One of the vilest pastors in the country got a massive donation earlier this year from one of the vilest Republicans in the country.
The pastor is Christian hate-preacher Steven Anderson, the head of Arizona’s (New Independent Fundamentalist) Faithful Word Baptist Church. 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 has been banned from stepping foot in 34 countries due to his hate speech. Last year, he began spreading misinformation about COVID, even urging his congregation (and YouTube viewers) to avoid any eventual vaccines. He was eventually banned from YouTube, though his sermons keep popping up on various channels maintained by his followers.
The congressman is Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, a man who has claimed that Christians will “literally” be in shackles due to hate crime laws, that climate change is a hoax, and that evolution is fiction.
According to the Daily Beast, Gohmert made a $5,500 donation to Anderson’s ministry on New Year’s Eve. But he insists it’s a giant mistake:
Team Gohmert claims it hired a Christian singer named Steve Amerson from Granada [Hills], California, but accidentally reported to the Federal Election Commission that the cash went to the Tempe, Arizona address of the Faithful Word Baptist Church, led by the infamous Pastor Steve Anderson.
Was it a mistake, though? How do you screw up the location of a gift like that? (Even if you’re just typing “Steve A” into a computer, for it to autofill with Anderson’s name suggests Gohmert and him have a prior working relationship of some sort.) Also, the money was listed as a “donation,” not payment for a service like hiring a singer. (What would that donation even be for, though?)
As the Daily Beast sarcastically notes, “They just screwed up the name, purpose, and address of the recipient of their largesse. Oops.”
Disclosures to the FEC show that the Louie Gohmert for Congress Committee sent $5,500, to an entity in Tempe called “Anderson Ministries.” There is in fact no organization of this name registered in the Grand Canyon State—but the address in the campaign filing matches that of Anderson’s church.
The Daily Beast reached out to Anderson for comment, but received notice from his wife Zsuzsanna that he was unavailable. She would not verify whether Faithful Word had received and deposited the funds from Gohmert’s campaign, but asserted that she and her husband neither knew nor supported Gohmert.
“We can neither confirm nor deny that such a donation was made to our ministry,” she said. “We don’t follow the donations closely, and don’t see the urgency of setting aside the time on a very busy week to look into the financial records.”
The Gohmert people say they are amending their FEC report… though none of that really explains how a staffer botched the paperwork that badly. (If the singer Amerson received the money, he hasn’t confirmed that either.)
Maybe this is all a giant screw-up by Gohmert’s people. But the only reason this is a story is because the two men are so cruel, thoughtless, and despicable that it’s entirely plausible the two of them could be linked.