Texas religious leaders from various denominations have joined forces to stop the production of a play that depicts Jesus as gay.
“Corpus Christi,” written by Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally, first played on Broadway in 1998. Now it is coming to a playhouse in San Antonio. However, an interfaith group called the San Antonio Community of Congregations is trying to cancel the performances.
The group said in a letter that the play is “such a profane and disrespectful depiction of Jesus Christ, who is the object of love and worship in a community whose religious roots run deep.”
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It would be easy, but inaccurate, to dispose of our concerns as a homophobic response to the depiction of Jesus as a homosexual leading a band of homosexual apostles. While many may find this characterization troubling, we feel that the crude portrayal of homosexual men in this play is, at best, an exaggerated caricature that is insensitive also to our gay and lesbian community.
According to a report in the San Antonio Express-News, the play depicts Jesus as growing up in the title city during the 1950s. He is curious about same-sex attraction, gets bullied, and later presides over a gay wedding at which he's dubbed the “King of Queers.”
“It's just a vulgar piece of literature, if you want to call it that,” Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg said. “I read excerpts, and it wasn't so much the homosexuality. It's just that it's art without any responsibility to the sensitivities of others
The play's director said he can't understand what all the fuss is about.
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“I think it's a great story in terms of all the things that particularly a young gay man is up against — discrimination and hate — and people can come away knowing it's not the end of the world,” Greg Hinojosa said. “It's one man's opinion, and he happened to pen it and tried to tell a story and make it an educational experience so those who come can maybe better understand the gay community without fearing what they don't know.”