Fringe Baptist Minister Is New American Taliban

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2009 2:46 PM CDT
Pastor Steve Anderson.   (Infowarfair)

(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?"

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.)