Tarleton State University officials
announced Friday a controversial play that portrays Jesus as gay
won't be staged.
According to a posting on the school's
website, the decision to cancel the performance came from the class
professor, who cited “safety and security concerns” for the
The student-directed production of the
Terrence McNally play Corpus Christi, whose 1998 New York
premiere drew a loud protest, has been attacked by social
conservatives who say the play is blasphemous.
“It infuriates me that somebody would
be given a platform to be able to demean and degrade the son of God,”
David Harris, pastor of the Hillcrest Church of Christ, told Fox
News. “I'm angry about it, and every Christian should be.”
The play was being directed by John
Jordan Otte, a gay Christian who says he chose the play to help other
gay students who might be struggling with their faith.
“I chose this play to direct and
produce because I am a Christian,” Otte said in a statement, “and
I believe that this play can bring people together in a story of
acceptance and realization of the alienation we in the gay community
feel from most of our churches.”
University officials first changed the
start time of the play and restricted attendance to Saturday's
showing at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center.
“The performance of these four class
plays will not be rescheduled,” officials said.
Tarleton is located in Stephenville,
Texas, about an hour's drive from Fort Worth. The university is a
member of the Texas A&M University System.