Friday, September 2, 2016

The Red Hot Preaching Conference: Steve Anderson Rants and Raves




As discussed in a prior post, Steve Anderson, Roger Jimenez, Donnie Romero, and David Berzins came together for the Red Hot Preaching Conference in Sacramento, California on July 28-31. Steve Anderson was in rare form when he preached at the podium, ranting about the End Times, the alleged persecution he endured from Paypal, and his unbridled hatred of gays and the media. Anderson's sermon was a flood of hatred and projection, in which he unleashed his hatred against others while condemning others for allegedly hating him.

Citing Matthew 16 and 1 Thessalonians 5, Anderson warned the audience that they were living in the End Times at the 57:40 mark.
"We are not going to be taken by surprise because we have the Bible telling us all the things that will lead up to it, and we can see the signs of the times ... We don't have to be in the dark tonight. We have the word of God to tell us about the events of the End Times. We know the sequence of events. We know what things will be like when the end is approaching. We can read it in the Bible, and then if we have our eyes open, we can discern the times of the times that we're living in. I submit to you that if we look around today, we can see many signs that we are living in the last days."
"We can see now that the technology is in place where the scriptures in the book of Revelation could literally be fulfilled," he insisted. Live broadcasts and the internet would allow the whole world to see events during the End Times as described in Revelations 11:1-10, he explained. Anderson also claimed that the passage in Revelations 13:11-18 (in which no one engages in trade without the mark of the beast on their head or hand) describes technology in a cashless society. If the government declares cash to be worthless, paper money won't be used for transactions anymore, he said.

As evidence, Anderson pointed to Paypal shutting down his fundraising account in response to his homophobic hate speech (more here). At the 1:01:19 mark, he fumed over the Paypal incident.
"Look how easy it was for them to shut down our Paypal accounts as soon as we started preaching things that they didn't like ... That's where things are going. You preach the word of God, you don't get on board, we'll shut down your account."
Anderson's End Times rhetoric was laced with conspiracy theories. Later, after a paranoid rant about the United Nations setting the stage for a world government, Anderson claimed that religions are coming together under the auspices of the Antichrist.

Anderson turned his attention to the current generation, which he blasted as selfish and sinful. At the 1:03:00 mark, he raged at "Generation Selfie Stick" for condoning abortion.
"One of the things that characterizes the End Times is that people would be self-centered, self-absorbed, lovers of their own selves, and we see that in this generation more than any other generation, this overly sensitive--just worried about themselves, everything's about me. You know, people have called it Generation Me, Generation Selfie, Generation Selfie Stick ... What could be more selfish when you think about major big sin, sins like murder and adultery? What could be more selfish than murdering your own child for your own convenience? That's exactly what abortion is. You're so concerned with yourself that you're willing to murder an innocent baby just so you can have a different quality of life."
He raged on against supposedly selfish people who only attend church to hear sermons, arguing that church is like a workplace where people should work. Anderson mocked people who disagreed with him for calling church a business. "Only communists and hippies don't like the word business!" he sneered. He seemed oblivious to how selfish his own expectations of congregants were.

No Anderson sermon would be complete without homophobia. "It's starting to look like the days of Lot out there!" he lamented at the 1:19:04 mark. "I got off the airplane in Sacramento, California this morning, and it was two minutes before I saw a dude walking through the airport with a skirt on!" he complained.

Anderson's fury burned hot at the 1:08:13 mark, when he screamed at the top of his lungs at the media and the pro-LGBTQ demonstrators protesting the event. Anderson howled in rage against "freaks and perverts" and dared the media to link LGBTQ people and HIV. His screaming fit was met with applause from the audience.
"We're living in a day where the wicked despise those that are good, and now, it's even getting to the point where even mainstream America is starting to despise those that are good ... What's interesting today is that these bunch of freaks and perverts out there, for example, that are protesting this event, they are despisers of those that are good. You know what? These people from the media here, I mean, unless they turn over a new leaf and start telling the truth, which probably isn't very likely, but these bozos from the media over here, they're going to show all the 'love wins' and 'love conquers hate'. They won't show you how God-fearing family men and women walk in this church, and women are called a slut and a whore, and they've never even seen these women in their life, because they just rail and hate and spew out all their filth, and they're disgusting.

BUT YOU WON'T SHOW THAT ON THE MEDIA, WILL YOU? NO! YOU'LL SHOW ALL THE PRETTY LITTLE SODOMITES, AND THEY ALL LOVE EACH OTHER! WHY DON'T YOU GO TO AIDS-DOT-GOV AND SHOW WHAT THESE PEOPLE ARE REALLY LIKE, WHERE THEY'RE FIFTY TIMES MORE LIKELY TO GET AIDS? WHY DON'T YOU DO A STORY ON HOW HOMOSEXUALS ARE FIFTY TIMES MORE LIKELY TO GET AIDS? ... BECAUSE YOU'RE A COWARD, THAT'S WHY."
Anderson's spewed even more homophobic hatred at the 1:10:31 mark, when he accused "homos" of wanting to murder him and the other attendees. Ever heard of projection, Steve?
"Every single one of those homos would love to tear me apart limb from limb. If they could get in here and the police wouldn't stop 'em, they'd love to come in here and rip us apart and kill us all, and they don't just hate me. They don't just hate Brother [Roger] Jimenez. They hate all Christians, and they would love to destroy us all ... And yet they say that we're hateful. Well you know what? At least I admit that I do hate pedophiles and perverts! But these people are hypocrites!"
What saddened me about this toxic sermon was that several children were in the audience. Anderson was feeding his witches brew of homophobia, End Times paranoia, self-righteousness, and rage to impressionable children. My heart broke when I realized how many lies those children had been fed about the world by that fundamentalist subculture. The world's going to end. Gays want to destroy you. Act like a real man or else. Be a workhorse for the church or else. Where was room for truth, joy, love, and freedom in these children's lives?

What kind of inner turmoil produces the kind of hatred and rage that we see in Steve Anderson? What kind of misguided faith brings people to his church and to the Red Hot Preaching Conference? What spiritual nourishment can be had by listening to a hateful man rant and scream?


8 comments:

  1. I wonder if these men should be on some kind of medication …?

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    1. Agi Tater -- His screaming AIDS rant reminded me of Kevin Swanson's meltdown last year at at political conference. These guys have deep-seated issues, that's for sure.

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  2. What a charming presentation! We were in Sacto just a couple of days before this. Had I known about it, I could have gone undercover (as you've been known to do) and reported on it for you.

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    1. Donna -- Cool! I hope you had a nice time in Sacramento. Steve Anderson clearly was not having a nice time.

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    2. Zosimus the HeathenSeptember 3, 2016 at 4:08 AM

      The last time I was in the States, I spent a few days in Tempe, Arizona, the home of Anderson's church. I must say that I was fleetingly tempted to check it out, but resisted the urge. After reading this piece, I'm thankful I did; I can imagine a visit to his church would've ended up being a terrifying experience! Too bad it's a blot on the landscape of an otherwise pleasant (if freaking hot!) city.

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    3. Zosimus -- Terrifying and possibly dangerous. Anderson and his church would NOT be welcoming to an LGBTQ and/or gender non-conforming person. Things could get ugly.

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  3. Zosimus the HeathenSeptember 3, 2016 at 4:30 AM

    It seems the Red Hot Preaching Conference was aptly named; from the sounds of it, if these guys had gotten any more worked up, they probably would've spontaneously combusted! Re Anderson's speech being laced with conspiracy theories, I wonder if so many fundamentalists get into that sort of thing because it's about the only thing that brings any excitement into their lives, what with virtually everything else being a "sin" in their eyes. (For a similar reason, I wonder if Islamic fundamentalists are so obsessed with blowing shit up because that's about the only "fun" they're allowed to have.) On a lighter note, I must say I was most amused by Anderson being sent into a frothing-at-the-mouth fit of fury by the innocuous sight of a man in a skirt. Seems it's not just women in trousers (a traditional bugbear of Independent Baptist-types, I believe) they have to get worked up about these days!

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    1. Zosimus -- I think you're on to something. Conspiracy theories and End Times talk do make them feel as if they're fighting against something bigger than themselves, and it brings excitement to their otherwise bland lives. If they would just step outside the fundamentalist bubble, they'd discover that the world is full of excitement, and that they don't need delusions to feel pumped up.

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