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No excuse for school when it comes to religious message

No excuse for school when it comes to religious message

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I add my voice to others in expressing dismay over the lack of research by local school administrators who invited the Junkyard Prophets to speak at a public school rally.

A two-minute Google search turned up significant negative reactions to the "Prophets," including an article from the Des Moines Register in March 2004 titled, "Event's religious focus surprises high schools" -eerily similar to The Pantagraph's own article from Nov. 3, the day after the "Prophets" polluted local young minds with their message of intolerance in the guise of Christian values.

I applaud Jim Campbell's courage in addressing the inappropriateness of the "Prophets" message immediately and with due intelligence. I express disappointment that another administrator felt what the "Prophets" had to say was acceptable.

Especially troubling was the "Prophets" anti-gay message.

Current statistics show gay teens are much more likely to commit suicide than their peers, often as a direct result of familial and societal intolerance. This educator wonders exactly what part of a message that compared gays to murderers and drug users was appropriate?

Somewhere in the audience that day there were gay teens. Somewhere in the audience there was a straight teenager with a gay friend or sister or a gay dad. I wonder how any educational administrator can justify to such students the "lesson" learned from comparing gays to those that knowingly break the law and harm others.

For the administrator that wasn't offended by hate disguised as Christian rhetoric, I pray that one day he will better understand the fear and intolerance his gay students must endure every day, probably within his own school system.

Perhaps on that day he will find a way to be more careful in choosing his words and the message he portrays when he invites inappropriate groups to lecture his students.

Tom O. McCulley



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