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Monday, April 16, 2012

Catholics Protest Gay Jesus Documentary at Castro Theatre

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Wait. Didn't Jesus and Judas kiss?
  • Wait. Didn't Jesus and Judas kiss?

If the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's Hunky Jesus Contest on Easter just wasn't enough to piss-off the Catholics, next Sunday's world premiere of the documentary Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption at the Castro Theatre probably will.

The film follows 108 Productions' revival of Terrence Mcnally's play Corpus Christi, a retelling of the story of Jesus with the messiah depicted as a gay man in 1950s Texas. Since the play's New York debut in 1998, it has garnered much protest and controversy.

And for those of you homophobes who are too lazy to leave the house to protest the film, a Catholic group, America Needs Fatima, has made it easy for you. Go to this website, and you will find a form letter protesting the "blasphemous homosexual play." Just type in your own name and hit send, as some 13,000 people so far have done. 

Here's what the letter states:

I strongly protest against the showing of the blasphemous play Corpus Christi,which includes a Christ-like figure who reportedly has sexual relations with his apostles, and of the movie which promotes it, Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption. The Person of Jesus Christ is Sacred and untouchable. To portray Him as a homosexual, or even to insinuate it, is an unspeakable blasphemy which I reject with all my soul.

But the play's proponents explain how this gay Jesus play is rather timely, considering the LGBT bullying issues nationwide.

"Our tour aims to change the story on religious bullying and homophobia in all ages and walks of life, by teaching our audiences to love themselves for who they are," James Brandon, 108 Productions co-founder and an actor in the play, said in statement. "As the voices of intolerance around the world continue preaching ignorance and hate, we will keep raising our voices from a place of love -- and as our tour continues, we will spread that love to places where love for LGBT people is lacking."

As part of the premiere, there will be a meet-and-greet with the cast and a choral performance from members of the Church of Uncommon Hope. The play is appearing three times in San Francisco: on Saturday, April 28, at the Fort Mason Center; and Sunday, April 29, and Monday, April 30, at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco.

The Manhattan Theatre Club in New York removed the play from its fall schedule following its 1998 debut after receiving anonymous bomb threats and alleged death threats against McNally. The play was resinstated after pressure from New York's artistic community; its opening day attracted around 2,000 protestors waving signs outside of the theater.

Critics have bombarded producers with e-mails, attacking 108 Productions cast and crew  -- and even the director's mother in Iowa. They've also flooded the Internet with negative comments.

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Erika Maldonado

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