THIS WEEK, THE LOCAL RELIGIOUS POWERS-THAT-BE USED THEIR INFLUENCE TO SHUT DOWN A LOCAL COMMUNITY THEATRE PRODUCTION. CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE.
FROM THE ARTICLE:
The New Ulm Actors Community Theatre's production of "Inherent the Wind" was canceled last week due to cast dropouts stemming from objections by Martin Luther College professors and local WELS members over the play's depiction of the evolution/creationism debate.
NUACT originally slated the play as its fall production with MLC student Zach Stowe as director. The play deals with a fictionalized version of the evolution/creationism debate in the 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial." The play is also a metaphor for criticizing the suppression of free expression under the McCarthyism of the 1950s.
First of all, it makes me a little nuts that the writer and editor of the newspaper article incorrectly named the play "Inherent" the Wind, rather than "Inherit" the Wind -- but hey, I'm sure it was a typographical error, and we all make mistakes.
As a playwright, it makes me a little bit angry any time any group attempts to stop any play from being presented. It's an imposition. I do not walk into your church and ask you to stop singing, preaching and praying because I disagree with the way you sing, preach and pray. Do not walk into my theatre and ask me to stop singing, acting and directing because you don't like my play.
But beyond that, it makes me feel a bit sad -- not so much for the players, but for the educated church members who felt the need to prevent this fantastic play from being presented in their community. It tells me that, although they profess to be religious scholars and profess to have faith in The Lord and Jesus Christ, they are woefully insecure in their beliefs.
If you honestly believe in Christ, then you wouldn't fear scrutiny, you would welcome it. You wouldn't try to avoid those who would question that faith, you would look forward to answering those questions. You wouldn't attempt to stifle the beliefs of others, you would let them have their say, and then you would testify as to your own beliefs.
Unless, of course, you have doubts about your own faith. If deep down, your heart and soul don't believe the things that come out of your mouth, then yes, you would do all you could to silence those with a different point of view.
The religious leaders in the community of New Ulm have shown us their asses, so to speak. These teachers and preachers have shown us that they are really insecure in their faith, and that they really don't believe in the things they teach and preach. If they really had faith, a silly little stage play written half a century ago, loosely based on an event that happened nearly a full century ago wouldn't be a threat.
A true religious scholar would see this play as an opportunity to educate his community.
It's a shame that this won't happen.
Some will remain in the dark -- just like the rubes depicted in "Inherit The Wind."