Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
A rock band’s message to students at an Iowa school to do right by themselves and consider right and wrong in their decisions was distorted, creating a local furor that prompted a fire chief to threaten to close roads to keep the band from returning, leader Bradlee Dean told WND.
The uproar in Dunkerton, Iowa, made headlines in the LaCrosse Tribune, the WCF Courier and other papers. It’s being characterized as an effort by the band, Junkyard Prophet, to “gay bash,” which conflicts with the school’s “opinion about intolerance.”
But Dean says the controversy was created when the media started reporting on the visit. He contends that he and his band performed, presented their message, visited with students and then left, without hearing any concerns.
Dean believes there’s an agenda at work in the attacks on the band’s presentation, pointing to a report in the LaCross newspaper in which a mother stated: “They told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42.”
Dean said the mother’s complaint was a distortion of a statement by Jake MacAulay, a spokesman for the band, who told the assembled school that the average age of death for a homosexual male is 42 years.
Controversy is not new for Dean. WND reported earlier when he wrote to President Obama, asking him to help restore the high standard of biblical marriage – a bedrock of society for millennia – to the nation.
In response, Obama, who has openly promoted homosexuality and other alternative sexual lifestyle choices at every opportunity in the Oval Office, said he appreciated Dean’s “perspective.” He said he takes such opinions “seriously.”
“Please know that your concerns will be on my mind in the days ahead,” he wrote.
But Dean told WND at that time that it’s clear that Obama “is at war with America as you know it.”
“He stated election eve 2008 that he wanted to ‘fundamentally transform the United States of America.’ He purposes to demoralize, pervert, weaken and overthrow America and our Constitution, with marriage and our children in his sights.”
Dean’s letter to Obama was prompted by Washington state’s legislation to legalize same-sex “marriage,” a move that already has drawn formal opposition. A handful of other states, through legislation or court fiat, already have opened the doors to same-sex “marriage.”
In the Iowa incident, the band also addressed the issue of life, pointing out that the right is protected by the U.S. Constitution. The band directed students’ attention to the millions of deaths through abortion each year.
The messages presented to the Dunkerton students are on the following video about homosexuality:
MacAulay quoted rock singer Elton John, a superstar for many young people, who said, “There’s nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex. I think people should be very free with sex. They should draw the line at goats.”
MacAuley pointed out that John’s moral standard would “draw the line” at bestiality.
He told students, “You can make the right choice.”
Another video shows the band addressing abortion:
Showing an image of an aborted child, MacAuley talked about Planned Parenthood, the largest player in the nation’s abortion industry, and said, “That’s how much they care about that baby.”
“I just wanted to show you both sides,” he said. “If it’s so good and healthy [we should] show people what it is.”
Dean, who has appeared at hundreds of forums with his message of making the right choices, told WND that he had appeared at the same school years earlier and was invited back.
He said the two issues used to create the controversy were just a few minutes out of a 90-minute presentation.
“There was no issue until we got home, and the media came in and turned it on its head,” he said.
In fact, Dean returned to a nearby town to meet with parents and students who wanted to discuss the issues. No one in Dunkerton would allow him to use any meeting area there because of the reports on the assembly.
He said it appears the school managers were feeling pressure from activist groups upset by messages that opposed homosexuality and abortion.
Dean said the pressure was so intense the fire chief reportedly promised to block the roads should Junkyard Prophet want to return to Dunkerton.
Dean blamed the media for twisting the story and inflaming his critics and said his group was attacked for its inspirational message to do right.
The Tribune reported that Supt. Jim Stanton said the group offered “a very strong anti-violence, anti-drug, anti-alcohol” message and the “kids were rocking out.”
But he said he was unprepared for a message that some things are morally wrong, according to the report.
Stanton told the newspaper the district promotes “tolerance for one another,” and he would not allow a message like that from Junkyard Prophet again.
The Courier reported students circulated petitions after the presentation asking administrators to ban such presentations in the future. But one document was problematic as it also “wanted the school’s gay community to quit complaining,” a report said.
The Blaze was collecting opinions from readers on the appropriateness of the message.
WND also previously reported on Dean’s dispute with Rachel Maddow and MSNBC, documenting when Maddow was served with a lawsuit over her statements.