Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Into the belly of the beast, an LGBT member's experiences at the Anchorage Baptist Temple.

Ah the Anchorage Baptist Temple. If you are visiting Anchorage in search of the most backward thinking, close minded inhabitants imaginable, THIS is where you start. From here the only way to discover more Neanderthal thought patterns would require a road trip to Wasilla.

Now I have ventured into the dark depths of ABT a number of times in my life. (They do have quite the Christmas pageant, as you would imagine.) But for the last twenty years or so I have kept my distance. I will, however, admit to the occasional viewing of the ABT television broadcast for a few minutes on a Sunday afternoon, just to remind myself how evolved I am by comparison.

So I was stunned, stunned I say, to discover that local LGBT member, and amateur anthropologist, Marcin Druzdzel had dared to venture into the den of homophobia that is the Anchorage Baptist Temple.

Surprisingly Marcin was able to escape without being offered as a sacrifice to their gay hating "God". And Marcel was even able to write about the close call on the SOS Anchorage website.

This mindset that I am so appalled and scared of, the stubbornness the Pastor was instilling in the congregation, has many implications. They are taught to believe that they are the only right ones, and that leaves no room for compromise, as there is only one way to earn God’s salvation–God’s way. This puts them in a black-and-white mindset that undoubtedly transfers into the rest of their lifestyle. How can they compromise in politics, or come to mutual agreements with coworkers at their earthly jobs if they feel like only they are entitled to the truth, and that they are on the path of righteousness? How can they be tolerant of other beliefs? They can’t… any time they refer to the First Amendment, it is an effort to either shield their views from criticism or to try to push them on other people.

(You can read more about Marcin's adventures by clicking the title.)

Now let me once again point out that I have nothing against anybody's personal religious beliefs. My bitch is with those who feel compelled to inflict their set of values on other people. And with those who manipulate their children into disregarding facts in favor of embracing superstitions.

Jerry Prevo's church is the most active Christian political lobby in the state. He constantly uses his supporters and their money to influence local politics and politicians without any concern over losing his tax exempt status. He has been shielded for over thirty years by politicians who he keeps in his hip pocket, like Ted's son, Ben Stevens who actually passed a law to make ABT owned housing exempt from city taxes. (One can only imagine how much the city would have earned if Pastor Prevo did not have friends in such low places.)

So I applaud Marcin Druzdel's courageous safari into the "Temple of Doom". And hope to hear more of Marcin's adventures in the future.

By the way, in answer to Mayor "best friends with Pastor Prevo" Sullivan's so-called "Diversity Dinner", the LGBT community has scheduled their own dinner called the "True Diversity Dinner" scheduled for September 25 at the Snow Goose restaurant.

There will be a number of speakers, including my blogger buddy Shannyn Moore, as well as some great food and fascinating people. If you are in the Anchorage area come on by, at THIS diversity dinner ALL are welcome.


  1. Anonymous8:12 AM

    low IQ people are good consumers and more importantly, good donors

  2. The more I read of the right wing Church's the more it strikes home how lucky My family and I were to escape that narrow minded world.To this day it still pervades my thinking.To call it brainwashing is an understatment.

  3. Anonymous9:41 AM

    I have much against many people's personal beliefs and I think we all have a right to judge the effects of their beliefs on the rest of us.

    Women are being killed, around 100 million are missing from China, India and Pakistan, to start. Where are the women? Murdered by ignorant cultures that value men because god prefers men. Religious beliefs kill, women and gays are just a start.
    (China: backward cultural ideas and the absolutism of the goverenment are no different than the absolutism of religions.

  4. Gasman10:05 AM

    The attribute I find most gallingly hypocritical about these fundagelicals is the dripping, condescending arrogance that they exude. They simply know that they have been anointed by God Himself. This gives them license to act in anyway they choose to those whom disagree with them - however immoral those actions might be - because those who disagree are obviously minions of Satan.

    This arrogance disallows any possibility of error of thought or action and renders them omnipotent against the unwashed heathens. They are incapable of reason or opposing thought, and have thus excluded themselves from any real debate. Theirs is world of crystal clear dualism where every choice is between God's side and the Devil's. Isn't amazing how they are ALWAYS on God's side?

    Blessed are the willfully stupid, for theirs is the party of morons.

  5. A concerned Canadian10:29 AM

    Is it low IQ or something else at work? If you want a true insight into fundamentalists and tea party goers alike, check out this online book called "The Authoritarians" by Bob Altemeyer - a psychology professor at the University of Manitoba.

    I stumbled upon this link after I looked at a few of the interviews of those who attended the rally in DC this past Saturday.

    I was dumbfounded by how little they knew about what they were protesting and yet how fervent they were in their ignorance. Professor Altemeyer's research sums it up nicely, and for those looking for insight into the evangelicals/fundamentalists, Chapter 4 is a must read!

    All the chapters are available at the above link in pdf format.

    Chapter 1 Who Are the Authoritarian Followers?
    Chapter 2 The Roots of Authoritarian Aggression, and Authoritarianism Itself
    Chapter 3 How Authoritarian Followers Think
    Chapter 4 Authoritarian Followers and Religious Fundamentalism
    Chapter 5 Authoritarian Leaders
    Chapter 6 Authoritarianism and Politics
    Chapter 7 What's To Be Done?

  6. Anonymous10:52 AM

    Does all of Alaska fall victim to these religions? Is it worse in certain areas?

    Women are hardly worth being mentioned for some of these autocrats. The females are needed to raise the next generation, they can cook and service other pleasure. The ones like Sarah love being exalted and can serve the overlords.

    I think of Anchorage like any other large town. Is it more inundated than most with fanatics? Is it better in the suburbs? The rural areas? Have the local governments and state been taken over by fanatics?

  7. Anonymous11:12 AM

    From the Sarah Palin FB page...for real...cut and paste...

    The trolls that have just hit the page (good sign, BTW, I would worry when they stop showing up) represent what exactly the radical left is: atheist, nihilists who espouse the belief that humans are animals, and that we live in a Universe that has no purpose in it.

  8. Anonymous12:44 PM

    Piped Pipers are abundant.

    Watching the tube, I saw bloated bodies all over the ground when they finally went into the Jim Jones compound. From Waco, buildings burning down that contained children. Their leaders twisted the Word and dictated their fates. Even Charles Manson had followers.

    That is why I am a strong advocate for separation of church and state. Those who think they are "the chosen" might find out their names are not written in the book. I choose to stay in the Word, not man's traditions, not church doctrine. I have the right to my own faith, my own relationship with God.

  9. A Concerned Canadian - Altemeyer also wrote a "Postscript" about the 2008 election for 'The Authoritarians'. It's a separate free download at the same link.

    Definitely a must read!

  10. Anonymous1:55 PM

    Thanks for the posting and for the photo of the church. The photo, in particular speaks volumes to me.

    When I was a teenager, my parents encouraged me to attend worship services of different faiths and different places of worship with each faith so as to get a flavor of different religions and how people worship their God and how they treat one another (the latter being the more important my parents wisely said).

    After a year or so of attending worship services on Wednesday, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays an other times the various faiths held, I decided not to affiliate with any because of a very peculiar coincidence.

    At some point in every worship service, the leader or some congregant would talk about money needed for curtains, furnishings or the "new building." Everything was for the betterment of the worship place. Nothing was oriented to easing the plight of less fortunate people aside from some missionary drives (so as to convert people from "them" to "us").

    Every time I see a huge building, I wonder how empty-hearted the people who worship in it are. It would seem this Baptist church fits the stereotype I developed through disappointing experience so many years ago.

    When will believers begin to believe in the beauty of what their God or gods have created and cherish each other and the world we live in?

  11. Anonymous2:27 PM

    You have nothing against anybody's personal religious beliefs ?

    Bwahahahahaha.....that's a fucking joke.

    You wouldn't miss an opportunity to bash a Christian, and you know it.

    That's only one of the reasons why you and your ilk have no credibility, you can't be objective.

    Munger, Zaki, the whole bunch of you live for bashing people who don't agree with you.

    I can't tell who's loonier, the far right or the far left.

    Good riddance to all of ya !

  12. @2:27 anon. My my my...but you are brave! I am so impressed with your little rant.

    Look bud...you just made a total ass of yourself. I don't blame you for posting as anonymous. I would have too. Typical troll. Strike with no name...no real message or point to make, and then run like a scared rabbit. Hmm...wonder if you ever get the nerve to come back and see if anyone responds.

    Sorry Gryphen...I am just sick to death of idiots.

  13. Anonymous5:29 PM

    Anon 2:27-

    forgot our meds today, did we? Organized religions have done more to cause death and destruction than any other device man has created, all in the name of "God". Guess what? He's laughing his butt off over your belief that you (and your ilk) are the chosen ones. Don't think so.


  14. gregory5:56 PM

    I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said “Stop! Don’t do it!” “Why shouldn’t I?” he said. “Well, there’s so much to live for!” “Like what?” “Well… are you religious?” He said yes. I said, “Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?” “Christian.” “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant ? “Protestant.” “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?” “Baptist” “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?” “Baptist Church of God!” “Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?” “Reformed Baptist Church of God!” “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!” I said, “Die, heretic scum”, and pushed him off. (Emo Philips)

  15. Anon 2:27:

    There are some CHRISTIANS here who are tired of their faith being molested (that is the only word) by people who don't care about what Christ said or what He stood for.

  16. crystalwolf aka caligrl8:07 AM

    christian aka x'tian, bye, don't let the door hits ya on the azz....
    Everyone's writing about you cultists, The Family, Crazy for god, Republican Gomorrah!
    You are a cult of fake Christianity!
    The sooner you domionist scum are exposed the better.
    Go to Hell!


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