An Addendum to A Kentucky Hat Trick of Stupid

12 September, 2009

Oddly (and this is from Ed Brayton’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars), kids from Breckinridge High School, in Kentucky, do not need parental permission to be taken to a  Baptist revival by their football coach.  The kids did  need a signed permission slip from their parents to listen to Barrack Obama’s education pep talk!

Remember the school in Kentucky where the superintendent had no problem with the football coach taking his players to a church to get baptized? They required permission slips to watch Obama’s speech. Seriously.

A quick phone call to the high school got me transferred to the school district’s main offices, where a friendly woman answered but did not want to give her name when I identified myself as a reporter.”Mam’,” I began, “I just have one question that’s not even related to the baptism thing and the coach. I just want to know if the district’s schools played President Obama’s speech on education today.”

She responded by putting me on hold. Upon returning, she claimed to have no first-hand knowledge but had been told by someone else in the office that …

“The students who watched the president’s speech today had to get a note signed by their parents that said they could watch it.”

In other words, students at the school district where a top official — the superintendent — does not see anything wrong with taking football players to be baptized at a Christian revival, were forced to get a parent’s signature to “opt-in” (instead of out) for the president’s speech.

 I’m not surprised, but I am appalled.

I would love to say that this surprises me.  But I can’t.  I guess that having a centrist African-American Democratic President of the United States just upsets the old mental apple-cart of a whole lot of Americans — the Christianist dominionist fundamentalist evangelical teabagging birther tenther deather 30% or so who are, as Sarah Palin puts it, the real Americans, you betcha. 

Follow up question the reporter should have asked:  was parental permission required to listen to Reagan whine about the importance of tax cuts and the evils of gun control?  or when Bush part 1 asked kids to write him letter telling what they would do to help George H. W. Bush?

I suspect I already know the answer.  And I am appalled.  Not surprised, but appalled.



  1. If that happened for a W speech, the yahoos would claim it to be indicative of treason and hatred of America. When it’s a black Democratic President’s speech, it’s an exercise of American freedom by real Americans.

  2. I wish I could say I was surprised, but, you know… When I lived there (years ago), I was astounded by the racism of some of the native Kentuckians. I encountered it during my student teaching assignment, and with some people I worked with after I graduated from college. I’m saddened to see that little, if anything, has changed since then.

  3. Philly: You are, or course, correct. If it is a Republican President, any disagreement, any question of motives, competence, or legality, is proof of treason. If it is a Democratic President, even listening to him is treasonous. Odd how, for the right wing, patriotism is fully dependent on the person in the White House. Almost like a personality cult.

    Chappie: I’ve given up being surprised, too.

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