Tempe pastor prays for Obama's death
The Tempe pastor who claimed he was beaten by an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer and Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint on Interstate 8 east of Yuma earlier this year is again making national headlines.
Steven Anderson, who ministers at Faithful Word Baptist Church, said he prays for the death of President Barack Obama in a sermon he gave last month to his congregation.
"I'm not going to pray for his good," Anderson said in the sermon. "I'm going to pray he dies and goes to hell."
The sermon, which was titled "Why I Hate Barack Obama," was also featured on CNN last week due to the nature of its content, and has since been shown on other programs such as Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News and Headline News on Monday.
The Yuma Sun attempted to contact Anderson by phone and e-mail for comment on the article but was unable to reach him.
Anderson delivered the anti-Obama sermon two weeks ago on Aug. 16, the day after the president and his family arrived in Phoenix.
During his hour-long sermon, Anderson stated that he did not hate Obama for his politics, but that he hated the man himself, and then cited what he said was scripture that proved "God hated Barack Obama," too.
Claiming that the Bible says that evil people should melt like a snail, Anderson said in his sermon that Obama deserves the death penalty and needs to be punished because of his pro-choice stance on abortion.
An audio of the sermon from the right-wing pastor is posted on the Faithful Word Baptist Church's Web site. It also was posted on YouTube but has since been removed.
Anderson in his sermon also calls Obama a “madman” and says the president’s “one of the rulers of the darkness of this world.”
Also in the ongoing national media coverage was what happened the day after Anderson delivered his fiery sermon.
Chris Broughton, a 28-year-old Tempe resident who is one of Anderson's parishioners, showed up at an Obama town hall event with an assault rifle and a pistol.
Broughton, however, claimed that he was not planning on using the weapons but was simply exercising his right to bear arms.
In the case near Yuma, Anderson has been charged with resisting an order of a law enforcement officer and obstructing a highway, both misdemeanors.
Chief Criminal Deputy County Attorney Roger Nelson said a series of hearings in Anderson's case are scheduled to begin Sept. 29 in Yuma County Superior Court.
"A lot of motions have been filed in the case and there will be hearings on those motions," Nelson said. "Part of the hearings will also determine which judge will preside over the case."
In the months before that Yuma incident, Anderson posted several YouTube videos in which he confronts authorities.
In February, he posted a video showing an encounter he says was at a checkpoint at the New Mexico border where a Border Patrol agent threatens him with nunchucks.
In that video he keeps his window rolled up and questions agents on why he's being stopped. In March, he shot a video titled "Another Cop Harasses me for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON *Minnesota."
Then in January, Anderson posted another video shot at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. In that video he walks up to a Phoenix police officer and asks him about his machine gun. When the officer replies that it's none of his business, Anderson says, "It's none of my business? Don't you work for me since I'm a citizen of Phoenix and of the United States?"
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. The Arizona Republic and The Associated Press contributed to this report.