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MattHughesRocks
11-15-2009, 04:17 PM
SANTA ANA - A play depicting Jesus as a gay man played to an appreciative audience in a packed church sanctuary tonight while a handful of protesters outside called it blasphemous.

It was the second showing of "Corpus Christi" in Orange County in about two years. The show sparked protests and bomb threats at its 1998 opening at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York.
The cast of "Corpus Christi" performs Saturday at the Church of the Foothills in North Tustin. The controversial play drew a few protestors due to the fact that it depicts Jesus as a gay man living in Texas in the 1950's.

The play depicts Jesus as a gay man living in 1950s Corpus Christi, Texas, playwright Terrence McNally's hometown. The cast of 13 portray Jesus and the 12 Apostles.

The Church of the Foothills in Santa Ana received hate calls and letters in the past few days since media publicity of the performance.

Pastor Michael Holland said about 20 e-mails, about the same number of telephone calls, including one Saturday from a man claiming to be a priest from Ireland, and four or five letters denounced the performance.

There was also an e-mail from a local couple with a gay son who thanked the church for hosting the show.

"That's why we're doing this," Holland said, "for all those families out there who don't feel accepted. The Bible does not condemn homosexuality as an orientation, it condemns certain homoerotic acts which had nothing to do with people being in love, like we're doing today."

During the last scene of the play, the actors light a final candle together and exit the stage, leaving the audience with the image of a single flame.

Outside the church, before the play was to start shortly after 7 p.m., Todd Jernigan, a construction worker from Tustin, joined about three other protesters, calling what was taking place inside an "abomination."

Depicting Jesus as gay, he said, "is the biggest disgrace there is."

Don Stewart of Riverside got on a bullhorn and shouted at those going into the performance: "Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? Can anyone in that church come out and explain it to me in God's words?"

Stewart, an electrical contractor who described himself as belonging to a community of street preachers, accused the church's pastor of teaching a faulty doctrine "that's going to lead them to hell."

Pastor Holland said the protesters were misinformed.

"Jesus was about love and inclusion and affirming people as children of God, and that's what we're doing tonight," he said, adding that the publicity preceding the performance had been a mixed blessing.

Two years ago, a production of the play at Chapman University did not happen because of a scheduling conflict. The play instead took place at the First Christian Church of Orange Disciples of Christ, Holland said.

There was no publicity surrounding the play then, so it did not generate any controversy, he said. Tonight, 250 packed the Church of the Foothill's sanctuary for the show.

Among them was Claire Richardson, a graduate of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, who said she wants to be an ordained minister in Disciples of Christ faith community.

"I support art and I support interpreting the Bible for oneself," said Richardson, who attended with her parents from Orange.

The Church of the Foothills in the past has hosted same-sex marriage rallies and held the first same-sex wedding in the Tustin area in June.

The one-night showing of "Corpus Christi" was performed by Los Angeles-based 108 Productions. Proceeds benefit the church and a documentary on "Corpus Christi" by 108 Productions.

The group plans to take the show to Corpus Christi, Texas, next year.

http://www.ocregister.com/news/church-219451-play-jesus.html

NateR
11-15-2009, 04:35 PM
A quote from our pastor this morning that seems to fit here: "In the beginning, GOD created man in His own image and ever since then, mankind has been trying to return the favor by recreating GOD in our image."

Of course, Jesus would never have looked down upon a homosexual or condemned that person as unforgivable. However, that's a big difference from condoning the act of homosexuality or participating in the lifestyle. Jesus NEVER would have done that and to even suggest it is pure heresy.

Llamafighter
11-15-2009, 04:55 PM
A quote from our pastor this morning that seems to fit here: "In the beginning, GOD created man in His own image and ever since then, mankind has been trying to return the favor by recreating GOD in our image."

Of course, Jesus would never have looked down upon a homosexual or condemned that person as unforgivable. However, that's a big difference from condoning the act of homosexuality or participating in the lifestyle. Jesus NEVER would have done that and to even suggest it is pure heresy.

Yeah they didn't do a good job of explaining the concept of the play. It isn't showing Jesus as a homosexual. It portrays a young man named Joshua who grows up in Corpus Christi Texas in the 50's and is faced with some of the same challenges Jesus was. Same tempatations and events with a twist (Satan is portrayed as James Dean, etc...). As a piece of theatre it's not written that well and these days is done typically as a way to create controversy. The only thing it does somewhat well is show that Christ walked amongst the the bottom of society to try and reach them.
Usually this play sells out because of the controversy. The play itself is poorly written.

MattHughesRocks
11-15-2009, 04:58 PM
And this part was the most unbelievable part to me.


Among them was Claire Richardson, a graduate of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, who said she wants to be an ordained minister in Disciples of Christ faith community.

"I support art and I support interpreting the Bible for oneself," said Richardson, who attended with her parents from Orange.

Llamafighter
11-15-2009, 04:59 PM
One thing that is really shocking is that a church actually hosted this play. The language is incredibly strong.

MattHughesRocks
11-15-2009, 04:59 PM
Exactly. That makes it even worse.

Yeah they didn't do a good job of explaining the concept of the play. It isn't showing Jesus as a homosexual. It portrays a young man named Joshua who grows up in Corpus Christi Texas in the 50's and is faced with some of the same challenges Jesus was. Same tempatations and events with a twist (Satan is portrayed as James Dean, etc...). As a piece of theatre it's not written that well and these days is done typically as a way to create controversy. The only thing it does somewhat well is show that Christ walked amongst the the bottom of society to try and reach them.
Usually this play sells out because of the controversy. The play itself is poorly written.

Llamafighter
11-15-2009, 05:53 PM
Exactly. That makes it even worse.

yep

J.B.
11-15-2009, 08:29 PM
I agree, this is just something ridiculous, done purely for shock value. Pretty stupid.

Llamafighter
11-15-2009, 08:35 PM
I agree, this is just something ridiculous, done purely for shock value. Pretty stupid.

Fortunately even the left wing theatre crowd also identifies it as such. I hate when theatre is not done for the content of the work but for the buttons a poorly written piece can push. it's very irritating.

For the record I was in a production of this show and a lot of my strong feelings about it are based on that experience.

Tyburn
11-15-2009, 09:09 PM
A quote from our pastor this morning that seems to fit here: "In the beginning, GOD created man in His own image and ever since then, mankind has been trying to return the favor by recreating GOD in our image."

Of course, Jesus would never have looked down upon a homosexual or condemned that person as unforgivable. However, that's a big difference from condoning the act of homosexuality or participating in the lifestyle. Jesus NEVER would have done that and to even suggest it is pure heresy.

Exactly. Why they bother is beyond me...rather then making homosexuals feel welcome, its just going to make them feel even more...well, conspicquous...they dont want to STAND OUT AS DIIFERENT.

I sware sometimes they do it just to create a reaction. :sad: