Australian soprano the whore of Babylon

23 03 2006

Remember the furore over the Harry Potter books, and how unsuitable they were supposed to be for children? Well, in the US village of Bennett, Colorado the wingnuttery has been turned up to eleven, following the suspension of a state primary school teacher for the crime of exposing her students to opera.

The uproar began when Waggoner showed a video clip of Gounod’s Faust, narrated by Joan Sutherland and featuring singing sock puppets. She had hoped to pique the curiosity of the first, second, and third graders in one of her classes about opera, and chose Faust to teach the children about bass and tenor voices, the use of props, and “trouser roles” in opera.

This led to accusations that the married mother of two was a lesbian promoting homosexuality; the plot of Faust, where the title character sells his soul to the devil to recapture his youth, led to her being labeled a devil worshipper.

What the fuck is happening to that country? I keep having this mental image of Planet Earth with a vast watery gap between the north Pacific and the north Atlantic oceans, and with the United States of America floating in orbit somewhere nearby (like Valinor at the end of the Second Age, for all you Tolkien enthusiasts).

Word around the campfire is that Waggoner’s suspension is payback for the fact that the school Christmas play failed to include Christian songs.

Waggoner did not put Christian songs in the play. This outraged some townsfolk. She had to go.

“I did the same concert a week later in my own church with Christian songs,” Tresa Waggoner said. “But in a public school, you really can’t do that.

“I was told by some that the school for the last 30 years did Christmas music. They were outraged. But they never came to me.”

They “hung me out to dry,” she said.

Meanwhile, a Missouri high school teacher has resigned pre-emptively after catching fundie heat over her school’s performance of Grease and its proposed performances of The Crucible and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This “Christian Exodus” we hear tell of–can they get a wriggle on?

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