The most notoriously anti-Catholic play ever written, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, has been nominated for an award in a South Dakota contest. The play will be performed on February 7 at the Johnson Fine Arts Center on the campus of Northern State University. The play is being performed by students from Douglas High School in Box Elder, South Dakota, and was selected by the school for entry into the contest. Lemmon High School is in charge of the Region V One-Act Play Festival and originally made arrangements for its performance at the School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. School officials from Douglas High School have defended the play, arguing that it is not anti-Catholic.
Catholic League president William Donohue commented on this today:
“It is astonishing that a play which has been labeled as anti-Catholic by such organizations as the Anti-Defamation League, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the American Jewish Committee—to say nothing of the scores of Catholic groups that have protested it—is now being considered for an award by the government of South Dakota.
“This is a textbook example of what is wrong with current interpretations of church-state violations: no play that glorified Catholicism would be allowed to compete in a state contest, yet it is acceptable for the state to sponsor Catholic-bashing plays.
“The officials at Douglas High School are delinquent in their responsibilities. They would not dare promote the Merchant of Venice, but they have no problem promoting Sister Mary Ignatius. Their defense of the play flies in the face of the protests that have been lodged against it by multiple religious organizations, as well as by reviewers like Clive Barnes and Frank Rich.
“The Catholic League will ask Governor William Janklow to investigate this matter with an eye towards remedial measures. There is no place for state-sponsored bigotry in America.”