Published August 31, 2009
A Phoenix-area pastor has started to draw protesters to his congregation after he delivered a sermon titled, "Why I Hate Barack Obama," and told his parishioners that he prays for President Obama's death.
Pastor Steven Anderson stood by his sermon in an interview with MyFOXPhoenix, which reports that the pastor continues to encourage his parishioners to join him in praying for the president's death.
"I hope that God strikes Barack Obama with brain cancer so he can die like Ted Kennedy and I hope it happens today," he told MyFOXPhoenix on Sunday. He called his message "spiritual warfare" and said he does not condone killing.
But a small crowd of protesters gathered around his church Sunday, calling Anderson's words "incomprehensible." And MyFOXPhoenix reported that the sermon, which has drawn widespread attention, led to death threats against the pastor.
Anderson's inflammatory message stems in part from Obama's abortion-rights stance.
In Anderson's controversial sermon, delivered at his Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe before Obama arrived for a speech in Phoenix earlier in the month, the pastor said he wants the president to "melt like a snail" with salt on it.
"I'm gonna pray that he dies and goes to hell when I go to bed tonight. That's what I'm gonna pray," he told his congregation.
The last time fierce opposition to Obama's abortion position drew widespread attention was when Obama delivered the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame.
The Anderson sermon also drew concern after it was reported that one man carrying an assault rifle outside the Phoenix arena where Obama spoke was a member of Anderson's church.