A controversial American pastor duped four rabbis, including one who is a Holocaust survivor, into appearing in a film that aims to prove "Jews are no longer God's chosen people."
Arizona-based news outlets report that Steven Anderson, who heads the Faith Temple Baptist Church in Tempe, is working on a film titled "Marching to Zion."
The promotional video for the film says its goal 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."
Anderson's church is among the "most hardcore anti-LGBT hate groups," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which says the pastor recently said the U.S. could have an AIDS-free Christmas if all gays are killed, as the Bible demands. He has also previously prayed for President Barack Obama's death.
Now Anderson has turned his attention to the Jews, according to a blog post on the Phoenix New Times.
"These days, Anderson is all about bashing the Jews on YouTube where he posts hate-filled sermons with such snappy titles as 'The Jews and Their Lies,' 'Jews Are Anti-Christs,' 'Christ-Rejecting Jews Are Children of the Devil,' 'The Jews Are Our Enemies,' and the ever-popular, 'The Jews Killed Jesus,'" writes Stephen Lemons of the New Times.
Anderson has outraged the Jewish community and the Anti-Defamation League with his recent antics – especially tricking four local rabbis into appearing in his film, which has been deemed anti-Semitic.
Anderson allegedly described himself as “an interested layperson” making a documentary about the Jewish faith, Arizona's Jewish News reported.
“The subterfuge that he used to get these interviews from us is beyond belief,” Rabbi Irwin Wiener told the Jewish News.
Anderson reportedly told the rabbis he was making the documentary for the Public Broadcasting System. “When he used the words PBS to me, it sounded legitimate and I didn’t pursue it any further,” Wiener said.
In a press release on Anderson's film, the ADL said it was "deeply troubled by the upcoming release of a new 'documentary' geared toward Christian audiences that purportedly will focus on 'the history of the Jews,' but in fact will likely serve as a tool for denigrating Jews and Judaism."
"Pastor Steve Anderson’s warped views of Jews and Judaism are a perversion of our faith and people,” said Rabbi David Sandmel, ADL director of Interfaith Affairs. “It is deeply troubling when a pastor uses his pulpit to misinform fellow Christians about the nature of Judaism and to promote hateful anti-Semitic myths."