January – March
Los Angeles, CA – The Annie Hendy play “The Catholic Girl’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity” was performed at the Pico Playhouse. The play is about a 24-year-old Catholic woman who is determined to lose her virginity by her 25th birthday after she finds out her priest is having better sex than she is.
Fort Lauderdale, FL – A touring production of the musical “Altar Boyz” opened at the Actors’ Playhouse. The show featured an all-male band that sings “Christian-themed” songs that ridicule Christianity. In one song, a gay band member sings, “Your posse might not think it’s dope/if you confess you like the pope.” The choreography in “Altar Boyz” involves the performers striking crucifixion poses.
January 29 – 30
New York, NY – “Jerry Springer—The Opera” was performed for two nights at the prestigious Carnegie Hall. The show assaulted Christianity on a number of levels.
In the show Jesus is introduced as the “hypocrite son of the fascist tyrant on high.” Jesus is also portrayed as a fat, effeminate gay-like character that had his genitals fondled by Eve. The play also mocked the crucifixion, trashed the Eucharist, and presented the Blessed Virgin as a woman who was “raped by an angel.”
We wrote to each of Carnegie Hall’s corporate sponsors to voice our disapproval with the production. The most responsible response came from Bank of America. The bank made clear that it had no role in sponsoring the show. To be exact, while Carnegie Hall did, in fact, rent its facilities to the production, the patrons of the famous musical hall did not sponsor this particular event. Bank of America told Carnegie Hall that it wanted them to issue a statement informing the public that the corporate sponsors of the hall had nothing to do with the show. Carnegie Hall did so and Bill Donohue personally lauded the efforts of Bank of America during an appearance on “Fox and Friends.”
February 23 – March 29
New York, NY – The Luhring Augustine art gallery presented an exhibition titled, “Christ: The Subjective Nature of Objective Representation,” by artist George Condo. The artist’s paintings continued his assault on Christianity; he had previously painted Catholic priests and altar boys as “objects of wrath and scorn, and not a little hilarity.” This is what the New York Times had to say about his new exhibit: “In the main gallery three large, square-shaped paintings of the Crucifixion present comically warped images of suffering. In ‘Gestas,’ Jesus has a balding head and is missing his lower legs; a wooden stake has been driven into his hairy paunch. In ‘Dismas,’ he appears to be swallowing his own neck. The subject of an equally grotesque ‘Jesus’ grimaces as his torso is enveloped by a shower of rainbow confetti. Not even the Father is spared.
Chicago, IL – “The Best Church of God” debuted at Donny’s Skybox Theater with performances every Sunday morning. The show spoofs a religious congregation and religious ceremonies. The “church” literally interprets the Bible so much as to say that foreskin should replace money as currency and that “acne has God so pissed.”
The show’s website contains “Communion Recipes” that include “Lord Tartar,” “Low Carb Braised Christ Tongue” and “Mince Savior Pie.” Also on the website are various “Top Ten” lists. One is on “Why Christianity is the Right Religion.” The number ten reason is “When God found out Jesus was Jewish He had Him hung on a cross until He was dead.”
The cast of nine is made up of characters, Pastor Dave Shepherd (who had previously formed God’s Good Church and the Better Church of God, before he founded the Best Church of God); Lyle Gastro, who is in charge of the “Communion Division” and has a self-published book called A Happy Mouthful of God; Ruth Shepherd, whose hobbies include “being home-schooled” and “protesting in front of Planned Parenthood”; Kathy Shepherd, the pastor’s wife; Brother Henry, a member who thinks the Apocalypse is upon the world; the Rev. Joy Phillips, a motivational pastor; Ms. Cindy Sunday, the choir director and Sunday school teacher, is quoted as saying, “Since I’m barren, teaching Sunday school is the next best thing”; B. Eric Elam, the pianist, never makes a mistake because “Jesus plays through him”; Sam Samuelson, a missionary and Pastor Dave’s protégé; and Matthew Luke David, the deacon, who spends his spare time by creating “fetus dolls out of wood, sheepskin and carpet” for protests around the country.
The show also features a “Savor the Savior” segment where the audience was invited to feast on the “nonmetaphorical flesh and blood of the Lord” which was charred meat and red wine.
April 22 – June 1
Denver, CO – The anti-Christian musical “Altar Boyz” played at the Arvada Center.
New York, NY – The musical “Cry Baby” opened at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway. The play was based on the 1990 John Waters movie of the same name. In the play there are jokes about priest molestation and a miniskirt-wearing nun who apparently “helps” inmates by performing oral sex on them (when she says she helps inmates, she wipes the side of her mouth).
May 1 – 24
Scottsdale, AZ – “Catholic School Girls,” a play by Casey Kurtti, opened at the Chyro Arts Venue. Characters in the play include nuns that are tyrannical, flaky, or senile. Girls in the play are, among other things, punished for saying Jesus was a Jew.
June 3 – June 22
New York, NY – The play “Saved” ran at Playwright Horizons. The play, based on the 2004 movie with the same name, focused on the events at a Christian high school. In the play, the Christian characters are portrayed as good-hearted but narrow-minded people who can’t negotiate life. On the other hand, the non-Christians are portrayed as tolerant and wise.
June 26 – August 3
Cincinnati, OH – The anti-Christian musical “Jerry Springer—The Opera” played at the New Stage Collective. The play mocks the crucifixion, trashes the Eucharist, and presents the Blessed Virgin as a woman who was “raped by an angel.”
June 27 – August 2
Park City, UT – The anti-Christian musical “Altar Boyz” played at the Egyptian Theatre.
New York, NY – The Museum of the City of New York held a panel discussion on the question, “Is anti-Catholicism dead?” The panelists agreed that anti-Catholicism exists but the question was entertained as a rebuttable presumption. In any event, what really settled the issue was not the presentation of the panelists: it was the bald-face bigotry of those who responded to a New York Times story on the event. The following is a selection taken verbatim from the Times’ blog posting:
· “I don’t think its so much that people are anti-Catholic (the partitioners) but many people rightfully object to the church and their missions. Those missions include: 1.) subverting the U.S. through encouraging, aiding and abetting illegal immigration in contravention to our laws 2.)sewing insurrection in countries in Central America which is detrimental to American interests and in contravention to the historical role of the Catholic church in encouraging unrestrained population growth and actually subjecting the indigenous people to slavery (in Guatemala for instance) 3.) subjecting their own parishoners to sexual abuse 4.) encouraging a bigoted viewpoint towards people who are of alternative sexual orientations 5.) being anti-woman 6.) and encouraging unrestrained population growth leading to the perpetuation of poverty and hopelessness. How dare the Pope come over to our country and preach about America’s supposed failure to help the helpless in his comments about the U.S. immigration policy.”
· “I’m inclined to agree that a bad catholic is better than a good one. A good catholic believes the irrational supernatural nonsense that he’s been taught to believe, usually through rigorous childhood indoctrination. The good catholic is the skeptical catholic who questions what has been driven into his head, and sees the absurdity of it all.”
· “Why is it okay to be anti-communist, but not okay to be anti anything else?”
· “Again, the vestiges of anti-Catholic sentiment at this point are largely grounded in reality. Catholicism is ridiculous and rigidly incompatible with modern social values. Shunning contraception in the face or rampant over-population and HIV in the developing world, stoking the most regressive strains of anti-gay and anti-woman sentiment, protecting pedophile priests the world over for centuries… this is the modern legacy of the Catholic church.”
· “I would say that anti-Catholicism is alive and well. Gays who are excluded from the RCC are anti-Catholic, and so are married women who are not prepared to have their 5th child and yet are told by the RCC that they cannot use birth control. Countries whose citizens are dying in droves from AIDS and yet are told by the RCC that they cannot distribute condoms are anti-Catholic. Divorced people who fled abusive marriages who are now excluded from communion in the RCC are anti-Catholic. I mean, how can any thinking, feeling person NOT be anti-Catholic? It was Jesus himself, if he were here today, would be anti-Roman Catholic.”
· “I’d rather deal with ‘bad’ catholics any day, those who respect my beliefs, rather than ‘good’ ones who look down upon me for not sharing in all their beliefs, ignoring my right to use the brain that God has given me. To those who say that the RC church doesn’t teach that anymore, read Dominus Iesus. It’s a rather current (2000) reaffirmation of their superiority and self-assuredness.”
· “I’m not against Catholics…as long as they don’t go to Mass. In fact, I’m going to marry one, though he knows that our kids will never set foot inside a Catholic Church. All this recent hullaballoo over the Pope just confirms to me that there’s something weird and creepy about a religion that elevates a man to god-like status when one of the central commandments (“Thou shalt have no other god before Me”) says explicitly not to do that.”
· “Anti-Catholicism, like all anti-religious beliefs, will be around as long as religions are anti-life, anti-reason, fear-generating, anti-humanity and anti-science AND act on their delusional beliefs in the most detrimental of ways to human life.”
· “As long as women around the world are denied reproductive freedom, and adolescents are denied access to contraception knowledge and education – I hope anti-Catholicism will grow in strength. We have only the Catholic church to blame for these blights on our world. We cannot discuss population control in order to preserve our limited global resources – for fear of offending Catholic superstition and despotic devotion to church laws that harm us all.”
· “I think it’s time to be anti-religion.”
· “If anti-Catholicism is dead, what will the ever-apoplectic William Donohue do!?!?!?!?!? If we’re lucky, he’ll finally explode into a million pieces, when alone in a windowless room.”
July 23 – August 1
Providence, RI – A one-woman play by Rachel Caris, “You’re Eating God,” ran at the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Consortium. The play is about a family living in a backyard bomb shelter in the 1960s. According to Bryan Rourke of the Providence Journal, “The title of the piece comes from one of its lines which one character delivers after seeing another character ravenously eat a pile of Eucharistic hosts.” He also stated that the play “satirically questions the conventions of Catholicism.”
The play’s webpage flagged the following: “Warning! ‘Eating’ is an outrageous farce. It contains graphic language, sexual situations, and religious satire. Not for the faint of heart. Inappropriate for children and young teens.” On the same page was a picture of Caris drinking a soda in a diner booth with a statue of the Virgin Mary.
August 22 – September 6
Centreville, VA – The musical “Bare” ran at the Waddell Theater. The musical, set in a Catholic boarding school, is about two young gay lovers that the Church “fails to understand.”
October 9 – November 9
New York, NY – 31GRAND held an exhibit, “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” which featured the works of artist Jason Clay Lewis. One of the works, named “d-CON Mary,” features a statue of the Blessed Mother covered in rat poison packaging. Another image, “Poison Christ,” features the image of a crucified Christ made from rat poison and foam.