“Culture warrior” Bradlee Dean’s Christian nu-metal-rap ensemble, Junkyard Prophet, treated the students at Iowa’s Dunkerton High School to a killer show and a pretty disturbing lecture last Thursday morning.
Here’s a three minute section from the three hour assembly taken from the website of Dean’s You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Ministry of which Junkyard Prophet is a part.
JP split the student body in half by gender and delivered a customized dose of moral fear-mongering to each of the groups. For the boys, a sustained lecture on the ills of homosexuality, which included a dubious claim that the average lifespan of a gay man is “42 years”. The young ladies received some aggressively administered guidance about their sexual behavior that left at least one girl in tears.
The LaCrosse Tribune reported further on the content of the assembly:
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.
Junkyard Prophet reportedly punctuated their sermon with images of aborted fetuses and suffering AIDS patients.
According to Dunkerton’s school superintendent, Jim Stanton, they booked the act expecting “a very strong anti-violence, anti-drug, anti-alcohol” message. A decade or so earlier, Junkyard Prophet paid an unremarkable visit to the school. Apparently, there was just no way of knowing that Dean’s band of merry, rapping missionaries would unleash a anti-gay tirade on the students like a snarling pack of feral Rick Santorums.
(Unless, of course, they were to do a Google search for Junkyard Prophet…)
With many of Dunkerton’s citizens still reeling, Dean has promised to return to town to clear his good name. You Can Run But You Cannot Hide is looking to book a venue in the small town where they can screen their recorded images (I’m not sure if they’re stills or video) of the assembly. They seem to believe that their records will quell the firestorm and disprove the reports from faculty, students, and parents that portray the group’s message as hateful, overly aggressive, and inappropriate for school.
Dunkerton officials are attempting to block Junkyard’s return; they barred the group from booking the town’s main (only) event center. Stanton said that the school would also be off limits to Bradlee Dean and his proxies, leaving little recourse for the controversial minister in Dunkerton.
Though this was not the first time that Dean has stirred up controversy or even crashed a school, this case sets an interesting precedent. I have a hard time believing that the Dunkerton administration would shell out a reported $2,000 to a speaker without doing minimal investigative work. The most rudimentary online search turns up Dean’s website, which proudly proclaims his hard-line ideology.
Stanton’s defense that they didn’t know what they were paying for doesn’t seem to check out, but I’m not convinced that there was any kind of conspiracy to knowingly bring in a speaker as repulsive as Bradlee Dean.
It’s nice to know that there are plenty of people who won’t stand to hear this stuff, and even more who recognize that pseudo-religious diatribes against Lady Gaga and Elton John have no place in schools. We haven’t seen the last of Bradlee Dean and Junkyard Prophet, to be sure, but hopefully a little more awareness will prevent another Dunkerton incident.
And we can all take solace in the fact that their music is bad.