It is impossible to say for sure who is patronizing “Corpus Christi,” but there is anecdotal evidence that the patrons are disproportionately gay and Jewish.

Writing in Gannett newspapers, theater critic Jacques Le Sourd recently wrote a column on the play saying that “it is no secret that the audience for theater in New York is largely Jewish and largely gay, and that to take a poke at Christian morality in this setting is hardly an act of bravery.”

In 1993, arts critic Richard Grenier commented that it was his observation that Broadway was patronized by audiences that were “overwhelmingly Jewish.” He added that “at the more commercially successful homosexual works, I got the impression that the audiences were something like 10 per cent homosexuals and 90 per cent heterosexual Jews—to all appearances well-to-do, liberal, husband-and-wife couples.”

It is a sad commentary that anti-Catholic bigotry has become almost a popular sport among certain segments of American society, and this is especially true of artists and their patrons. Whether the bigots are gay or straight, Jew or Gentile, is of no consequence to the offended. But to the extent that gays and Jews are overrepresented in the ranks of those supporting “Corpus Christi,” it is a blot on their community. We hasten to add that when it comes to anti-Catholic bigotry these days, the worst offenders tend to be embittered ex-Catholics like Terrence McNally, and that under no circumstance is it proper to make blanket charges against any group.

The cause of real religious tolerance will only move forward when Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims seek to seriously address bigotry in their midst. No group is free from the sin of prejudice and no group has a monopoly on its possession. In the meantime, it is the duty of men and women of goodwill to do what they can to dissuade those given to religious prejudice from acting on their sentiments.

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