A 31-year-old electrician, father of seven and pastor from Tempe, Ariz., who once wished President Barack Obama would die of brain cancer like Ted Kennedy, came under fire from Irish citizens last week after he declared that the Bible says "gays should be executed" and he supports the teaching.
In a lengthy discussion on Ireland's Classic Hits 4fm radio station that was posted on YouTube, Pastor Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church sparred with callers over his views covering issues such as spanking, sex, modesty, homeschooling and homosexuality. The man's responses made some people so upset they swore at him.
"Well the Bible teaches actually that gays should be executed. Because it actually says in Leviticus 20:13 that if a man also lie with mankind as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination, they shall surely be put to death, their blood shall be upon them," said Anderson in the just over one-hour session. Prior to that, he had argued that women who wear mini-skirts were dressing like "whores" and that it was inappropriate for women to wear pants.
Warning: Video contains a few profane references.
"But obviously, you don't personally believe, that do you?" asked the host of the show who noted he is an atheist.
"Well obviously I believe every word of the Bible including that. I'm not saying that I would ever kill anyone, because I never would, but I believe that the government should use the death penalty on murderers, rapists, homosexuals and that's what the Bible teaches very clearly," he added while pointing out that the view is supported by Romans chapter one.
"I wouldn't be a Christian pastor worth my salt if I didn't believe the Bible," added Anderson.
Anderson's church drew national attention in 2009 after he preached a sermon entitled, "Why I Hate Barack Obama" during which he noted that he was praying for the President's death. His church is also listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Callers also lashed out at the Arizona pastor for arguing that a woman's place is in the home, and his support of spanking, which he said is the only form of discipline he uses in his home.
One caller became so upset, she wished his wife would leave him and his children would beat him up.
"If I was his wife and his children I would get out," said the caller. "And he says he has three bigger sons and one daughter. I think in another year or two if his sons had any bit of sense in their head, they would beat the living crap out of him. Beat him to a pulp and give him back what he did to them. The cheek of him, how dare him? That's child abuse and wife abuse."
Anderson's wife, however, does not agree with the callers' opinion of her.
"Oh my goodness, I didn't even realize how sadly abused I am, until a bunch of angry Irish pointed it out," Mrs. Anderson quipped in a post on her blog on July 5.
When the host of the radio show asked Anderson if he believed he was practicing child abuse by spanking his children, he argued that he would consider it child abuse if parents didn't spank their children.
"Well where I live in the United States the vast majority of people spank their children. More than half the people in America spank their children. So I'm not alone on this, so of course it's not child abuse. I think it's child abuse not to spank your children," said Anderson.
"The Bible says 'he that spareth his rod hateth his son but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.' And so you spare the rod, the Bible says 'you hate your children.' I love my children and I so I lovingly discipline them and my children love me and they respect me," he added.
Anderson, who also asserted his place as the head of his household, was challenge by a listener to the program who asked what he would do if he came home and was interested in sex with his wife and she refused.
"Well the Bible clearly teaches in I Corinthians chapter 7 that it is wrong for a wife to refuse sex to her husband, but it also teaches the opposite that it is also wrong for a husband to refuse to have sex with his wife, so that's actually a two way street," he replied.
When asked if he felt he was brainwashing his children he responded: "No, of course not. You think all teaching is brainwashing? Well what about the brainwashing that the government school system is doing indoctrinating the children?"
He then noted that he and his wife homeschooled their children because they don't want their children brainwashed.
"My children are homeschooled, I don't want them to be brainwashed by the government into thinking that there is no God and that it's normal for a man to have sex with another man. That's the kind of filth that they're gonna learn in the public school," he said. "I'd rather let them grow up in the freedom of being a Bible believing Christian. That's where the real freedom is."