A Christian pastor in Arizona told his congregation the cure for AIDS has always been in the bible. They laughed.
PastorÂ Steven Anderson founded and runs theÂ Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. He and his wifeÂ Zsuzsanna have seven children. The church website boasts that Pastor 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." It even has a section that promises it can "revolutionize the way you memorize the Bible," and anyone can commit the bible to memory in just five years.
One book of the bible Pastor Anderson seems to have memorized extensively is Leviticus.
On Sunday, as his congregation and many people across America were remembering a delightful Thanksgiving dinner and likely not looking forward to work the next day, Pastor Anderson offered them a Christmas miracle.Â
"I actually discovered the cure for AIDS," Anderson quipped, urging his congregationÂ to open their bibles toÂ Leviticus 20:13. There were some chuckles in the audience. "Everybody's talking about, 'Let's have an AIDS-free world by 2020.' Look, we can have an AIDS-free world by Christmas," he promised, to more laughter.
â€œHere's what the bible says, Leviticus 20:13. 'If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman,'" Anderson read to his congregation, "it says, even both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."
â€œAnd that, my friend, is the cure for AIDS,â€ Anderson continued. â€œIt was right there in the Bible all along â€” and theyâ€™re out spending billions of dollars in research and testing. Itâ€™s curable â€” right there. Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldnâ€™t have all this AIDS running rampant.â€
His congregation wasn't shy about laughing.
And no one seemed shy about equating HIV/AIDS with gay people, ignoring the fact that the virus, unlike the Pastor, doesn't discriminate.
Pastor Anderson quoted statistics of how many people in America identify as gay, as if that would somehow protect his flock from contracting the virus.Â
How many religious leaders will admonish or denounce him?