Gay Jesus Play in Sydney – Corpus Christi

A controversial play just recently opened in Sydney by the American playwright Terrence McNally called Corpus Christi. The play depicts Jesus as a gay man that is seduced by Judas and also shows Jesus marrying two gay men.

Robert Forsyth, the Anglican Bishop of South Sydney said a few tame things like “It’s historical nonsense and I wouldn’t want to go and see it. Life’s too short.”

While Angela Conway of the Australian Family Association went a little further and said “The ideas are offensive and really border on blasphemous. It’s just completely fanciful and self-obsessive.”

It got me thinking about the reaction of the Muhammad Cartoons and the damage that they caused. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that there were bomb threats and protests in the US when the play was staged, and Terrence McNally also received death threats, but it still seemed like a relatively calm reaction to something that causes people to lose all rational thoughts (an attack on their religion). So I did a Google search..

I found that when it was staged in the UK there was a little more controversy. Terrence McNally (he must be used to controversy by now as this was back in 1999) was sentenced to death by the Shari’ah Court of the UK. He had a “death fatwa” placed on his head as the play was deemed blasphemous by the Al-Muhajiroun (The Defenders of The Messenger Jesus).

Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammad, judge of the Shari’ah Court of the UK said “The fatwa is to express the Islamic point of view that those who are insulting to Allah and the messengers of God, they must understand it is a crime.
The Church of England has neglected the honor of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. It is blasphemy for them not to take action.”
BBC News

I wonder what people would fight about if there were no such thing as religion, patriotism or oil..

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Your Muslim quotes may surprise a lot of people who don’t realize that Christ is viewed by Muslims as another messenger of God, with a slightly lower status than Mohammed, but still an official messenger of the Big One.

    Patriotism and oil have nothing to do with war. War has always been about sex and territory; look at the animal kingdom. It’s relatively recently that humanity has added religion to S and T as something worth fighting for. What crazier reason could there be for killing somebody than protecting a god who should be strong enough to look after himself!

    It’s not without good cause that the World Health Organisation includes “religiosity” in its list of mental illnesses.

    Did you know that humanity has created more than 2,500 deities. “God” is merely one of them! And we’re prepared to go to war and to kill one another over these daft fantasies.

    Still believe in rational economic Man?

  2. I suppose there are always going to be opposing ideas about what is acceptable when commenting on religion.

    Britain is pretty secular (as with many countries) and this is in conflict with religious views which say you cannot critise or comment on religion.

    An interesting debate about Sharia law has been discussed on the news since the Archbishop of Cantebury spoke about it in his speech. It was mentioned in the news in Australia too:

  3. Karl von Clausewitz wrote, “war is the continuation of politics by other means” in other words war is about want, need, power: economics.

    Included within this is the need/want to propagate in both physical (sex) and ideological (religion, etc.) ways.

    War is not about SEX itself; it’s about the power gained from the result e.g. continuation of a people, their ideas and beliefs, the want/need of physical and philosophical expansion for example.

  4. I think you would see a stronger reaction in the usa than the uk, with a lot of vitriol, death threats etc, but not on the same level as the reactions to the cartoons.

  5. “I wonder what people would fight about if there were no such thing as religion, patriotism or oil.”

    Trust me, they’d find something.

    “Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised.” –Marilyn Manson

  6. ” Angela Conway of the Australian Family Association went a little further and said “The ideas are offensive and really border on blasphemous. It’s just completely fanciful and self-obsessive.” “

    Why is it really so bad? Bordering on blasphemous, she says.

    For all we know Jesus could have been homosexual, and could of had man-to-man relationships (if he existed). If the play was about Jesus and women, would she be so worried?

    Sure anything with “Christ” in it will be taken seriously by some people, but the rest seem to only pipe up when something “atrocious” like homosexuality gets involved.

    Christians, and followers of most religions, are far too homophobic.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.Leviticus 20:13 Christians arent homophobic, christians believe in what God says is right.

  8. Who saw god say that? Sounds like something that a homophobic man would say, not a god. God isnt something that sits around thinking up rules to control society, its men that sit around thinking up rules to control society, so all religions should rethink who wrote their “holy” books. A society controlling god or a society controllong man?

  9. This is the most asinine comment I have ever seen. Let’s take a simple case of logic here. Relativism – what you believe is your deal, what I believe is my deal. Don’t let them overlap. What do you do when they do, when there is a conflict resulting in a contradiction? Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Now you need an arbitrator. Does that make them right? Does it make them wrong? Or do you go to war over it? Duke it out? Battle of wits? Whatever. Man has this crazy notion that there is right and wrong. Where could that possibly have come from? Could there possibly be a Great Arbitrator who’s name actually is God who has determined right from wrong? or are we all just fools calling each other intolerant and ignorant when no one really knows what they are really talking about?
    You know, it’s very hypocritical to think that in one sense a gay man is entitled to be upset, sue, hate, force his views on others and expect everyone to be “tolerant” of his views and then be bothered that some religious person got upset because another man offended the image of their Lord and Saviour in such a revolting way. If we are suppose to be so “tolerant” of EVERYTHING, that would include intolerance. Now there’s an interesting dichotomy.
    Somewhere, somehow, someone is right and the other is wrong. The question is, who has more evidential support for their system of belief? Ironically, those defending the gay portrayal of the Jesus like figure seemed to be looking to themselves for those answers. And I fail to see how that is relevant to me (or anyone else for that matter) about the truth of this situation.
    Truth is not an opinion, get that straight (no pun intended).

  10. Anonymous says:

    Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
    Luke 23:34


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