There is truly weird fundamentalist pastor named Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist in Tempe, Arizona who has long been on an anti-gay crusade but also takes time to tell women that they should shut the hell up in church and be banned from voting and confined to their homes.
He also tells men that they should always urinate while standing up only and to do it sitting down is an abomination in god’s eyes. He also thinks that popular depictions of Jesus wrongfully show him as some kind of transvestite wuss and that in reality Jesus was very manly and had short hair and wore pants.
So I think we can agree that Anderson is a really weird guy. But he has apparently raised his weirdness up to 11 and taken his message on the road. But that has met with some bumps. He was too much even for Botswana (which actually criminalizes homosexuality) and was deported from there after he hailed the deaths of 50 people in the Orlando nightclub bombing. He was also barred from entering South Africa and the UK. (Thanks to reader Christopher for the links.)
Why he thought that South Africa might welcome him is unclear since that country has been progressive on LGBT rights, legalizing same-sex marriage in 2006, long before the US and the UK did. In fact, archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter is in such a marriage.
Tutu (now Tutu-Van Furth) is the daughter of South Africa’s first black archbishop and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and is really only the “same” as her wife in one way — they are both women. But in almost every other imaginable way, they are different. Tutu is black, South African, a devout priest and, as she puts it, “vertically challenged.” Marceline Tutu-Van Furth is lanky, Dutch, atheist and a professor of pediatric diseases in Amsterdam.
But her Anglican church is not as accepting of lesbian clergy and she has lost her ministry as a result, though there are moves to try and change this. Archbishop Tutu has been as outspoken on this as he has been on other social justice issues such as apartheid and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians that he likens to apartheid. Tutu has said:
“I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place,” he said in 2013. “I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”
The Westboro Baptist Church and the Faithful Word Baptist church seem to be tied in a contest for the most hateful and at the same time most laughable church in the US. What is it about Baptist theology that produces such people?