I've been under the gun recently, so I haven't had time to post pics and give a little report of what happened this past Sunday at Tempe's Faithful Word Baptist Church, home of the Obama-must-die pastor Stephen Anderson.
The crowd of protesters led by local activist Leonard Clark was much smaller this week, around 25 or so, and the media, save for yours truly, were absent. Apparently, the kick-off of the Cardinals' football season took precedence.
There were three or four Tempe black-and-whites around keeping watch on the situaton, and I'm glad of that, because things did get heated when Anderson follower Chris Broughton showed up bearing a placard denouncing Obama as an imperialist, and walked straight into the middle of the crowd.
I might be tempted to call that gutsy, but Broughton was carrying a concealed weapon, and the crowd was nonviolent and unarmed. (The Tempe cops said Broughton has a CCW. I'm still waiting for a confirmation from DPS, but other sources inform me that he does have a license to carry concealed.) So he remains, in my opinion, a giant right-wing wuss. And one who may be taking orders. More than one demonstrator noted that Broughton appeared just as church-goers seemed to be leaving, as if a decoy, to divert attention. If that was the plan, it worked.
Broughton clashed verbally with several of those in attendance, including Herb "Sarge" Phelps of the online/radio show Sunday Morning Coffee with Sarge. Sarge pointed out to Broughton (as I have, previously) that many historians believe it to be well-established that King James was bisexual, and had several affairs with men. Broughton failed to grasp the irony that his favorite church (Anderson's) uses the King James Version of the Bible exclusively, while his pastor insists that gays deserve to perish.
Broughton's persistent refrain was, "Barack Obama is a murderer," which he shouted to passing cars. Broughton said he believes the president should also perish because of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thing is, his pastor's "Why I Hate Barack Obama" sermon focused primarily on abortion, and why Anderson believed Obama should melt like a salted snail because Obama supports abortion rights. The subject of the war only came up tangentially. Broughton is engaging in a little revisionist history.
Trying to shift tack to an anti-war stance won't gain Broughton or Anderson any converts among their critics, many of whom also oppose military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The big difference, of course, is that those protesting Anderson aren't religious extremists praying for the assassination of the President of the United States.
I asked Alvin Johnson, who said he lives just down from the church, if he thought Broughton was being used by Pastor Anderson.
"Of course he's being used," Johnson smiled. "He's the Alan Keyes of Arizona."
Heh. Good one, Alvin.
Far more interesting to me than Broughton's servile shenanigans was the presence of 84-year-old Jean Williams, the first African-American woman to practice law in Arizona, and the first African-American woman appointed a judge in Arizona.
During her legal career, Williams once defended comedian/activist Dick Gregory, and served as counsel to Martin Luther King, Jr., among other civil rights leaders. A survivor of lung cancer, she breathed with difficulty and with the assistance of a machine. But she didn't mince words about the pastor.
"I know my Bible tells me to be wary of wolves in sheep's clothing," she said, sitting in a little fold-up chair, beneath the shade of a nearby tree."When you have a pastor that preaches hate and killing, he is, in my opinion, a wolf in sheep's clothing. So I had to come out here to put my body on the line with my sign."
I asked her if she thought much of the criticism the president receives is because he's black. She opined that,"It's because he's a white man whose daddy happened to be black." Along the same lines, she offered that Obama "can't breathe too hard without somebody finding fault with him."
I wondered if she thought someone might kill the president, inspired by the hateful preachings of an imbecile like Anderson. She nodded her head.
"The FBI, the Secret Service couldn't protect Bobby Kennedy," she stated,"[they] couldn't protect Ronald Reagan, couldn't protect Jack Kennedy, couldn't protect Ford. They all got potshots taken at 'em. Just a little something like this could excite some idiot."
Eventually, everyone packed it in, ultimately leaving Christopher Broughton all on his lonesome, out on the sidewalk with his sign...A strange, easily-led individual..