I posted last week about Tarleton State University's production of Corpus Christi, a play that portrays Jesus as a gay man living in the 20th century, which got canceled because a bunch of teabaggers/fundies/rightwingers/conservative Christians called in death threats to the school.
Well, turns out they found another school where Corpus Christie is being produced and they're trying to cancel it there. The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property is asking people to email Gallaudet University and get them to cancel the play. Here's why:
"No. Blasphemy does not qualify as free speech," said TFP Student Action director John Ritchie. "Just as everyone is entitled to their own good reputation, Gallaudet University has no right to harm and slander the spotless reputation of the God-Man with blasphemy, then run to academic freedom for cover."
It may sound ridiculous to say "Blasphemy does not qualify as free speech" today, but give these folks 20 years to push the Overton Window a little more to the right. If the Religious Right had their way, saying anything bad about them, and saying anything good about people they don't like, would be completely banned and punishable with jail time.
A theatre professor at the school made a good point in the article linked above. These folks see their religion as being attacked, but the play is actually by a gay Christian and written to explore gay people's relationships with Christianity in a modern world. Even though the Religious Right is portraying themselves as a group being attacked from the outside, that's not really the case here (also note how he makes fun of the fundies for not even reading the play before emailing about it):
Ethan Sinnott, assistant professor of theater arts at Gallaudet and director of the production, said in an e-mail interview before a rehearsal that he believes critics don't know what they are attacking. He said that the Web sites organizing the attacks are portraying stereotypes of gay people and are suggesting a false dichotomy between religion and gay life.
Of course they have no clue what it's about. They're good little authoritarians and when a good person, a man of God working for to protect Moral Values says something's bad, that means it's bad.
It seems like the Religious Right found out that this play existed a couple weeks ago and is going to try to shut it down no matter where it happens. Part of their problem is the explicitly Christian message of the play - if it were about a gay Buddha or a gay Mohammed they wouldn't have a problem with it.
But they're invested in making this a war between the queers and upstanding Christians, and anything that blurs the edges a bit is going to get attacked. While part of their beef is that they hate gays and they think calling Jesus gay is a terrible insult, the other part is that they need to keep their own flock in line and can't have them know that there are many ways to be Christian. As always with these folks, it's about power and control.