Updated: 2:34 p.m. ET
When anti-gay preacher Bradlee Dean opens his mouth, controversy usually follows. And a performance at an Iowa high school late last week proved no different.
Dean’s band — Junkyard Prophet, a Christian heavy metal/rap group — performed at Dunkerton High School on Thursday and then split the audience up into several groups: boys, girls and teachers. They reportedly told the girls that they would have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren’t virgins, advised them to take a submissive role in their marriages and showed images of aborted fetuses.
Those at the school who walked out on the program were mocked and shouted down, the WCF Courier reports.
On Thursday, students passed around a petition to ban the group and others like it from performing at the school. According to the WCF Courier, another petition circulated Friday asking the school’s gay community to stop complaining.
Dean has spoken out frequently against gay rights. He made national headlines last year when he delivered a prayer on the Minnesota House floor that questioned President Obama’s faith.
Students told the La Crosse Tribune that a number of students at the program left crying. Superintendent Jim Stanton told the student body that the group’s “opinion about intolerance” is “not in line with the beliefs of the Dunkerton Community Schools.” Dean’s group has performed at the school before, but it appears the message was mellower then.
Stanton told TPM that the school is trying to “move forward” after the performance last week. The school system is developing an “action plan,” including a committee of students, teachers, administration staff and parents that will screen all performers before they are welcomed to the school. The school is offering counseling for students. And the district is trying to recover the money it paid the band.
Dean is scheduled to hold a community conversation at a church in Elk Run Heights, Iowa on Monday night. The organization had some booking issues after the Dunkerton Community Hall’s board members voted not to allow the group to perform at their venue. Jake MacAulay, who co-hosts a radio show with Dean and is a spokesman for Dean’s ministry, told TPM that the response has been a “shocking surprise.” Dean and MacAulay will react to the public firestorm at the event, according to a release.
“We’ve learned from this,” Stanton said. “It will never happen again.”
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com