The state Republican party of Minnesota is warning a college Republican group not to host controversial anti-LGBT pastor Bradlee Dean, according to Talking Points Memo. Minnesota Republican Party chairman Pat Shortridge told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that college Republicans at St. Cloud State University could face "consequences" in the future if they go through with a planned concert featuring Dean's heavy metal rock band, Junkyard Prophets.
Shortridge said, "Sometimes young people need to have better judgment in who they invite to things under the Republican banner. If you are going to do dumb things, and not take the advice of the state college Republicans and the state chairman of the Republican party, it might have some consequences.”
Dean and his youth ministry "You Can Run but You Can't Hide" (which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) have stirred up controversy for the Minnesota Republican Party before. When invited by Rep. Ernie Leidiger (R) to host the morning prayer at the May 20 meeting of the Minnesota House, Dean took the opportunity to question President Obama's Christianity. Republicans were forced to issue a retraction and an apology from the House floor.
In an incident in Dunkerton, Iowa, students and school officials complained after Junkyard Prophets were booked to play a rally for $1,500 on the topics of "provocative lyrics in music and making good choices." Instead the group shocked attendees when they delivered epithet-laden rants about homosexuality and abortion from the stage.
When asked why he objected to Dean's name being associated with the Minnesota Republican Party, Shortridge replied, "I think that speaks for itself....one word: Google."
In spite of the controversy, St. Cloud State University College Republicans chair Abbey Gooch says her group intends to go through with the concert.
"I have been praying and praying and praying and just saying Lord I don’t know what to do any more," she told the Star Tribune, saying that she the threats from the state party have been scary, but that she's "sticking to (her) guns."
Gooch says "You Can Run but You Can't Hide" have been "so nice to us," and that she feels Dean's message is one that "needs to be talked about on the St. Cloud campus."
She has been chair of the St. Cloud State University College Republicans for just over one week.
In 2011, Dean sued MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow for $50 million, claiming the host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" had "falsely accused Dean on her MSNBC show of supporting the killing of homosexuals, which harmed the 'fine reputation' of himself and his ministry. The lawsuit also seeks damages from The Minnesota Independent for reporting on Dean’s statements."
Maddow filed a petition to have the suit dismissed yesterday, Monday, April 23.