Preacher who said gays ‘deserved’ death still targets Jamaica

Pastor Steven Anderson on killing homosexuals. (Click the image to see the video.)
Pastor Steven Anderson on killing homosexuals. (Click the image to see the video.)

Preacher says he’ll visit Jamaica despite a petition to ban him. I don’t suggest killing gays, he claims: I just don’t feel bad when they’re killed.

The Jamaica Gleaner reports:

For Christ’s sake! Don’t ban me – Controversial preacher coming for the gospel, not the gays

Pastor Steven Anderson on killing homosexuals. (Click the image to see the video.)
Pastor Steven Anderson: “if you executed the homos …” (Click the image to see the video.)

A controversial American Baptist pastor, who has been banned from preaching in four countries, says he still intends to come to Jamaica to preach, despite an online petition asking the Jamaican Government to stop his planned January 29 visit.

Pastor Steven Anderson said he has taken note of the online petition started by Jamaican gay activist Jay John to prevent him from coming on a mission trip to Jamaica, but he is not deterred.

The petition was started on change.org and up to last Thursday afternoon had secured 2,039 signatures. [Editor’s note: It currently has more than 4,000.] A petition needs 15,000 signatures for it to be reviewed by the Office of the Prime Minister. But only Jamaican citizens can create or sign a petition and the signatures must be gathered in 40 days.

Anderson is described by some critics as a hate preacher for his comments on several issues, including the 2016 shooting of 49 people inside the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

He has also been accused of calling for the execution of gays by stoning, and has asserted that women should not work, lead in church or dress how they want.

But Anderson, who pastors the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, told The Sunday Gleaner that the gay community will not be the focus of his visit to Jamaica.

PURPOSE OF HIS TRIP

“The purpose of this trip is that we are just going to go there and just preach the gospel and preach about Jesus and preach about salvation,” said Anderson, who has been banned from Canada, the United Kingdom, Botswana, and South Africa.

He was banned from South Africa after a petition was started urging the government to keep him from setting foot in that country.

In the petition to ban him from Jamaica, it is alleged that Anderson has no respect for humanity and his messages are homophobic and condone violence against a group that is already marginalised.

But Anderson argued that he is only going by what the Bible says, and he intends to continue to preach despite his personal persecutions.

He told The Sunday Gleaner that some of the claims in the petition to ban him are true, but there are some inaccuracies.

“For example, it said that I celebrated the Orlando massacre, which is a lie. I never praised or celebrated the Orlando shooting. That part is not true.

“All I said was that I didn’t feel bad for the people who died because they were disgusting paedophiles anyway that deserved to die, according to the Bible, but I didn’t celebrate it or praise it because, obviously, I don’t think it is right for people to take violent measures against these people. I don’t believe in violence,” added Anderson.

[Editor’s note: But also see the articles “Conservative Christian Pastor Calls for Executing All Gay People by Christmas Day” from 2017 and “Conservative ‘Christian’ Pastor Openly Calls For Executing All Gay People By Christmas Day” from 2014 and the YouTube video “Christian Pastor’s ‘Biblical’ FINAL SOLUTION to AIDS: Kill All The Gays” that they’re based on.]

He said he disagrees that he has attacked women through his messages, and has challenged a part of the petition that says he strongly speaks against the use of prescription medication and refers to doctors as sorcerers.

Jaevion Nelson, program and advocacy director for J-FLAG, the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays.
Jaevion Nelson, acting executive director for J-FLAG, the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays.

“Teaching that women should be in their proper role is not an attack on women because women are actually a lot happier when they are doing what God intended them to do, and getting married and having children,” argued Anderson. …

Anderson was deported from Botswana in 2016 based on an order from the president, after sharing his views about homosexuality during a live radio interview in the country.

In the meantime, Jaevion Nelson, who is the acting executive director of local LGBT lobby group J-FLAG, said the group is deeply concerned about Anderson’s intent to visit Jamaica, given his track record.

“We hope that the relevant authorities will take the necessary steps to monitor his visit and ensure that messages which promote hate, disrespect and violence are not tolerated,” said Nelson.

The Washington Blade reported Jan. 7 after interviewing Anderson:

“I don’t anticipate being banned from Jamaica because Jamaicans are in general anti-homosexual, but if I am banned, then so be it,” said Anderson in an email he sent to the Blade on Jan. 4, noting his church has had “multiple successful missions trips” to Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. “There are lots of fish in the sea.”

Botswana in 2016 deported Anderson after he said during a radio interview the government should kill gays and lesbians. Anderson also described the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre as “disgusting homosexuals who the Bible says were worthy of death.”

South Africa banned Anderson from entering the country before traveling to Botswana.

Anderson told the Blade the U.K. “banned me for my comments against Islam and homosexuality.” He also said Canada “denied me entry” last November because “they said that since I was deported from Botswana for ‘hate speech,’” the government “would not let me into the country until I got something in writing from Botswana saying that I was in good standing with them.”

“My comment on the petition is that it doesn’t surprise me since I have already been banned from four other countries,” Anderson told the Blade. “Most of the people that are signing the petition are probably not from Jamaica. They are probably LGBT activists from the U.S.”

John’s petition indicates the last two people who signed it are women from St. Ann, Jamaica, and Nassau, Bahamas.

“We are not short of God in Jamaica, he should stay where he is,” wrote another woman who signed the petition.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him at info@76crimes.com.

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