The fundamentalist Christian pastor of an Arizona church is being condemned after he celebrated the deaths of 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando in a hate-filled rant posted on YouTube.
Just hours after American’s worst mass shooting came to an end, Steven Anderson, pastor at Faithful Word Baptist Church in suburban Phoenix, unleashed a sickening tirade in which he said the victims deserved to die.
‘The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles,’ Anderson said in the video. ‘That’s who was a victim here, are a bunch of just disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar, OK?’
Anderson - who has been condemned for previous comments about President Barack Obama, the Paris attacks, transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner and AIDS - quoted the Bible and Book of Leviticus as he tried to justify the terror attack at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
‘The Bible says that homosexuals should be put to death… obviously it’s not right for somebody to just shoot up the place because that’s not going through the proper channels,’ he said. ‘But these people all should have been killed anyway but they should have been killed through the proper channels as in they should have been executed by a righteous government.’
Anderson’s rant has been viewed nearly 100,000 times and has received thousands of comments from viewers who blasted him for spreading hate.
‘I am a Christian and I am mourning the loss of 50 of my fellow brothers,’ one user wrote. ‘I hope that people realize not all Christians are self-righteous hatemongers like this man.
‘I don't believe anyone has the right to judge anyone else, and I'm so sorry for the murder of these people. I'm all so very sorry a man like this is representing Christians. Please know we are not all like this animal.’
Vigils have been held in cities around the world in memory of the victims.
Anderson said ‘the bad news’ following the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub is that there will be a further push for gun control where ‘law-abiding, normal Americans are not gonna be allowed to have guns for self-defence’.
He also predicted that the shooting would ‘push an agenda against so-called hate speech’.
‘I’m sure that people are going to start attacking Bible-believing Christians now because of what this guy did,’ he said.
The gunman, Omar Mateen, 29, from Fort Pierce, Florida, was shot and killed when a SWAT team stormed the nightclub and rescued 30 hostages early Sunday, said police.
So far 48 victims have been officially identified by the city of Orlando on its website.
Daily MailOnline has contacted Faithful Word Baptist Church for comment.
On its website, the church tells visitors: 'Don't expect anything contemporary or liberal. We are an old-fashioned, independent, fundamental, King James Bible only, soul-winning Baptist church.'
After last November's terror attacks in Paris, Anderson called the Bataclan concert hall victims 'devil worshipers' and blamed them for their deaths because they went to a death metal concert.
In a sermon he called France 'a sinful nation' and accused the victims of glorifying death and Satan.
He has also told his followers that he hates Obama and prays for him to die and 'go to hell' due to his position that abortions should be legally available.
Anderson's New Testament church, located in a strip mall in Tempe, has been named an anti-LGBT 'hate' group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
On its website, the SPLC said Anderson was formerly affiliated with Regency Baptist Church, in Sacramento, California, and started Faithful Word Baptist Church on Christmas Day in 2005.
'With "well over a hundred chapters of the Bible memorized word-for-word," Anderson quickly led his congregation into a series of extremely radical stands,' the website states. 'Much of his venom was aimed at homosexuals, who he suggests should be killed.'
The SPLC described him as a 'virulent government hater' who has called for the abolishment of the IRS, Federal Reserve, Social Security and Child Protective Services state agencies.