The song is about a teacher, Mrs. Aryan, who offers her very young and impressionable public-school classroom children a lesson about something called “values clarification.” In this parody of moral relativism, the children are assigned to clarify their values with a game in which five people must fit into a lifeboat built for two. The children must clarify their values by tossing three people overboard.
The five people are:
- an “old, old crippled grandfather”
- “a mentally handicapped person” who “can never be a productive member of society”
- “an overweight woman on welfare, with a sniffling, whimpering baby”
- “a young, white doctor with blue eyes and perfect teeth,” and
- Joan Collins.
In a clever refrain, the good little kids dutifully throw overboard the presumed refuse of society: the grandpa, the “fatty,”
and the “retard” — and the baby.
That is exactly what LaBarbera and FRC want their “Christian” followers to do to foreign travelers who have tested positive for HIV: Toss them overboard, or better yet, keep them from boarding even for a temporary visit.
But in the end, Steve Taylor has a surprise for his Christian audience: The good school kids throw the teacher overboard, too.
And that’s precisely what conscientious Christians need to consider doing — not to society’s rejects, but to LaBarbera and FRC for promoting lifeboat theology in the first place.
In his article, LaBarbera claims to be “associated” with Focus on the Family — and FRC continues to serve as a Washington public-policy extension of Focus, with James Dobson serving on its board. What, then, are Focus’ responsibilities in response to this episode? Conservative Christians deserve an answer.