A few local and national religious leaders are denouncing Pastor Steven Anderson's sermon that promised AIDS would end by Christmas if we kill all gay people.
On Wednesday many across the nation were stunned to learn an Arizona Christian pastor told his congregation the world could be rid of AIDS by Christmas "if you executed the homos like God recommends."
The New Civil Rights Movement reached out to Pastor Anderson for comment Wednesday but he has not responded. But via social media we also asked four religious leaders, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Mike Huckabee, and Russell Moore, to denounce Pastor Anderson's hate. Only Dr. Moore responded, but it was a clear denunciation.
â€” Russell Moore (@drmoore) December 3, 2014
Dr. Moore is the President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. The SBC is the second-largest Christian denomination in America, behind Catholicism.
Arizona's 12 News aired a report Wednesday night featuring Pastor Anderson's comments, and interviewed two local pastors who roundly denounced his hate.
One, Pastor Vernon Meyer, compared his speech to terrorism. "That's no different than what ISIS is doing in killing people in Iraq and Syria. God tells them to kill anybody who's different from them," he says.
Another, Pastor Jeffrey Durham, told News 12, "I have no doubt those words are going to kill someone." Calling it "hateful rhetoric," he adds, "this is not church."
As The New Civil Rights Movement has documented for years, sadly, for many people of faith who attend church, Pastor Anderson's hate speech is, in fact, "church."
Take a look at these headlines, a small excerpt from The New Civil Rights Movement's reporting in recent years, including this year:
Pastor Anderson is not an anomaly. For many, including many young LGBTQ people, it is a regular event. It's time more religious leaders, like Dr. Moore, and Pastors Durham and Meyer, had the courage to denounce those who use religion to spew hate.
Image via YouTube
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