February 12 – 14, 26 – 28
Orlando & Tampa, FL – The art show “Nude Nite” appeared over two weekends in two separate cities. The exhibition featured a couple of pieces that were disturbing. A painting, “Easter Candy,” by Emily Hogan, depicted the Blessed Mother with a breast exposed and a chocolate Easter bunny nursing from her. In the background of the painting are two flying Easter bunny angels. Another offensive piece was a photograph named “Absolution.” The picture featured a nude woman in a crucifixion pose, tangled in barbed wire.
According to its website, “Nude Nite” prides itself on controversial works including “political, religious and social issues in keeping with the nude theme. Works that make people laugh are always popular but equally, the disturbing and uncomfortable.”
Hollywood, CA – The art exhibit, “The Congregation of Forgotten Saints,” featured paintings that attacked Christianity. One of the paintings featured Christ with His tongue sticking out and kneeling next to a toilet filled with blood. Behind Him is a cricket dressed as a monk.
San Diego, CA – The Chuck Jones Gallery displayed a painting in its front window that replaces Jesus and the apostles of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” with Looney Tunes cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. The painting by artist Glen Tarnowski is named “The Last Gathering.”
April 8 – 13
New York, NY – The Museum of Modern Art featured the film “The Pope’s Toilet” during Holy Week through Easter Monday. The movie—which was released two years prior—“takes an oblique dig at [the Catholic] church that, the movie suggests, may have failed its most disadvantaged followers,” according to the New York Times. When it debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, it was described as blending “the sacred and profane.”
We objected to this due to its venue and timing. We checked to see what movies ran during Ramadan and Yom Kippur and found nothing offensive toward Muslims or Jews. During Ramadan, “Hollywood on the Hudson: Filmmaking in New York, 1920-39” was featured and during Yom Kippur, “Delwende,” a movie about African patriarchy, was shown.
April 17 – May 10
St. Petersburg, FL – The anti-Christian musical “Altar Boyz” played at the American Stage in the Park. The show is about an all-male band that sings “Christian-themed” songs that ridicule Christianity. Also, the choreography involves the performers striking crucifixion poses.
April 18 – May 2
Philadelphia, PA – The play “Show/Tell” ran at the small Shubin Theatre. The one act play is about a priest who has AIDS and “struggles with questions of faith between visits from Joey…the young employee of the institution [in which the priest resides] he pays for sexual activity.”
May 1 – May 30
Boston, MA – The anti-Christian musical “Jerry Springer—The Opera” played at the Boston Center for the Arts. The play mocks the crucifixion, trashes the Eucharist and presents the Blessed Virgin as a woman who was “raped by an angel.”
May 14 – 25
Orlando, FL – We received an e-mail stating that the anti-Catholic play “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You” was going to run at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. After we investigated the issue, we found that the e-mail was sent to us by the show’s director; he was hoping to bait us into publicly condemning the production. We decided not to call attention to the play nor did we issue a statement to the media. Instead we contacted the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs Office; these entities provided public money for the festival, which also staged “Corpus Christi.”
We pointed out that we are fully aware that fringe festivals feature edgy material but noted that such events should not include bigoted productions. In addition, one of the purported aims of this annual festival is to promote diversity. By definition, that would include not showcasing intolerance. We asked for an explanation as to why public money was being used to promote Catholic-bashing plays. We received no response.
We used this approach so that these government agencies know that Catholics object to taxpayer dollars funding anti-Catholic bigotry with the expectation that there will be a more careful review of grants in the future. We were able to make our point without giving unwarranted publicity to those who are admittedly on the fringe.
September 5 & 12
New York, NY – “Shakespeare’s Anti-Christian Satires: The Virgin Mary Parodies,” ran at the Manhattan Theatre Source and was performed by the Dark Lady Players—a group that performs Shakespeare’s plays according to its own interpretation of them.
The director, John Hudson, contended, “The allegorical depictions of the Virgin Mary in the plays are not merely bad taste, they are scathing, even shocking parodies of the most sacred Christian doctrines.” The plays “Hamlet,” “Othello,” and “Romeo and Juliet” were interpreted in “The Virgin Mary Parodies.”