An anti-gay pastor in Tempe, Arizona — who recently came under fire for statements about an “AIDS-free Christmas” — is courting controversy again after the Jewish News reported that he tricked area rabbis into participating in an anti-Semitic documentary he is making.
According to the Jewish News, pastor Steven Anderson contacted Rabbi Leo Abrami, a Holocaust survivor, and claimed to be making a film that explained tenets of the Jewish faith to a Christian audience. He identified himself as “an interested layperson” to Rabbi Abrami, who took him at his word.
However, when Anderson contacted Rabbi Irwin Wiener, he claimed to be producing a documentary for PBS. “The subterfuge that he used to get these interviews from us is beyond belief,” Wiener told the Jewish News. “When he used the words PBS to me, it sounded legitimate and I didn’t pursue it any further.”
Both Abrami and Wiener signed releases allowing Anderson to use material from those interviews in his film — which is actually called Marching to Zion, and according to the promotional video that Anderson made for it, the purpose of the film is “to prove that the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people in the New Testament but that we as believers, we as Christians, are God’s chosen people [and] that the modern-day nation of Israel over in the Middle East is a complete fraud.”
After showing images of Abrami and Wiener, Anderson said that “[t]hey’re making all the points for us. They’re all saying the same things and confirming what we show from the Bible to be true.”
But Abrami told the Jewish News that he intends to take legal action against Anderson. “The pastor misrepresented himself. He was lying to me all along,” he said. “I’m not letting it go. Whenever I can, I will fight back.”
Watch the promotional video for the film below via YouTube.