Why can’t some pastors just let gay people live?
Homophobic pastor Steven Anderson was kicked out of parts of Africa for his rants against LGBT people. He praised the Orlando shooter for killing 49 LGBT people and said, “There are 50 less pedophiles in the world.”
He also claimed that most gay people are drug addicts and child molesters who are to blame for “sex acts on children.”
Botswana deported him and South Africa banned him from ever entering.
Despite the ban, Anderson plans to sneak into Cape Town in order to open anti-gay churches in South Africa. He hopes to spread his churches to Malawi as well.
In fact, he posted on his personal blog that his organization, Faithful Word Baptist church, is seeking missionaries to come to Malawi and participate in a “soul-winning marathon” scheduled for late April. When LGBT organizations publically voiced their concerns about his modern-day crusade, he called them all sodomites and liars, then asked “soul winners” to join him on this “very special missions trip.”
Many LGBT organizations point fingers at African countries for making gay marriage illegal (sometimes punishable by death). But we must recognize that it’s insufficient to critique a country’s view on gay rights without situating those views within a historical context – one which usually intertwines with colonialism.
Many African countries only adopted anti-LGBT views after Christian missionaries razed their cultures to the ground, built churches and taught that sex between two men was an abomination. Today, liberal western organizations often blame “backwards”
Africans for holding homophobic views even through the west imposed these views in the first place.
That’s why modern-day crusaders like Anderson are so dangerous. They not only spread hateful rhetoric that will get gay people killed, but they also expand the legacy of modern-day colonialism.
What can you do? Because homosexuality is illegal in Malawi, it’s unlikely that the country will revoke the 12-month visa they recently handed to Anderson.
However, you can notify the South African organization Equality Courts, where hate speech complaints are registered.
To learn more about anti-gay missionaries and how they helped pass the “death to gays” bill in Uganda, check out the documentary God Loves Uganda.