On Thursday, October 21, Plymouth, Minnesota will play host to a movie premiere. The film, part one of a five-part documentary series, is billed as a look "at the heart of our nation to bring us back to our foundation to see what it was established upon-the blood and sacrifice of those who were willing to pay the ultimate price (their lives) for our freedom." Promotions for the film define it as "perfect for all ages" and "a night for the entire family!"
The film and accompanying book, titled "My War," is original; but for many, it may feel like a reboot of a well-known classic.
"My War" is the story of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, a "rock and roll" ministry with the mission statement of "Re-shaping America by re-directing our future generations morally and spiritually through education and music."
In the group's own words, the "My War" audience will see "first-hand the message that has been brought to more than 330 high schools across the United States. Watch and see as our ministry is kicked out of schools and followed by police officers, merely for educating rather than indoctrinating." Additionally, "you will see Bradlee's own life story of a fatherless kid as he reaches out to this fatherless generation of youth and tells them of the saving power of Christ."
Bradlee is Bradlee Dean, the star of "My War" and public face of the You Can Run But You Cannot Hide and also the drummer for "Junkyard Prophet," one of the growing number of popular Christian rock bands that adopt the postures of their less-pious peers. Dean is also a host on The Sons of Liberty radio network. Dean most recently made news when he remarked that those who executed homosexuals as policy in foreign countries were "more moral than even the American Christians." That statement earned the ministry the attention of the Southern Poverty Law Center in part of its annual Intelligence Report, titled "Pols, Nativists Make Common Cause With Gay-Bashers." Dean defended the comments in a piece titled "Affirming Our Stance on Homosexuality."
The critical focus on Dean is as an unhinged gay-basher. It's not a challenging charge. In additional to the "more moral" comments, Dean recently said of gay-bullying-suicide news, "The state-run media is going after the schools for resisting the homosexual indoctrination. The homosexuals are now blaming – they are playing the victims – the homosexuals are now blaming their stance as the reason that young homosexuals are committing suicide because of the schools' intolerance to the lifestyle of homosexuality."
But Dean is much more than a random homophobe.
If it was ever somehow not déclassé to compare some modern terrible thing to Hitler, it certainly has become so in the last decade. From Bush 2 to Obama, the opposition's speed to declare any sitting power Hitler-like has made actually being Hitler-like much easier.
Dean's characterization of homosexuals as a scapegoat for America's perceived decline is a mirror image of Hitler's use of the Jews for Germany. Just as Hitler railed about Jewish conspiracies, so does Dean point to gays. Dean has said, "On average, they molest 117 people before they're found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?"
Try this: "And I say to the homosexual communities, I love you enough to tell you the truth, but you better get off the kids because, America, they are after your kids." Unlike many other homophobes, Dean has gone beyond classifying gays as sinners; he repeatedly notes that gays are "criminals." Likewise, Hitler classified Jews as lawbreakers, in the beginning referring to them as the "November criminals" and later just "criminals." This manipulation of distinction made anti-semitism digestible by an otherwise reasonable, if religiously predisposed, populace. Taking action against a group based on religious theory is intellectually unjustifiable. But doing so on the basis of jurisprudence? Why, that's just a law-abiding society.
Take Hitler's comment on Jews as criminals and his reasoning that "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord" and compare it to the following You Can Run But You Can't Hide Ministry video reasoning on homosexuals.
Like Hitler, Dean's message is multi-channel, designed to whip the populist froth from whatever angle best fits his audience. Dean's focused propaganda has many mediums: pop culture (his rock band), child indoctrination (the ministry's school event assemblies), church ("Hard Knocks" street ministries), nationalism (pro-military messages) and mass media (Sons of Liberty talk radio).
Of course, Dean wouldn't get anywhere without sympathetic aid from within the mainstream. Dean gladly agrees to be used by media who themselves have an agenda. For example, two years ago The Weekly Standard's senior writer Matt Labash toured school assemblies with Dean. Labash's wet kiss to Dean and his message called criticisms of the band "pejorative" and painted Dean as a righteous Christian rocker, reformed from the bad life. Not once does Labash mention Dean's views on homosexuality.
The Muller Family Theaters corporation, owner of eight movieplexes in Minnesota, rented the space, ten miles from downtown Minneapolis, to Dean, enabling him to put together a professional-appearing movie "premiere" and additional showings (engagements begin October 28th). This appearance of a mainstream product substantiates Dean's message all while filling his 501(c)(3) coffers to the tune of $20 to $40 a seat. We reached out to the theatre chain to ask if it has any policy on the films it shows. A representative told us that Muller Family is "not in a position to tell the public what to watch." Yet, the chain does not show X-rated films and told us it would "maybe" allow an NC-17 picture. The theatre rep said that Muller Family had never heard of Dean and had not been able to preview the film.
It's understandable that the Bradlee-Adolf comparison might be dismissed as a lark, a Godwin's Nazi Law meta-enablement.
So take the below selection of Bradlee Dean and Adolf Hitler quotes and try to correctly attribute them:
1) It's time for everyone in this country to return to God and engage in His battles to take back the land that was entrusted to us.
2) We want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess.
3) It's time to turn back to the One who gave us this blessed nation.
4) We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit.
5) It is plain to see that the judgments of God are upon our country.
6) How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think.
7) Government is to be the force of law, ruling in the positive, by bringing a negative to crime. The whole purpose of government is to maintain peace in the land with righteous judgment.
8) My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers,
9) As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.
10) Christian men and women, in this fight for right you are fighting for your nation, for your liberties, your happiness, and your peace; for unless Christ and His commandments are maintained, these will most certainly be destroyed
11) I felt condemned at every step that I took, and at times, I would even try to ignore my own conscience because it was so overwhelming.
12) In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders.
13) The Jews, who heard and rejected Christ, were destroyed by Titus, and Vespasian his father.
14) They play the victim when they are, in fact, the predator.
15) All at once the Jew also becomes liberal and begins to rave about the necessary progress of mankind.
16) In return, Christ was nailed to the cross, while our present-day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections.
17) They know homosexuality is an abomination.
1 Dean; 2 Hitler; 3 Dean; 4 Hitler; 5 Dean; 6 Hitler; 7 Dean; 8 Hitler; 9 Hitler; 10 Dean; 11 Dean; 12 Hitler; 13 Dean; 14 Dean; 15 Hitler; 16 Hitler; 17 Dean
This doesn't mean Bradlee Dean is just like Hitler. That impossible. Hitler didn't have children. Dean has three.
Hitler did not rise to prominence in a vacuum. Along the way he received help from existing politicians such as Eckart, Held and Drexler. As the SPLC noted, Dean's proselytizing has attracted political allies, especially those in his home state of Minnesota. And here is where the You Can Run But You Can't Hide ministry, and Bradlee Dean, go from a merely ambitious social reactionaries to a legitimized movement.
Bradlee Dean and his ministry were invited to the Minnesota state GOP convention. Dean stood with Mike Huckabee at The Minnesota Family Council. Minnesota GOP candidate for governor Tom Emmer donated to the ministry (exceeding legal limits) and has happily accepted the group's not-so-subtle, yet directly unspoken, endorsement, calling the ministry "nice people." Emmer, a state legislator, has penned a bill banning gay marriage. Meanwhile, incumbent Congresswomen Michele Bachmann, herself a believer in the ministry's message of criminalized homosexuality, has openly prayed for Dean's ministry.
And yes, in the photo below, that is Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty's arm around the ministry's Sons of Liberty
Propaganda Minister radio host Jake McMillen.
Of these rather powerful pols, at least Emmer and Bachmann will appear in the film of Dean's struggle to "fight the good fight" and "bring us back to our foundation." "I'm not trying to draw you in by the fact that there might some celebs…," joked Dean about the film during a recent radio program, before confirming that both Tom Emmer and Michele Bachmann would appear in "My War."
Emmer, Bachmann and Pawlenty all ignored repeated requests for comment.
Regarding the Hitler coincidences, a spokesperson for You Can Run But You Can't Hide told The Awl: "Are you trying parallel something that makes no parallel? My War is this generation who needs to be taught the Constitution." [sic throughout.]
Dean himself told us he was not sure about his plans after the film's release, but he said he won't rule out a run for office of some kind in the future.
Asked if he's taking "My War" to other cities, Dean told us, "That's up to the people, and the response that we get."