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Mar 15 2012

Iowa School Lets Bradlee Dean Speak

I can’t imagine why any school is still allowing Bradlee Dean and his merry band of bigoted jerks to hold school assemblies to preach their twisted religious barbarism to students, but a school in Iowa did just that recently. The result was absolutely predictable:

Jim Stanton had invited the band Junkyard Prophet, and he expected a message to students about provocative lyrics in music and making good choices.

Junkyard Prophet is part of an Annandale, Minn., nonprofit group called You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, which promotes itself as a Christian ministry.

Students said the assembly started well with music, as well as a message focusing on how some music can have a bad influence on kids. The event then switched to a discussion on gays and abortion, students said. Comments about homosexuality were offensive to some students, including seventh-grader Adam Manahl.

“I wanted to walk out. But I’m like, ‘Keep your calm, listen to what they have to say,’ ” he said…

Stanton said some of the messages ran counter to the district’s mission of acceptance and tolerance. He acknowledged he’d made “a poor decision” and said he would work to reverse the effects of what was said.

Another report on the assembly includes more detail:

“They told my daughter, the girls, that they were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren’t virgins,” said Jennifer Littlefield, a parent upset with the band’s performance.

Her daughter, Alivia Littlefield, 16, is a junior, and called Littlefield after the event.

“I couldn’t even understand her, she was crying so hard,” Littlefield said.

Littlefield also did not appreciate what she described as gay bashing.

“They told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42,” she said. “It just blows me away that no one stopped this.” …

During the breakout session, the young men learned the group’s thoughts on the U.S. Constitution and what one Prophet referred to as its “10 commandments.” The leader also showed images of musicians who died because of drug overdoses, including Elvis Presley.

Members of the group blasted other performers, like Toby Keith, for their improper influence.

The girls, meanwhile, were told to save themselves for their husbands and assume a submissive role in the household. According to witnesses, the leader in that effort also forced the young ladies to chant a manta of sorts about remaining pure.

Those who walked out or attempted to confront the speakers were shouted down or ridiculed as disrespectful, according to students.

Heidi Manahl, Littlefield’s sister, also had a student at the assembly. She, too, was appalled by Junkyard Prophet’s message and tactics.

“I’ve never had so many young women come up to me crying because of what was said to them. They were bullied by these people and forced to sit there and told to be quiet,” Manahl said.

Littlefield said she appreciates that the administration has accepted responsibility for the assembly, which clearly went awry.

“But the damage has been done. You let these people stay in the school for three hours,” she added.
Manahl is concerned about what comes next. She hopes administrators and teachers reach out to “students who don’t fit in.”

“There are students in that school who are homosexual and they need to be protected,” she said.

Littlefield isn’t sure where officials go from here. But she is certain some repair work is in order.

“Something definitely has to be done to make the situation better,” she said.

The district is trying to recover the fee paid to Junkyard Prophet, Stanton said. According to other sources, the band typically receives $1,500 per performance.

Do you not have a computer, Mr. Stanton? Have you never heard of Google? This is a guy who says that Muslims are even more moral than most American Christians because they kill gay people like the Bible says. Any school principal or administrator who lets them in to a school at this point should be fired.

26 comments

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  1. 1
    Chiroptera

    …as well as a message focusing on how some music can have a bad influence on kids.

    Like church music that lauds a make-believe genocidal sky fairy as the final arbiter of truth and goodness?

  2. 2
    Abby Normal

    Those who walked out or attempted to confront the speakers were shouted down or ridiculed as disrespectful, according to students.

    I’m reminded of a Mae West in My Little Chickadee:

    Judge: Are you trying to show contempt for this court?
    Mae West: No sir! I was doing my best to hide it.

    Disrespectful seems like a perfectly good response to me.

  3. 3
    unbound

    Even despite the laziness in not researching the group ahead of time, where the heck were the school officials at the time of the event? I would absolutely expect a school official to immediately step in once it became obvious what was going on.

    Unless there is more information provided, I think it is a good bet that Mr. Stanton knew fully well what the group was about and is rapidly back-pedaling due to the blowback.

  4. 4
    Spanish Inquisitor

    Junkyard Prophet seems like an appropriate name for the group. These Christo-fascists seems to get everything from the junkyard – their science, their morality, their philosophy, their history, their politics, and now their entertainment.

  5. 5
    Tualha

    Any way we could find out ahead of time where they’ll be playing and, say, write letters to the editor of the local paper, cc: the school officials? At least then they wouldn’t be able to claim they didn’t know, and some of the gigs might even be canceled.

  6. 6
    aaronbaker

    I’m glad someone’s finally exposed that unholy subversive, Toby Keith.

  7. 7
    aaronbaker

    Be very careful, Brayton. Bradlee Dean is quite litigious. He’s even sued someone for the defamatory practice of quoting him word for word: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/27/rachel-maddow-sued-by-chr_n_911407.html

  8. 8
    Ellie

    The comment I saw at the first link was a woman who seemed to think that criticizing this event was a violation of whatisname’s free speech rights.

    I want to know what parents wouldn’t object to their child’s school paying a group to sing:

    “People be freakin’ when we speakin’ cuz we burnin it up,

    The life you livin’, when you sinnin’ cuz we tearin it up,

    With the word that hot,

    From the School of Hard Knocks gonna break the rocks,

    We ain’t stoppin’, the convictions poppin’

    Junkyard in the house and the Holy Ghost droppin’.”

    I know…I probably don’t understand it because I’m old.

  9. 9
    Bronze Dog

    This is a guy who says that Muslims are even more moral than most American Christians because they kill gay people like the Bible says.

    I just felt this was worth repeating.

  10. 10
    Rip Steakface

    “People be freakin’ when we speakin’ cuz we burnin it up,

    The life you livin’, when you sinnin’ cuz we tearin it up,

    With the word that hot,

    From the School of Hard Knocks gonna break the rocks,

    We ain’t stoppin’, the convictions poppin’

    Junkyard in the house and the Holy Ghost droppin’.”

    I know…I probably don’t understand it because I’m old.

    Bizarre lyrics for a rock band (sounds more like Christian hip hop or something). Nonetheless, I’ll attempt to translate for the chronically un-hip:

    “People are angered when we sing because we’re hateful bigots,

    You’re all hopeless, lifelong sinners, yes, we’re awesome, we bear repeating

    JEEBUS IS LAWRD

    Also, we’re going to steal a line from Tenacious D, then

    Continue with this stupid-ass lyrics, cuz we’re faithholes

    We’re here and the Holy Ghost is now going to take the mic”

    Or something like that. The “School of Hard Knocks” line is ripped straight from Rock Your Socks by Tenacious D (a solidly atheist, pot-smoking, rock-loving comedic band):

    (while the guitarist is playing a Bach melody)
    “That is Bach, and it rocks,
    It’s a rock block of Bach
    That he learned in the school
    Called the School of Hard Knocks (yeah!)”

    As for your other question:

    I want to know what parents wouldn’t object to their child’s school paying a group to sing (lyrics)

    It’s Iowa, what can you expect? Sorry Iowans, but it’s just how your strange state is. Funny enough, if Death (the band) were still around, none of the lyrics from their last two albums would be disapproved by parents – all very philosophical, no swearing, so on.

    “I don’t mean to dwell
    But I can’t help myself
    When I feel the vibe
    And taste a memory
    Of a time in life
    When years seemed to stand still”

    I’d put the whole song in, but this post is already long enough. Either way, consider that the band is death metal – you know, growls, riffs and melodies that would make a baroque composer’s head explode, double bass drums at extremely high tempos, so on.

  11. 11
    Ellie

    Thank you for the translation and the information, Rip @10.

  12. 12
    The Lorax

    Back when I was in school, I’d probably be too afraid to go up on stage and pull them off… although I would be somewhere between very uncomfortable and downright pissed.

    Nowadays? Epic-tier tavern brawls in D&D wouldn’t compare to the havoc I’d wreck.

  13. 13
    democommie

    “Do you not have a computer, Mr. Stanton? Have you never heard of Google?”

    I’m guessing he does have a computer and I’m also guessing that he thinks if he erases his copy of a KKKristofascist e-mail that he sent to his peeps that it no longer exists.

    Where are the uberhacker atheists? where!!?

  14. 14
    fifthdentist

    In another account I clicked on referred to me by a friend a story from The Mail indicated they obsessed a bit about Elton John and Lady Gaga.
    I would think that Sir Elton’s advanced age blows the whole “teh homos all die at 42″ out of the water.
    The amazing thing is that most of the comments were supportive of the school/message and had hundreds of “likes,” whereas those supporting diversity/gays were in negative territory.
    Yep, Britian’s got Fundies.

  15. 15
    tacitus

    Well, Junkyard Prophets aren’t backing down. They have proudly posted the controversial parts of their Iowa school presentation on YouTube:

    Here’s the first of them, on abortion:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jazqMOC_N3s

    They actually show photos of aborted fetuses, likening all abortion to infanticide, and claiming that all they want to do is “teach both sides” (where have we heard that before?). They also falsely claim that unborn babies are protected under the constitution, when it can easily be argued they are not — it protects all people “born” in the USA.

  16. 16
    tacitus

    Here’s the other clip, on homosexuality:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGrV4VCx22g

    Here they explicitly call homosexuality “sexual deviancy” and lie about the life expectancy of gays and lesbians.

    We should probably thank these guys for posting these videos — though I hope someone makes a copy in case they realize their mistake and take them down — since they can be and should be shown to any public school administration who is thinking of inviting these guys to speak in future.

  17. 17
    tacitus

    Finally, here’s the news story about their return visit to the area to give their version of the account:

    http://www.kwwl.com/story/17142469/group-behind-controversial-dunkerton-assembly-return-to-explain-presentation

    Not surprisingly they lie to the parents about bringing up the issue of homosexuality.

  18. 18
    abear

    If the point of hiring them was to show that music can be a bad influence, that at least was achieved.

  19. 19
    Doug Little

    Junkyard Prophet seems like an appropriate name for the group. These Christo-fascists seems to get everything from the junkyard – their science, their morality, their philosophy, their history, their politics, and now their entertainment.

    And supposedly a fully functioning 747 when a zephyr blows through.

  20. 20
    exdrone

    Despite how extremist the speaker’s message was, why is it that a public school can hold a three-hour school assembly that features a band that promotes itself as a Christian ministry? Isn’t that a major problem on its own?

  21. 21
    Wes

    Any school principal or administrator who lets them in to a school at this point should be fired.

    Well, at least this time the administration admitted that it was a mistake. I’m so used to school administrators doubling down and playing the victim that it’s a little refreshing to see one say, “Yeah, inviting those crazy bigot Christians was a bad idea.”

  22. 22
    Ace of Sevens

    I have a friend who works with some of the city council. Apparently, the town is hard split on whether to fire the principal.

  23. 23
    Chiroptera

    If I was a Christian fundamentalist living in that town, I’d be pissed that the band let my daughter know that there was such a thing as sex to begin with.

  24. 24
    Aquaria

    Sigh.

    No wonder our schools are so fucked up. Too many of the people running and teaching in them are clueless gobshites.

  25. 25
    Ing

    The assembly spiraled out of control….for three hours.
    We tried to pull the plug but unfortunately we all are sea slugs so by the time we got to the stage they had already finished. Nothing more we could do

  26. 26
    matty1

    Three hours? three freaking hours!

    I suppose its nice to know that this school is so good they can afford to drop around half a school day of instructional time without adversely affecting the students.

    Maybe the fact that Christianity sounds even more absurd filtered through faux yoof culture is such a big lesson it takes that long to sink in but I’m betting it still wont be on the test.

  1. 27
    Trituradora

    Trituradora…

    [...]Iowa School Lets Bradlee Dean Speak | Dispatches from the Culture Wars[...]…

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