Tis the season for Santa Claus to make his list and check it twice — and if there's anyone on that list who deserves nothing but coal in their stocking, it's got to be someone who believes in "executing" all LGBT people. But after Pastor Steven Anderson advocated for exactly that, the organization Planting Peace decided to send them a lump of coal for every donation made to Planting Peace's HIV/AIDS fundraiser. Because who says calling people out for their awfulness can't be holiday-themed?
Last weekend, Steven Anderson, a pastor at the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, claimed as part of his Sunday service that "we can have an AIDS-free world by Christmas" if gay people were to be "executed." Predictably citing Leviticus 20:13, he stated that, “It was right there in the Bible all along. ... It’s curable — right there. Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant.”
He also threw something of a temper tantrum at the idea that gay people can be Christians, because as we all know Jesus definitely said, "In my Father’s house are many rooms — but none for gay people." That is definitely how John 14:2 goes. And someone who preaches at a place called the "Faithful Word Baptist Church" obviously knows that.
When word of this hate speech masquerading as a sermon got around to Planting Peace, the group best known for their rainbow house across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church, they decided to do what they do best — turn it into something positive while rebuking bigotry at the same time. Accordingly, they launched a fundraiser to help people with HIV/AIDS, and declared that for every donation made, they'd be sending the Faithful Word Baptist Church a lump of coal.
"Pastor Anderson calling for the execution of gays is a startling reminder of how much hate and bigotry still exists in our society," Planting Peace President Aaron Jackson told The Huffington Post. "In keeping with Planting Peace's philosophy of countering messages of hate with compassion, we wanted to provide a positive platform to bring people together to not only help people with HIV, but to do so in a lighthearted way that will raise awareness for a very serious issue."
Every lump of coal the group sends will be wrapped in a "festive" package, complete with a bow, and will be delivered on Christmas Eve. So far the fundraiser has brought in over $17,000 in donations, an will presumably be sending hundreds of lumps of coal on their merry way soon.
If you would like to add to that number, you can donate to the cause here.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Merry Christmas.