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'Death to Gays' Pastor: Fires Ravaging Australia Because It Banned Me

Steven Anderson
Steven Anderson

Steven Anderson, who has called for the extermination of LGBTQ people, says God is judging Australia because it bans "preachers of the Gospel."

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Steven Anderson, the Arizona minister whose death wishes for LGBTQ people have gotten him banned from more than 30 countries, says Australia is being devastated by wildfires because it bans "preachers of the Gospel."

"Maybe if Australia weren't banning and deporting preachers of the Gospel, they wouldn't be under the judgment of God," reads a post from Friday on the Facebook page for Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, where Anderson is pastor. The post includes a link to a sermon Anderson gave a year ago at Pure Words Baptist Church, a similar church in Houston, titled "Natural Disasters as Judgment from God."

Anderson has called for the extermination of LGBTQ people as a means of eradicating AIDS, and he has said he prays for Caitlin Jenner, a "filthy pervert," to die and go to hell. He has praised the gunman who killed 49 people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando in 2016 and prayed for the death of Barack Obama. He has deemed the LGBTQ population "basically rapists" and likened same-sex relations to bestiality and suicide.

Faithful Word is an independent Baptist church, not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention or other Baptist bodies. It touts itself as preaching the King James Version of the Bible only; that was the version commissioned in the 17th century by England's King James I, who many historians believe was gay, something that people like Anderson apparently ignore.

Australia barred Anderson from entry in July, making it the 33rd country to keep him out. In May, the government of Ireland exercised its first use of a power to bar undesirable people to prevent him from appearing there. Most other countries in the European Union have banned him as well, as have several African countries and even Jamaica, despite the widespread homophobia there.

In Australia, as of Monday, fires had spread across 14.7 million acres and killed an estimated 480 million animals and 24 people, CNN reports. The nation generally sees fires during the Southern Hemisphere's summer, but the situation is worse than usual because of climate change.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.