- Louie Gohmert gave $5,500 to an anti-gay and antisemitic pastor, per The Daily Beast.
- Steve Anderson has propagated claims that millions of Jews were not killed during the Holocaust.
- Gohmert’s chief of staff blamed the occurrence on a botched internet search for an address.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas reportedly donated $5,500 to an anti-gay and antisemitic pastor last December, but his office says that situation occurred due to a name mix-up, according to The Daily Beast.
Gohmert staffers say that they hired a Christian singer named Steve Amerson from Granada Hills, California, but mistakenly filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that the money was given to Steve Anderson, the Holocaust-denying pastor of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona.
Gohmert chief of staff Connie Hair told the The Daily Beast that the occurrence was a huge misunderstanding, the result of a botched internet search for an address by the congressman’s treasurer, William Long.
Hair contended that it was Amerson, the singer, who actually received the payment, which was issued for a Gohmert fundraiser appearance, and reiterated that the money was not a donation.
“That’s who it was written to, and Louie gave it to him, and when Bill Long got the check and the charge, he searched ‘Anderson Ministries’ instead of ‘Amerson,'” she said. “Bill Long is amending our filing.”
Anderson’s church is part of the New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist movement, which holds deeply conservative religious beliefs, including vocal anti-gay stances.
The church’s doctrinal statement lists that “homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty.”
Anderson’s extremist views have a long trail on the internet.
Sermons listed on his IMDb page include antisemitic titles such as “The Jews Are Our Enemies” and “The Jews Killed Jesus.”
In a 2015 report, the Anti-Defamation League noted that Anderson spread claims that millions of Jews had not been gassed and cremated in Nazi Germany during World War II.
“The real ‘burnt offering’ is going to be when all of these Jews that don’t believe in Jesus Christ go to hell for eternity,” Anderson said in one of the videos. “That’s the oven that they ought to be worried about.”
Aryeh Tuchman, the associate director at the ADL’s Center on Extremism, told The Daily Beast that Anderson’s movement now includes 30 houses of worship.
“He is a highly problematic individual who pumps antisemitism, hatred and bigotry into the rhetoric, the preachings, and the teachings of these other churches,” he said.
When The Daily Beast reached out to Anderson, his wife Zsuzsanna said that he was unavailable, but she confirmed that neither she nor her husband personally knew or supported Gohmert.
“We can neither confirm nor deny that such a donation was made to our ministry,” she said. “We don’t follow the donations closely, and don’t see the urgency of setting aside the time on a very busy week to look into the financial records.”
She added: “Anybody is allowed to donate to our ministry and we’re thankful for it and we’ll put it toward the Lord’s work.”