I got Christian hate-preacher Steven Anderson banned from YouTube.
A few days ago, I posted about how the leader of Arizona’s (New Independent Fundamentalist) Faithful Word Baptist Church had been posting his recent sermons on a variety of smaller YouTube channels — or having his followers post them for him — to get around the ban that YouTube had placed on his own page.
How did he get banned?
Anderson has celebrated the deaths of murdered LGBTQ people, called on the government to execute homosexuals with a firing squad, spread Holocaust denialism, promoted misogyny, and more. His sermons as so outrageously awful that 34 countries won’t allow him to step foot within their borders.
More recently, he began spreading misinformation about COVID, even urging his congregation (and YouTube viewers) against taking any eventual vaccine.
In July, his primary method of spreading his message — his YouTube channel — was permanently shut down due to violations of the website’s policies. (The COVID stuff may have finally tipped the scales.)
But Anderson responded by saying he’d start new channels without explicitly mentioning his church’s name or his name in their descriptions. In other words, you wouldn’t be able to find his sermons through a YouTube search… but his followers would know exactly where to go.
There’s just one snag in that logic: He thrives on new followers, and they would need a starting point.
For that, he used his church’s website.
Every archived sermon on the site comes with a YouTube link. Most churches that post their sermons online direct people to a single channel. It’s a good way to build the brand. But Anderson no longer had that option. So his sermons all went to different places. It got so complicated, I had to create a spreadsheet to keep track of everything. Bottom line: The past two full months’ worth of sermons were posted on about a dozen different channels, some of which had only a few other videos and a few subscribers. Other channels had already been deleted. Only a couple of them made any direct reference to Anderson at all.
It was sneaky. It was also a lot of work. But Anderson didn’t have much of a choice. Where else would he go? Sure, there are other websites that will host his content, but if he wants strangers to find him, he has to be where the video action is at. That’s YouTube. (It’s the same way conservatives constantly complain about Twitter’s supposed censorship, and urge their followers to go to smaller alternatives like Parler, only to watch those rebellions fizzle out. They eventually realize that it’s no fun speaking in an echo chamber. Even the haters want to be where everyone else is at.)
Since I posted about all that earlier this week, it looks like every one of those “newer” YouTube channels has been deleted. If you visit those pages, they now say, “This account has been terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.”
So long, JTankentaur 2000, and I Baptist, and The Son of Uri, and Daily Baptist, and Jonah 3:2, and Servis Flame Zone, and Baptist Burner, and Preserving the Word, and Pastor Anderson Sermons, and Mirror 1611.
The best part about it?
Anderson. Is. Angry.
On Wednesday night, he delivered another sermon — and yes, he live-streamed it on YouTube. How’d he do that? He used a seemingly innocuous channel called “Singing Baptist,” which was created on July 30 of this year. Until this week, the channel had no other sermons, just clips of Anderson’s church members singing before he speaks, along with lyrics on the screen. Nothing controversial.
During that sermon, he lashed out against YouTube and suggested God should use the wildfires currently ravaging the West Coast and aim them directly at YouTube’s headquarters.
A clip is below:
It’s too bad that this message about the love of God is struggling to find its way on YouTube. It’s pretty sad when my wife has to call me before the service and say, “What? Where’s the channel? I can’t find it!”
Because YouTube has been deleting our chan–it’s not her fault–YouTube is deleting our channel. Like every week, every day.
You know, meanwhile, Insane Clown Posse’s channel is doing fine. Okay? And think about the vile and the filth and the garbage that’s on that kind of stuff.
I mean, you’d think Insane Clown Posse is a little bit of filth, a little bit hateful, a little bit… but you
know what? But that’s okay, because it’s not Jesus Christ and the Word of God that’s being preached.
Truth is hate to those who hate the truth. And right now, you know, YouTube has just banned me and just deleting my channels, one after the other, you know, it’s just, I make a new channel, it gets deleted. I keep re-spawning! Every time I die… I don’t have nine lives. I just keep coming back, keep re-spawning, again and again, they cannot stop us from preaching the Word of God.
… but anyway, you know… maybe the fact that California is going up in flames right now…
Maybe God can just go like [blows] and maybe it can hit Mountain View, California and torch old YouTube’s headquarters, torch old Google’s headquarters, right?
Hilarious, this guy…
I also cannot believe the Insane Clown Posse won a battle against a Christian hate-preacher in a war they didn’t even realize was taking place. Juggalos always win.
In case you’re wondering, Anderson has a soft spot (?) for ICP because they sample one of his sermons in their song “The Truth.” You can hear it around the 3:20 mark here… it goes on for a very long while.
I should point out that, later in Wednesday’s full sermon, Anderson made clear he didn’t want his followers seeking revenge on their own. No vigilantism. He told his audience, “We don’t need to ever take any vengeance or retribution” on them because “God will take care of them.”
But still: He knows the best tool he had to amplify his message is no longer working in his favor. YouTube has finally — effectively — closed up that rabbit hole. (Almost effectively, I should say. I mean, I managed to watch Wednesday’s sermon on the site…)
Anderson is now directing his followers to ThePreaching.com, which just points to the sermon archives on his church’s website. I’m sure those YouTube links will be swapped out very soon.
One final issue: His website has links for people to donate to his church. On Monday, I reached out to Process Donation and USAePay, the two companies currently handling his church’s donations, and asked why they’re allowing a hate group to use their services. Didn’t they have policies to prevent that from happening?
Neither company responded to my emails.