Thursday, March 12, 2009

SF Archbishop Can't Stop Teens from Performing Gay Play

That was a fast one. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, Geoger Niederauer ordered the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer to cancel the planned Sunday March 8th performance of the "gay friendly play "Be Still and Know" with students from Sacred Heart Prep School in Atherton. And, yes, Most Holy Redeemer canceled the play, the archdiocese announced.

However, what the archdiocese did not know was that the venue for the play was merely shifted to the Presentation Theater of the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit run school. I see on the Jesuit Society webpage that the Jesuit's have a vow of obedience to the Pope. I guess that means they can disrespect the wishes of local archbishops. The Sacred Heart Prep School in Atherton is run by the women of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

I wonder how the authorities at the high school and the college would feel if their students disregarded their clear wishes. It is so much more fun to be the one "challenging authority" than to be the one who's authority is being challenged. I am sure the Jesuit men have the power to survive this challenge to the archbishops authority, but I am a little concerned about the sisters of the Sacred Heart.

Anyway, it seems to be a lay man who is behind this. The Drama Director at Sacred Heart, John Loschmann adapted the play from the novel The God Box. The California Catholic Daily provides information from the blog of a teenage participant in the play:
Writing on her personal blog “The thoughts of a teenage girl” on Dec. 15, 2008, a young woman who says she plays “Angie, who is the lead character’s girlfriend,” and had just returned from her first rehearsal of “Be Still and Know,” had this to say of the play: “With the passing of Prop 8, I think that California needs a nice dose of humanity. The show does a beautiful job of defending homosexuality with the bible, the very thing most commonly used to condemn it, including Leviticus 18:22 (‘Thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman, it is an abomination’), to which Carlos (Manuel) Cordero, and openly gay, Christian teen in the play, responds, ‘The Bible also say that eating shellfish is an abomination… Does anyone who eats shrimp commit a lesser crime than homosexuality?’ The show is smart, and powerful, and will cause many people to reconsider their beliefs about homosexuality.”

But the young writer also acknowledged that the play had provoked disapproval by some at her school: “In my nice little Sacred Heart high school, though in one of the most liberal places in the world, San Francisco, this show is causing a remarkable amount of controversy… Parents are protesting it, teachers are confused by it, and student are just avoiding the topic all together.”

You can see the blog post here.

1 comment:

The Underground Pewster said...

Kendall Harmon at T19 posted this thread for use as counter-arguments to the shellfish argument.

"Leviticus is against same sex practice, but Leviticus says we should not eat shellfish. So how could we possibly listen to Leviticus?"

"As for the case itself, it falls apart quickly once you quote the summary of the law which still is used in many rite I services in the Episcopal Church and it ends…

'you shall love your neighbor as yourself'

which is of course a quote from…


So the trouble is that there are continuities and discontinuities between the two testaments, and simply pointing out that there is a discontinuity in the area of specfic food practice, doesn’t mean that in the area of teaching sexual morality there isn’t a continuity. Leviticus is also powerfully against lying. Indeed, much of it is an extended and important commentary on the ten commandments. So is the teaching on sexuality like shellfish or is it like lying or 'loving your neighbor as yourself'"?

(Leviticus 18:19)