If I wasn’t too busy laughing at him, I might get really upset about Steve Anderson’s incredibly vile and homophobic remarks that suggest an AIDS-free America might be possible if all the gay people were murdered before Christmas. He has single-handedly given a whole new operational tact to the AIDS Free Generation movement.
This man is so lost in his own fear, he can’t see what is obvious to most intelligent people in America. He is making a mockery of himself and his religion. Never mind that if Pastor Anderson’s flock is of any size at all, odds are this man was insensitively preaching to an HIV+ person, one that might not be gay. It's the way Anderson preaches that he is telling the "truth" with such frequency and intensity - it makes me immediately think of Shakespeare’s famous words, “the lady doth protest too much.”
And I use that exact quote with intention. Because we all know that any man who makes sexual orientation this big a deal, is probably working hard to suppress feelings of his own. This is a documented fact, most conclusively in a University of Georgia study that proved a near 100% correlation between homophobic speech and sexual arousal over homosexual acts.
But even if he is truly straight and has never had a homosexual thought, I am sure that Anderson has not thought his plan through. Does he know that killing all the gays would destroy his Christmas experience as well? Could you imagine trying to buy your Xmas present if every gay and lesbian in retail were abruptly killed before the holidays? Stores are understaffed as they are. Does he really think that all the televised holiday specials he is looking forward to would not suffer if his suggestions were carried out? The shortage of video editors, designers and choreographers will make for a really bland Xmas spectaculars. And who is going to regal him with Christmas carols when all the choir directors are gone? I can’t help but wonder if the reason this church seems to lack a choir is because their director was the first homo to go.
At about 30 minutes into this hour-long sermon, he makes a reference to those who might want more "scientific data," and his congregation laughs. Clearly these men and women know the truth can only be found in the bible. And I wonder how Anderson would feel if all the people who are “different” and “gross” suddenly decided to kill all the Christians? I mean - he should be grateful, right? Because according to the bible, Christians are always persecuted and must suffer for their beliefs. If we chose to believe the bible as literally as Anderson (selectively) claims we should, when we kill them they will go straight to heaven and live in eternal bliss! We would be doing them a favor, right? And according to Anderson (about 34 minutes in) all gays are "filled with murder" anyway. I am sure he’ll be very disappointed if we offer no real threat to his life now that he has so publicly proclaimed his “truth”.
Somehow, I think Andersen's very literal interpretation of the bible would get a different lens if we used his words to justify those ends. Of course I do not wish this man, or those who laughed so heartily at his sermon, any harm. I actually fully support their first amendment right to say and believe what they want. But I feel sorry for him. If I have learned anything in life, it’s that anyone who must insist that he is telling the truth this intensely is probably trying to convince himself as much as anyone else.
Update - Dec 14, 2014 - 11:56 am: Planting Peace, the organization that painted the house across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church to look like a rainbow, has something special in mind for Pastor Anderson. Check out their campaign here.