Fringe Baptist Minister Is New American Taliban

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2009 2:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Rev. Steven Anderson—he's the Arizona preacher praying for the president's death—is positioning himself nicely to take up a new title, writes Jeffrey Weiss for Politics Daily: American Taliban. Anderson isn't a terrorist. But he is a "man with an absolute belief in a particular interpretation of Scripture that many others consider archaic, an interest in seeing those beliefs affect the modern political and legal milieu, and a disregard (even a contempt) for other putative co-religionists who do not share these views. Sound familiar?"

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Anderson, who runs the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, mines the Old Testament mostly for quotes to suit his purposes, much as Muslim extremists "cherry-pick the Koran." It's easy to dismiss him as a crackpot, but one of his followers did show up near an Obama town hall with a semiautomatic weapon. Anderson "is a face to a set of ideas," says one analyst. "Now, should someone related to those ideas do something really stupid, he, of course, matters even more." (Read more Steven Anderson stories.)

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