Friday, February 03, 2006

If they got it right the first time...

In a small prairie Colorado town, Bennett, about 25 miles outside of Denver, a group of irate parents are coming down hard on an elementary school music teacher for showing her students a video of the opera "Faust" whose character sells his soul to the devil in exchange for higher knowledge. One wonders why this school doesn't ban current events given the Abramoff debacle. According to the Associated Press, a parent of one of the youngsters reportedly have suggests that the protagonist "glorifies Satan in some way." Jeez, Louise---glorifying Satan, I thought that was Dick Cheney's job!

The music teacher in question, Tresa Waggoner, merely showed more than 200 first, second, and third graders segments of a decades-old series called "Who's Afraid of Opera" early last month. Members of the local PTA were up at arms about this, questioning whether or not it is appropriate to teach children about Mephistopheles, as well as show them a man being killed by a sword, both highly ironic challenges in light of the fact that the commander-in-chief of our military routinely refers to his enemies who comprise the "axis of evil," and children are as routinely exposed to TV reports of hostages being beheaded, as well as bombs being dropped on Baghdad, and Pakistan. Using this town's illogic, maybe we should dispense with modern history altogether, I mean is studying the Holocaust appropriate and, if so, at what age? Should we allow middle school students to learn about what the pilgrims did to Native Americans? I mean, what if they connect the dots, and we have yet another Columbine?

An unfortunate, and idealistic, first year teacher whose intention was nothing more than to introduce young children to opera has been branded a devil worshipper, has been a victim of character assasination, and is being run out of town. Welcome to Salem Bay, the sequel, folks. These fundamentalist poseurs who are preventing screenings of "Brokeback Mountain" at a theatre in Salt Lake City, and who will soon have the House in a stranglehold now that Gingrich's own Boehner is replacing Tom DeLay as speaker seem to have missed a step----if they got it right the first time, they wouldn't have to be born again!