Thursday, July 28, 2011

John Aronno Launches Smear Attack Against Jerry Prevo And Anchorage Baptist Temple, Compares Them To Westboro Baptist Church

I was interested in how the Anchorage Press would react to the story about Pastor Ron Hamman in Wasilla, since the Press has a reputation for being a "progressive" newspaper. I assumed that either Brendan Joel Kelley or Scott Christiansen would write an opinion piece "deploring" Pastor Hamman's stance, punch their diversity card a few times for street cred, and be done with it.

Not so. Instead, the Press published a vicious smear attack against another local church, Anchorage Baptist Temple, by John Aronno. Aronno, who edits Alaska Commons, is part of the coven of progressive hate merchants who infest the Anchorage blogosphere and who misrepresent, smear and defame anyone who disagree with them. Aronno disingenuously leads off his piece with a complaint about how "the way we talk to each other seems to be getting surprisingly uglier", and then turns around and ADDS to the "ugliness".

The central theme of his piece is a comparison of Anchorage Baptist Temple with a genuine hate church, Westboro Baptist Church. His intent is to establish an otherwise nonexistent connection between the two entities to deceive people into believing the two are alike. And such a connection is indeed nonexistent; consider the following questions:

-- How many times have you seen ABT members holding signs saying "God Hates Fags"? NEVER.

-- How many times have you seen ABT members holding signs saying "God Hates America"? NEVER -- in fact, ABT holds services honoring America and its troops several times per year.

-- How many times have you seen ABT members holding signs that say "Thank God for IEDs"? NEVER.

-- How many times have ABT members picketed soldiers' funerals? NEVER.

It's true that a number of ABT members were undoubtedly involved in the rallies against Ordinance #64 outside of Anchorage Assembly chambers during the prolonged hearings on that measure in 2009, but none of their signs expressed any hate. At least by any logical definition. But progressives equate disagreement with their agenda as hate, so when a progressive accuses you of hate, it really means you're on the right track. Sarah Palin knows this; she tells us that when we're taking flak, it merely means we're over the target. That's why she reloads instead of retreats.

Minimizing the professional credentials of their targets is another trick employed by progressives. In reference to Jerry Prevo's PhD, Aronno writes "Independently marginalizing the Tennessee pastor with a made-up Doctorate of Divinity from Hyles-Anderson College (a school devoid of accreditation) doesn't make his or Westboro's message go away". However, Aronno fails to mention that in 1993, Dr. Prevo was awarded a second Doctor of Divinity degree by Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, which is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Now why do you suppose Aronno would fail to include that information? Obviously, because it is favorable to Dr. Prevo. When challenged, progressives can then disingenuously claim that they didn't lie, they just "omitted".

Furthermore, there have never been allegations that Dr. Jerry Prevo plagiarized his PhD thesis. The same cannot be said for another more prominent PhD recipient -- one who's been transformed into a secular icon in America far beyond the weight of his contributions. Dr. Martin Luther King has been accused of plagiarizing large portions of his PhD thesis. Yet no one questions the validity of his PhD.

In the same issue of the Anchorage Press, conservative Mike Dingman offers an olive branch to progressives by speaking up in favor of gay marriage; a comment posted in response is favorable. But that shows that progressives do not favor honest dialogue or political diversity; they demand our unconditional surrender. Other than surrender, there is nothing we can do or say to please progressives.

So why try?


  1. You're silly.

  2. If you have a problem with what Mr. Aronno wrote, that's fine. However, if you're going to say it was a 'vicious smear attack,' you're really going to have to do a better job of explaining what was 'vicious' about it.

    Your questions seeking to debunk any possible connection in thinking between ABT and Westboro are laughable. Consider this question, which is just as valid: Has Jerry Prevo ever gone on record as being against eating babies? Well, has he? Until he does, I don't think you should allow small children to be near him.

    Finally, MLK has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Why include a paragraph near the end (where you ought to be summing up and strengthening your argument) devoted to an attack on alleged plagiarism occurring in the PhD thesis of a man who was killed 43 years ago!?

  3. So smear the person you claim is smearing Jerry Prevo? Seriously? A coven of progressive hate merchants??? The things Prevo says about gays, lesbians, etc are ten times worse than WBC. And you compare Prevo to KING??? Shame.

  4. The point of the article - you did read it, yes? - was precisely that a group need *not* carry signs reading "God Hates Fags" in order to be a homophobic hate group - though some of the signs I saw in the hands of the people surrounding Mr. Prevo at the Prop. 64 hearings, and some of their testimony, were a pretty near paraphrase of that ugly sentiment. The words Mr. Prevo is actually quoted in the article are sufficient evidence to bear out the accusation.

    I'm not sure how central to Mr. Aronno's thesis the bit about Mr. Prevo's academic credentials is, but to clarify: Mr. Prevo operated for years (1971 - 93) with a "degree" from an unaccredited source before receiving a degree from an (denominationally) accredited one. Whatever. If his congregation was willing to hire him on that basis, I guess that's up to them. But it's hardly "smearing" him to mention it.

    It's appropriate that you cite Sarah Palin, as she is indeed often subject to the same treatment Mr. Prevo receives in Mr. Aronno's article: people are always viciously attacking her by quoting her - the horror of it, really - correctly and verbatim.

  5. Anonymous 7:28 P.M: It still would have been more intellectually honest for Aronno to include the fact that Jerry Prevo did get a second PhD from an accredited source. His failure to include that information leads me to suspect his motives.

    And to everyone: I listen to Prevo from time to time, and what he says about gays is nowhere near as offensive as WBC. Those who think differently are simply biased against ABT and against Christians.

    It's good that some of you got a bit riled by this post. Now you know how we feel when you progressives always call us racists, homophobes, bigots, etc. Personally, I don't care -- you can call me any name you want. But there are conservatives out there who still actually care how you feel. Mike Dingman, for example.

  6. Please do not conflate my feelings about ABT and my feelings about Christianity.

    Though I am not a Christian, I have profound respect for the many in our community - individuals and churches, of which there are many - who practice their faith with full attention to the inherent worth and dignity of everyone, and work and pray for justice, compassion and full inclusion for gay and lesbian citizens in all aspect of community life. It will come. "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice." MLK, quoting Theodore Parker. - Anonymous 7:28 pm

  7. Anonymous 10:22 P.M: Whether a church can offer "full inclusion" for GLBT will depend upon its doctrines. For example, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gays can be members in good standing, even enjoying temple access, so long as they remain celibate. But non-celibate gays cannot have formal membership, although they're welcome to attend services. That's because the LDS Church believes any sex outside of marriage is wrong, and that marriage is only between one man and one woman.

    But you might not find that very inclusive, depending upon your definition of inclusion.

  8. "You might not find that very inclusive, depending upon your definition of inclusion." You're right. I might take issue with a church instructing me what my sex life should look like, let alone who I am allowed to marry. As long as I'm not having sex or getting married inside your church, butt out. Mr. Aronno does a fine job highlighting that that is precisely what Jerry Prevo fails to do.

  9. Though I don't find that at all inclusive, it's certainly the right of the LDS Church to make those rules. I fully support the right of any church to declare that its members must be celibate if gay, marry only the other gender, wear flowers in their hair on Tuesdays, or anything else it feels it ought to rule-make about ... for its members.

    Churches are voluntary organizations - people can opt not to join, or to leave and go elsewhere, perhaps somewhere more inclusive (or not; some people choose to stay and work for change from within, which I can also respect). Citizenship, on the other hand, is not a voluntary association. People are born (or immigrate) here, and have every right to be treated as full and equal members of society, regardless of whether or not they live by the membership rules of churches to which they choose not to belong.

  10. "Punch our diversity card," AA? Scott and myself don't need to decry Pastor Hamman's endorsement of spousal rape; it speaks for itself. And we all know why you threw in the MLK reference - you don't link to your other website for White Nationalists on this site anymore? At least we - and John Aronno - put our names on what we write. The only reason I'm not calling you by your real name is so perhaps you won't wimp out and delete this comment.
    - Brendan Joel Kelley-Hellenthal

  11. Comparing Jerry Prevo to Dr. Marin Luther King is strange. Among the many things I could say about this article, that comparison is what stands out the most. It immediately dis-credits the author, who is clearly disconnected to write such foolishness.