'I Hate Obama' Pastor Draws Protesters Outside Church

An Arizona pastor who delivered the "Why I Hate Barack Obama" sermon was confronted by about 100 protesters Sunday outside his church near Phoenix.

Protesters at the so-called "Love Rally" denounced Pastor Steven L. Anderson's sermon – which called on parishioners to pray for the president's death – as hate speech.

"It's hard to believe we could have someone of a religious nature wishing our president was dead," said protester William Crumb to KNXV-TV in Phoenix.

Another protester, Larry Crane, said, "I'm just disgusted with this man who claims to be a minister of the Lord preaching hate toward the president."

Last month, Anderson, 27, told the members of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz., that he prays the president would die soon.

"Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow," Anderson said in the sermon, available on YouTube. "Let his children be continually vagabonds and beg."

Despite adverse reactions from the public, the controversial pastor again repeated his message Sunday outside his church.

"I hope it happens today, not when he (the president) gets older," said a defiant Anderson, according to NBC affiliate 12 News. "I hope he dies of brain cancer today."

Anderson said he received a phone call from the U.S. Secret Service in August. The Secret Service said it was following up on Anderson's comments.

Also, an anti-hate watchdog group is monitoring the preacher, who it fears could incite militia activities.

The day after Anderson's sermon, one of his parishioners, Christopher Broughton, carried a loaded AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a handgun to an event where Obama would address a veteran's group. Broughton, however, said he was not motivated to carry guns to the event because of Anderson, but because of his long-standing dislike of the president.

Broughton was not arrested because it is legal to openly carry a gun in Arizona.

Though Anderson is an active pastor, he also runs a small business installing commercial fire alarms. The Faithful Word Baptist Church is located in Anderson's office in a strip mall.

The members of his church, numbering about 24, have defended their pastor and his sermon.

"I hate people that hate God," said a parishioner, who refused to be identified, to ABC News.

"As far as I know we live in America, we have freedom of religion, freedom to assemble and freedom of speech," said another member.

Protesters say they plan to continue to demonstrate at Faithful Word Baptist Church.

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