Play depicting gay Jesus canceled amid protests - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Play depicting gay Jesus canceled amid protests

By Heartland News

STEPHENVILLE, TX (KFVS) - What was intended to be a standard class assignment for a theater course at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, turned into a major controversy and was eventually called off.

Three weeks ago, Pastor David Harris rallied his congregation to fight a controversial play that depicted Jesus Christ as a gay man. The pastor gave phone numbers and email addresses belonging to university officials to church members.

Now, after a barrage of emails and phone messages, the professor and the school canceled the assignment.

The play "Corpus Christi" parallels the life of Jesus. In contrast to the Bible, the main character of the play is gay and presides over the marriage of two male disciples. John Otte, the student director of the play, wanted to use it as a forum to preach tolerance and acceptance.

"This has never been a battle between the homosexuals and the Christians," Harris said.  "This has been a battle about the defamation of the name of Jesus Christ."

Tarleton spokesperson Liza Benedict says that no violence was threatened; rather, it was the tone and anger in the messages that prompted the cancellation.

Even though the university canceled the play, the director still hopes to hold the play at another time off campus. But Harris, who blames the university for not ending the dilemma sooner, said he will peacefully try to stop the play wherever it is.  He believes that's his duty.

"We are told in our bibles that we are to contend for the faith," Harris said.  "And that means fight."

(Information from: KTVT-TV)

Copyright 2010 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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