Gay Jesus Play Stirring Up Controversy in Sydney

“Pro-family” and religious groups are incensed over the Terrence McNally play Corpus Christi, which is set to open in Sydney which features a gay Jesus Christ who is seduced by Judas, and who performs a same-sex marriage for two of his apostles.

CorpuschristiThe Sydney Morning Herald reports: “The Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, questioned the integrity of Corpus Christi and expressed his outrage at the ‘unhistorical and untrue’ depiction of the son of God and some of his disciples as homosexual. ‘It is deliberately, not innocently, offensive and they’re obviously having a laugh about it,’ he said. ‘It’s historical nonsense and I wouldn’t want to go and see it. Life’s too short.’ Australian Family Association spokeswoman Angela Conway said the play’s creators had committed “a big enough crime” by neglecting to treat Christianity and Christian believers with more sensitivity. ‘The ideas are offensive and really border on blasphemous. It’s just completely fanciful and self-obsessive,’ she said.”

The play is timed to open for Sydney’s Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, at the New Theatre in Newtown on February 7.

Its director, Leigh Rowney, told the paper he welcomes the controversy: “I would be surprised if people bothered to protest outside the New Theatre … but if they did, bring it on. I think [the play] humanises [Jesus Christ] in a way Christians might find difficult because we like to believe God and the son of God are ultimately divine and above all of us. I wanted this play in the hands of a Christian person like myself to give it dignity but still open it up to answering questions about Christianity as a faith system.”

It’s not the first time the play has created an uproar. A fatwa death threat was issued by the Shari’ah Court of the UK when it opened in London in 1999 and in New York as well.

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