If you’re seeking prayer from Arizona pastor Steven Anderson, be careful what you ask for.
It was Anderson who on Sunday told his congregation at Faithful Word Baptist Church that not forgiveness but death is what he asks God to give President Barack Obama. Anderson made the statement for the second time this month after claiming that his church members have gotten death threats. An Aug. 16 “sermon” took aim at the commander in chief himself, rather than his positions, a day before Obama appeared in Phoenix.
On Sunday, though, Anderson took the insult to a new level, by specifying how he wants the president to suffer, probably to spare himself from the attention of federal agents: "If you want to know how I'd like to see Obama die, I'd like him to die of natural causes. I don't want him to be a martyr, we don't need another holiday. I'd like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer."
The original sermon can be downloaded from among many others listed at the church’s Web site, www.faithfulwordbaptist.org.
“‘Well you just mean you don’t like what he stands for,’” Anderson tells the church. “No, I hate the person. ‘Well you just mean you don’t like his politics.’ No, I hate him!”
It has since been revealed that the Black man featured on YouTube carrying an assault weapon on his shoulder outside Obama’s Phoenix event was at Anderson’s church for the hateful sermon. It has also been revealed that the man, “Chris,” who attends Faithful Word, showed up with the weapon as a publicity stunt to show the legality of carrying guns – apparently another statement to Obama.
But the words of Chris’ pastor have resonated more powerfully than Chris’ image in recent weeks. Accusing Obama of violence through abortion policies, Anderson said the president’s daughters should “be fatherless, and his wife a widow.” The Faithful Word Web site states that Anderson has a wife and four children of his own, ranging in age from 1 to 7.
While the preacher’s hate may not constitute a direct threat on Obama’s life, Anderson is accused of calling for violence, particularly since his followers carry guns, even to church. He reportedly has been questioned by the Secret Service, but not arrested.
Anderson’s clergy peers and many Christians, some of whom picketed his Sunday service, question the preacher’s very understanding of Christ.