The KC Strip is the sirloin of Kansas City media, a critical cut of surmisin' steak that each week weighs in on the issues of the day, dictating its column to Pitch writers.

Warning: Adult Content! 

Missouri tried last week but couldn't out-crazy Kansas.

As Mother Nature unleashed her tornadic fury upon liberal Lawrence on March 12, the Strip waited for Pat Robertson to tell those freethinkers at the University of Kansas that God's wrath was a penance.

Thankfully, the rest of Christ-lovin' Kansas was mostly spared. During the big blow job, this meat patty was just happy to be across the state line in God's country. Missouri.

Not to be outdone by its righteous neighbors to the west — everywhere but Lawrence, anyway — a puritanical pack of politicians has recently been busy doing the Lord's work in the Missouri Legislature.

Here's a recap.

A House resolution, backed by Reps. David Sater of Cassville and Barney Joe Fisher of Richards, aims to officially recognize the existence of "a Greater Power."

Their assertion: "We stand with the majority of our constituents and exercise the common sense that voluntary prayer in public schools and religious displays on public property are not a coalition of church and state, but rather the justified recognition of the positive role that Christianity has played in this great nation of ours, the United States of America."

Taking up arms to fight the "War on Christmas" and apparently wishing to waste taxpayers' money, Rep. Mike Cunningham of Marshfield wants to force cities, counties, state agencies, universities, colleges and public schools to specifically name holidays on greeting cards. No more "happy holidays." (This meat patty had forgotten how persecuted Christians are in this society.)

Rep. Cynthia Davis has introduced a bill called "The Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act." The O'Fallon Republican also wants to eliminate teaching about contraception in sex-ed classes; force students to go to their doctors for information on abortion, contraception and pregnancy; and ban Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from speaking in human sexuality classes (but allow speakers from anti-abortion agencies).

Rep. Bryan Stevenson of Webb City is shielding the moral conscience of pharmacists, insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and health-care providers who want the right to deny treatment if a procedure or medication offends their morals. (This sizzlin' sirloin is just praying that its doctor isn't a Scientologist — the Strip wants its meds.)

The Missouri Senate, meanwhile, is following South Dakota's lead. Cape Girardeau Sen. Jason Crowell is backing a state constitutional amendment to ban abortion.

Sen. Jack Goodman wants to cut off alimony payments to ex-spouses who are "living in sin" with boyfriends or girlfriends.

And Sen. Chuck Purgason of Caulfield wasted everyone's time with an amendment that would have prevented Missouri cable companies from airing the cowboy-on-cowboy love story Brokeback Mountain. He later dropped the amendment, saying it was a joke.

Hilarious. This meat patty was starting to think that Kansas didn't look so crazy after all.

Until last Tuesday and Wednesday. The Kansas Board of Education held its monthly meeting last week, and this time the so-called "Gang of Six" (the board's half-dozen self-avowed conservatives) had sex on their minds. They proceeded to decree that students had to get permission slips signed by their parents before they could be admitted into sex-ed classes. No slip, no human sexuality.

That wasn't enough for board member Kathy Martin, who wanted to require districts to offer abstinence-only education and punish those that didn't by knocking their accreditation.

But the whole effort may prove meaningless. School districts can ignore the board's edict, and the Kansas Legislature may pass a comprehensive sex-ed bill that would supersede anything the board does.

And then came the Kansas culture war's moment of true glory for the week of March 13, 2006. It happened during the board's public comment session on March 14.

A woman introduced herself as Heidi Harper, a parent from the Blue Valley School District, which is known in these parts for its academic excellence as well as its book-bannin' parent activists.

This bewildered burger got its hooves on a transcript of her comments. (The Strip tried to get her on the phone, but she didn't return messages.) Harper began by grousing about 14 books that a handful of parents are trying to remove from the Blue Valley curriculum. She didn't name any of the books, but it was obvious that she was talking about Toni Morrison's Beloved and Song of Solomon.

On its Web site, the Blue Valley district explains the educational purposes of both books. "Students will emerge from a study of the novel with a broader sense of the personal effects slavery had on those who suffered its ravages," it says of Beloved, the story of a young mother who murders her child to save it from a life of slavery. In Song of Solomon, meanwhile, a man traces his family roots. "Deciphering the character motivations and connecting the subplots into one story line develops a stronger reader and a critical thinker," the site says.

Apparently, Harper doesn't buy those arguments. Last week, she blasted Blue Valley for "not fully or proactively disclosing violence, profanity or sexual content that's found in our school's curriculum."

Then, in an apparent summation of Morrison's work, she proceeded to give a stunning soliloquy. The Strip gets her logic: If it's acceptable for high school reading, it's acceptable for the Kansas Board of Education's public meeting minutes.

And so, dear readers, we present Heidi Harper:

"As a parent of three teens and an educator myself, I'm perplexed at how excerpts of men fucking cows or calves or boys sucking on big fat donkey cocks is beneficial to the healthy maturation of children. Are educators truly honest about the harms of interspecies sex or sex with dead corpses?"

You read it here, folks. Just when it looks like Missouri is going to overtake Kansas in the batshit-conservative arena, Kansas pulls back ahead. Kansas, we salute you!


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