A homosexual-themed play that mocks and blasphemes Christianity is drawing the ire of a Massachusetts family advocacy group, as well as condemnation from religious organizations nationwide. The play features students from a public charter school.
Titled The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, the production retells Bible stories portraying biblical characters as homosexuals and, in one scene, depicts bestiality. The self-described “satirical comedy” by playwright and novelist Paul Rudnick opens its weekend run Friday night at the Academy of Music Theater in downtown Northampton. The actors are students from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School in nearby South Hadley that serves approximately 400 students, grades 7-12.
Brian Camenker, founder and director of MassResistance, says religious organizations nationwide are outraged. “[The characters] Adam and Eve are ‘Adam and Steve.’ In the second act, they have the nativity scene where Mary is a lesbian who says all kinds of gross things. It’s just a terrible play,” he laments.
According to Camenker, as word of the production has gotten out over the past few weeks, religious groups around the country have protested “vociferously.” He says one local newspaper reported the school had received nearly 12,000 emailed petition messages against the production.
At one point, the Virgin Mary shouts: “I’m not supposed to be pregnant, I’m a bulldyke!” Camenker believes Christians must openly oppose such atrocities. “And the trouble is that this is tomorrow’s America that’s learning this stuff, and we need to take it a little more seriously than we are,” he urges.
Camenker says school officials have “arrogantly” defended the production, describing it as “cheeky and raucously funny … surprisingly tender.” And they consider any criticisms to be motivated by hate and intolerance, he adds.
The school says it has no intention of canceling the play or changing its content. PVPA’s head of school, Scott Goldman, has stated the play is “consistent with the school’s philosophy and is, in the school’s view, an appropriate theater piece” for its students.
And the play’s director, in an interview with a local newspaper, said: “It’s not a play that bashes religion, but it does make fun of some religious attitudes. Although it’s full of jokes – some of them at the expense of religious fundamentalism – the play is, at its heart, a thoughtful investigation of the meaning of faith and family.”
But the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield has a different take: “I didn’t know it was the responsibility of charter schools to teach religious bigotry,” Rev. Timothy McDonnell told The Republican.
Source: Instant Analysis