INDIANA UNIVERSITY-PURDUE UNIVERSITY HOSTS “CORPUS CHRISTI”

Catalyst June Issue 2001, Front Page

The Terrence McNally play about Jesus having sex with the twelve apostles will be performed this summer at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). The Catholic League entered the fray and immediately drew front-page coverage in local Fort Wayne newspapers. Bob Lockwood, our research director, lives in Fort Wayne and represented the league to the media.

Six state senators from Indiana raised serious questions regarding the propriety of a state-assisted university hosting an anti-Christian play. They are going to drill Chancellor Michael Wartell when he comes before them asking for more funding. Interestingly, the students raised money for the play voluntarily. But that didn’t stop the league from criticizing the arrangement.

In a statement made to the press, William Donohue said, “Here we go again. Taxpaying Christians are asked to support a school that mocks their religion. It matters not a whit that IPFW is not funding ‘Corpus Christi.’ What matters is that this public institution is hosting the play.” Donohue applauded the six state senators who raised objections to what he termed “this abuse of public financing.”

Just as we saw with the situation at Florida Atlantic University, IPFW proudly advertises its commitment to multiculturalism; it even has multiculturalism in its mission statement. Indeed, it has an office of Multicultural Services “to serve as a support system for African American, Hispanic, Native American, International [and] Asian” students. In addition, there is an Islamic Student Association on campus and a “diversity” week that teaches students to be tolerant of homosexuals.

We focused our attention on Chancellor Michael Wartell. Noting that he is casting the issue squarely as an academic freedom matter, we fired back saying that “part of his [Wartell’s] academic responsibilities is the promotion of tolerance for everyone, Christians included.”

Donohue then made his request. “That is why I am asking him to personally sit down with those associated with the play and discuss how hurtful this exercise in free expression really is to Christians,” he said. “After all,” he continued, “IPFW’s mission statement also mandates that the school strive to ‘reinforce ties to the surrounding community.’ That would seem to include Christians.”

Because Chancellor Wartell has not replied to Donohue, we suggest you write to him as soon as possible. Write to him at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46805.


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Written by Bill