A Republican US representative says a registered donation apparently made in his name to a church led by an anti-gay holocaust denier was just a simple mistake.
Louie Gohmert’s team recently registered a donation of $5,500 to ‘Anderson Ministries’, and while there is no organization of that name registered Arizona— the address in the campaign filing matches that of Pastor Steve Anderson’s Faithful World Baptist Church.
On its website, Faithful Word Church calls for homosexuality to be punished with the death penalty. Meanwhile, in a video posted to his now-deplatformed YouTube account, Anderson declared “if you executed the homos, like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running around.” In 2016, he applauded the the mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, asserting “there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world.”
Anderson is also a Holocaust denier who wrote and starred in a film that refers to Judaism as the “synagogue of Satan”. So all in all, not someone worth funding.
But Gohmert’s his team said they actually paid a Christian singer named Steve Amerson instead, and the listed address of the extreme church was due to a bad Google search. The sum was incorrectly listed as a donation, rather than a payment, too, apparently.
Gohmert’s chief-of-staff, Connie Hair, told The Daily Beast that it was all a huge misunderstanding, and that the reported address and information in the filing was the result of a botched internet search by treasurer Bill Long - and that it was Amerson who got the money.
“That’s who it was written to, and Louie gave it to him, and when Bill Long got the check and the charge, he searched ‘Anderson Ministries’ instead of ‘Amerson.’”
Speaking to The Daily Beast, Aryeh Tuchman, associate director at the ADL’s Center on Extremism said Anderson is “incredibly antisemitic and “incredibly homophobic.”
He added: He is a highly problematic individual who pumps antisemitism, hatred and bigotry into the rhetoric, the preachings, and the teachings of these other churches.”
For his part, Gohmert has espoused some, shall we say, iffy views.
In 2010, he asserted that homosexuality is a form of adultery, and in 2015 he suggested as a thought experiment stranding gay and lesbian couples on deserted islands, and comparing their situation after a century to similarly marooned straight couples to “see which one nature favors.”