Image via Wikipedia
University Nixes Gay Imitation of Christ
A play to be performed at Tarleton State University, by Terrence McNally which features a gay Christlike figure , sparked protests and has been cancelled.
Corpus Christi, was one of several student-directed productions that were to be performed Friday on the Stephenville campus as part of an assignment for an advanced directing class.
In a written statement last evening, the University stated that the class's professor had canceled the four plays because of safety and order concerns.
The university's president Dominic Dottavio declared the play "offensive, crude and irreverent." He was willing to allow it to be presented, he said, because of freedom of speech and creativity issues.
He emphasized, however, that the university did not endorse the decision by student John Otte, 26, to present the play.
Gay marriage message in College Play
The play takes place in modern day Texas, and the Christ figure performs a gay marriage ceremony for two of his disciples, who are also gay.
Performances were for University students, and media and public had not been invited to attend. It was a class project, and only that, Dottavio stressed in his statement.
The student playwright who sparked the controversy told Texan TV News, a campus journalism project, that it had not been his intent to offend or to spark protests.
In an Opposing Views piece , an opposer who saw the play in another venue said that Tarleton was supported by Christians and tax payers, and that the play, which depicts a gay Christ who says, "F--- God" , among other things, was offensive to those who paid for the University.
"I am both a Christian and gay," Otte said in a video interview. "This play deals with that subject matter, I believe, in a tasteful way. ... I don't believe in a God who hates me for who I am."
"Never did I choose this play to attack Christians," he said. "I am one."
He said he disagreed with the widely held view among Stephenville clergy and others that McNally's play is blasphemy.
"I personally don't believe that," Otte said. "I respect those people's feelings that do believe that. I respect your religions."