UNIV. OF NORTHERN IOWA HOSTS “CORPUS CHRISTI”
Catalyst January/February Issue 2002
The University of Northern Iowa hosted the Terrence McNally play, “Corpus Christi,” December 12-14. The play depicts Christ having sex with the 12 apostles.
Catholic League president William Donohue jumped on this issue and made headlines in Cedar Rapids as a result. The public was largely on our side. Here is the text of Donohue’s remarks:
“The taxpayers in Iowa are being asked to give the University of Northern Iowa a Christmas present—a three day performance of the gay Jesus play, ‘Corpus Christi.’ While no student funds are being used to support the play, the fact remains that the university is proudly hosting this venture into hate speech.
“I saw ‘Corpus Christi’ when it opened in New York in 1998. The script is replete with sexual and scatological comments, as well as behavior that is downright offensive. It is particularly disturbing to witness the Christ-figure proclaim to all the apostles that they are divine and then exclaim, ‘F— your mother, F— your father, F— God.’ And when Philip turns to the Christ-figure and asks him to perform fellatio, it is enough to disgust even non-believers.
“To those who say this play has multiple meanings, I say they’ve been deceived. To wit: the play ends with the words, ‘If we have offended, so be it.’ McNally knew exactly what he was doing when he penned those words. Which explains our response.
“The University of Northern Iowa has every legal right to put this play on but it has no moral right to do so. Its president, Robert Koob, has decided to take the easy way out by citing the legal right of the play to be performed. What he doesn’t say is that he has both the right and the duty to confront the offenders and let them know how divisive their behavior is. The timing of this play is particularly offensive: it comes in the wake of the events of 9-11 and less than two weeks before Christmas. We will inform the Iowa Board of Regents of this outrage.”