Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
Since it was revealed that Bradlee Dean and the Junkyard Prophets took about $1500 from the Dunkerton, Iowa school coffers the outrage continues to be about the disgusting presentation not the money. It is right to be outraged by the content of his presentation but I am waiting for the outrage over the public funding of hate, religion and intolerance in public schools.
This is a comment from a person (made to my blog) who attended Dean’s rally and it illustrates what your $1500 bought you, Dunkerton:
I was there, and it was abhorrent! This is a public school we are talking about and it is not a place to use as a platform for the Religious Right. The question was posed to me by “Mass Dog” (The front-man of the band… I know cool name), “If they don’t hear it here [the school], where are they going to hear it?” Answer: at church or at home if that is what their parents decide to expose their children to! NOT in a public school. Students and teachers alike were belittled, talked down to, and insulted if they dared challenged the hateful propaganda that was being forced on them. Not to mention this was an assembly that students as young as 7th grade were required to attend. Twelve year old kids!
And your right e1993, the law is the law, and for people who spend so much time telling students to know their constitution and their rights they seem to have a poor grasp of the actual facts of the documents and how they should be implemented. I seem to remember that bit about separation between church and state and that little thing called freedom of religion. Also, as I recall Roe v. Wade still stands so no matter how much you dislike it, abortions are legal. (Fun new fact I learned: Did you know that our US Constitution has the laws “thou shalt not steal” and “thou shalt not kill” in it! Neat, huh?) They were extremely hypocritical, claiming that other people’s use of music to influence others is awful, but clearly that doesn’t apply to them.
They started their slide show presentation with a speech about how music brainwashes kids, which I found truly ironic seeing that was exactly what they were trying to do. (Note that Dean had just commented how “interesting” it was that all the young kids come up and dance to the music and fist pump and wave their arms along with the band, while all the older students thought they were “too cool”… maybe because the younger kids are easily drawn in by the “fun” of a rock concert in their school auditorium at 9AM, and the high school students know to be a little more skeptical before buying into an unknown product? Food for thought.)
The presentation went on to tell students that Lady Gaga was an awful influence because she had the gall to compare being black to being gay; that as mentioned above that gay men die on average at age 42 (followed by “so knowing this, if you really loved a person who was making this poor choice [being gay], wouldn’t you tell then to stop.” Really lovely.)’ that your beloved composer of Disney movie music is actually an awful human being because he believes that you should be able to love whoever you want; oh… and “did you know the lead singer of Queen is dead?…” I guess the conclusion of why that was was left up to us!
And then the abortion topic, where only two options were given: carry, give birth to, and raise your baby (no matter what type of financial, familial, or personal factors you might be facing, I’m sure) or… cue picture of late-term aborted fetuses! (The speaker repeating over and over again, “I am just trying to show you both sides of the story” … While no “other side” of the story ever seemed to be presented. And failing to mention the fact that late-term abortions are not the norm and typically happen in emergency situations to save the mother or because something is terribly wrong with the fetus) They misrepresented and used this inflammatory imagery clearly as an emotional ploy to get student to say that abortion in always and completely wrong, because of course any human being would find these images disturbing. Unbelievable. Did I mention that we are talking about twelve year old kids here? I would like to mention that students at this school are shown almost the exact same images in 8th grade health, however there is prior communication with parents so that they can discuss with their child about what they are going to see first and so that the teacher can answer any questions the parents might have about what they are going to be taught in conjunction with this imagery.
This was a completely inappropriate presentation for a public school. Girls being told that if they didn’t save not only their virginity, but ideally thier first kiss, for their husbands that they would never find a good husband because they would be “leftovers.” And that everything they are and accomplish will become his when they get married. (Hope you are good at making sandwiches, woman!) The blatant evangelizing was sickening to see in a place that is meant to make everyone feel safe, respected, and included. This should not be tolerated.
Also, that you should save your first kiss until your wedding day so that it can be before the eyes of god. True story. (You wouldn’t want to be “leftovers” for your future husbands now would you ladies?) Also, your parents clearly don’t love you enough if they got a divorce… or maybe it was they were just awful people…. probably both.