Steven Anderson, a far right wing pastor known for calling for the death of gay people will be one of several religious extremists holding a “Make America Straight Again” conference in Orlando on Friday.
Today marks the third anniversary of the Pulse massacre, where 49 people, mostly LGBTQ people of color, were gunned down in what has been called the largest hate crime in U.S. history. Many are expected to travel to Orlando this week, to commemorate the horrific attack and mourn the tragic loss of life.
As Friendly Atheist’s Hemant Mehta reports, Anderson “celebrated the massacre as soon as it happened because there were ’50 less pedophiles in this world.’ He added that he’s ‘not gonna sit here and cry about it and say it’s a tragedy, because it’s not.’ He’s also said if he could push a button and kill every homosexual, he would ‘push it until it breaks.'”
Anderson is just one of several “death to gays” pastors hosting the event.
There’s Roger Jimenez, who said the worst thing about the massacre was that the shooter “didn’t finish the job.” He also longed for the government to round up all the gay people, “put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them, and blow their brains out.”
Mehta adds: “There’s Bruce Mejia, who says LGBTQ stands for ‘Let God Burn Them Quickly’ and who thinks just preaching against gay people isn’t enough.”
Anderson made headlines in 2014 when he told his congregation, “I actually discovered the cure for AIDS.”
“Everybody’s talking about, ‘Let’s have an AIDS-free world by 2020.’ Look, we can have an AIDS-free world by Christmas,” he promised. Anderson then read a passage from Leviticus that calls for men lying with men to be put to death.
“And that, my friend, is the cure for AIDS,” Anderson announced. “Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant.”
Last month Anderson became the first person to be banned by Ireland, making 30 countries that have refused to allow him to enter.
Steve Schmidt breaks down why Joe Biden should be an ‘easy’ choice for moderate Republicans
On MSNBC Friday, former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt criticized Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) claim that she was struggling over whether to support the president — and laid out why she should unequivocally decide she doesn't.
"We saw the president direct violence against peaceful protesters this week, and seen the president lie to the country nearly 20,000 times," said Schmidt. "We've seen the president divide the country and incite violence. And we've seen a level of ineptitude in this historic pandemic that defied description, but included standing in front of the nation when tens of thousands are dead, talking about his ratings or telling the American people that it is a good idea to ingest or household disinfectants. We've seen a president preside over the shattering of an economy. We have seen a president race-bait, demean, disgrace his office, to desecrate the bonds of affection that exist between us as Americans."
Jeb Bush wonders why Republicans are not ‘stepping up’ to condemn racism
Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) wondered on Friday why more Republicans were not standing publicly against racism.
"I have said it before and I will say it again now: the GOP must not tolerate racism. Of any kind. At any time," his son, George P. Bush, the Texas Land Commissioner posted on Twitter.
He urged local GOP officials in Texas to resign for sharing racist posts on Facebook.
Jeb Bush praised the post.
"Proud of my son," he posted on Twitter.
"Are other Republican elected officials stepping up?" he wondered.
‘Not appropriate at all’: GOP senator admits it was wrong to gas protesters for Trump’s photo-op
The decision to gas protesters so President Donald Trump could hold a photo-op holding a Bible were criticized by a Republican senator on Friday as cracks start to emerge in Republicans' support for the president.
"As you know, outside the White House when protesters were peacefully exercising their rights, there were rubber bullets and tear gas, they were disbursed so he could go for the pictures, the photo-op at the church," CNN's Erin Burnett reported.
She noted criticism by former General Mattis and asked Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) if he agreed.
"I would say no question the scene that I understand occurred there with the tear gas and rubber bullets was unnecessary, not appropriate at all," he replied.