Friday, March 10, 2006

Bennett, Colorado - Putting the Devil in His (Her?) Place

The Rocky Mountain News reports this morning that when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built a meeting house in the town of Strasburg, which is just about a hop, skip and a jump from the town of Bennett, the good folks of Bennett had some very intense conversations about whether or not Mormons were Christians.

Ah, Bennett. To recap the essential nature of Bennett, Colorado and what this little slip of a town has to do with anything, some details are necessary.

Now, hoping you've read the background, the News reports this morning that, "Several parents complained that the video (a thirty-year-old video tape that was an introduction to opera for school children that featured Joan Sutherland and excerpts from the opera, "Faust"), which Tresa Waggoner got from the school library and showed some twenty minutes of which to her class, contained references to abortion and Satan worship.

"During the February 16th (school) board meeting more than 53 people appeared to support her (Waggoner's) returning to the classroom and six opposed it, Waggoner said.

"'Dr. Sauter (school superintendent in Adam's County where Bennett beams signals back and forth to
Fred Phelps in Topeka, Kansas) told me it would be too disruptive to let me teach again," she said.

Suffice it to say, the offending music teacher, Tresa Waggoner, has chosen to seek employment elsewhere. Indeed, the Mayor of Bennett, Karen Grossiant "...resigned in February and said Waggoner's removal was the 'last straw.'

"Tresa Waggoner was the last in a very long line of very peculiar situations,' said Grossiant, an administrator at Regis University [in Denver].

"'Bennett has a mean-spirited undertone. I'd had enough,' she said."

I guess, under the circumstances, it's just plain silly to mention that the offending teacher has cut two Christian based CDs and sees herself as pursuing a position as a church music director.

Ah, what the hell... The culture war persists.

What, I wonder, would the good folks of Bennett do if they found themselves dealing with what Willie Nelson tells us: "Small towns don't like it when somebody falls between sexes. And a small town don't like it when a cowboy has feelin's for men."

Yup, forget Faust. Danger looms in more substantive, temporal forms.

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