures. Surely there are some specifically say a Sodomite is a gay person. The closest I could come was Jude 1:7, which says “Sodom and Gomorrah and neighboring towns practiced immoral sexual relations and pursued other sexual urges.” I guess that counts because only gays are immoral and pursue “other sexual urges”. And, if you actually believe that, I’ve a got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
- “We can have an AIDS-free world by Christmas” For now, I’ll leave aside the idea that all AIDS patients are LGBTQ((don’t worry, I’ll get to it in a minute)) and focus on the math of this statement; to keep the number somewhat manageable, we’ll just concern ourselves with things here at home. By Anderson’s own admission, 1.6% of the U. S. population identifies as gay and 0.7% as bi. There are no numbers for people who are transgender included the Washington Post article he referenced((that number seems hard to come by)), so we’ll just go with 2.3% as the low end of people to be executed in Anderson’s plan to end the scourge of AIDS. Since Census.gov sets the current population of the U. S. at 316.1 million, for us to have an AIDS-free world by Christmas, we would need to find, determine the sexuality of, kill and inter roughly 7.2 million people in 20 days. Even the Nazis, quite possibly the most efficient executioners in history, took 3 years to kill 6 million people. In other words, the statement “We can have an AIDS-free world by Christmas” is not only offensive, it’s fucking stupid.
- Here’s what the Bible says in Leviticus 20:13, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination:put to death; their blood shall be upon them.“ Since Anderson, like a lot of folks who believe homosexuality is a sin, likes to quote this passage of scripture, let’s take a look at it. Leviticus 20 is part of something Bible scholars refer to as the Holiness or Purity Code, which also contains gems such as don’t eat shellfish, don’t get tattoos, the stoning unruly children and rules about haircuts. Oddly, I don’t hear Anderson, or any other anti-LGBT preacher((they most assuredly are not pastors)), saying anyone should be put to death for chowing down on a big plate of shrimp and oysters or trimming your sideburns. Just so you know, if you use this passage to bolster an argument against homosexuality while ignoring those others, you’re full of shit.
- “Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant. A few minutes ago, I said I’d get to “the idea that all AIDS patients are LGBTQ” in a minute. Well, that minute is here. Again, I’m using numbers about the U. S. population just to keep things somewhat manageable. That said, people who are LGBTQ account for somewhere around 50-60%. So no, Steven, if we “executed the homos like God recommends”((and, God does not recommend that regardless of what you think about the Bible)), that would eliminate AIDS. And, you’re a dumb ass for even thinking that, much less saying it out loud.
I struggled with writing this piece because I didn’t want to give Anderson any more publicity than he’s already getting. But, the realization that I might actually know some people who agree with this douchebag((yes, I called a preacher a “douchebag”. If that’s what offends you about this post, check your fucking priorities)) changed my mind and I wrote this in the hope they might read and change their minds. Am I kidding myself with that hope? Maybe, but stranger things have happened.