On Saturday, March 27, Tarleton State University in Texas will host a performance of “Corpus Christi,” the Terrence McNally play that was the subject of a major street demonstration launched by the Catholic League in 1998 when it opened in New York City.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue explains his position:
There are three things wrong about this event: (a) the play is hate speech directed at Christians and is far more than just a “gay Jesus” play (b) it is being shown at a state university, and (c) it is being performed on the eve of Palm Sunday.
I saw the play, led the demonstration against it, and debated its supporters when it came out in 1998. Jesus is depicted as the “King of the Queers” who says to the apostles, “F— your mother, F— your father, F— God.” The apostle Philip asks Jesus (called Joshua in the play) to perform oral sex on him, and at the end of the play Jesus condemns a priest for condemning homosexuality. Crotch grabbing, simulated urination, etc. color the performance. No wonder even the gay-friendly New York Times slammed it as an artistic bomb.
Tarleton is funded by the taxpayers, most of whom are Christians. That they should have to underwrite hate speech against their religion, on the brink of Holy Week, is not an accident—it is a deliberate act of provocation. No doubt this same university would put aside free speech concerns if students wanted to erect a nativity scene on campus, or sing “Ave Maria” at a university event. They only seem to invoke academic freedom when it suits their ideological agenda.
It’s up to the employees and students at Tarleton State to register a protest. Texas taxpayers, and Texas lawmakers who appropriate funds to the university, also have a right to have their voice heard.
Contact Tarleton president F. Dominic Dottavio: firstname.lastname@example.org