Hyperbole, thy name is the Cincinnati Catholic Community...

A writer to my local paper, on the play Corpus Christi:

Link.

Kinda like how all those people outraged over the molested children were a bunch of anti-Catholics, too.

Somebody needs to explain to this halfwit what a real hate crime looks like. Then he needs a thermonuclear rolleye-smiley bomb dropped in his back yard.

More on the Gay Jesus and the people who protest him.

I mean, the protest itself was all well and good, if a little predictable, except for the fact that one of the people quoted in the story above is Amanda Mayes, a local “civil rights” leader who has a hand in the national boycott of Downtown for our intolerance and ignorance.

On that same letters page, a guy actually say the following in re the removal of the 10 Commandments from a local public school district:

Sorry if this is a little disjointed. Sometimes the whole conceptualist fucked-uppedness of this town really gets to me.

What, specifically, is a hate crime?

It’s unclear how I can use Espirix’s post to discern what the definition of a hate crime should be. Should I infer that, in your view, a hate crime must include a physical attack?

Before I can decide if the characterization of this play as a hate crime is valid, it seems to me we must define a hate crime.

Well, you’ve gotta admit that the parade of idiots who write in to the Cincinnati Enquirer make for entertaining reading.

Nothing like reading the latest nasty, divisive letter on race relations and then realizing that it was written by a minister.
I’d like to believe that Cincinnati is actually a pretty progressive place and the Enquirer is just playing up the rancor to sell papers.

Are the parade of idiots who came up with that play really any better? The gay Jesus thing is pretty stupid after all. I don’t have much respect for “art” that consists of nothing more than shock value.

A play can’t really be a hate crime because it isn’t a crime, but it wouldn’t exactly surprise me if the authors of the play had a very strong dislike of Christian religious tradition.

Wait - I have heard people suggest that hate speech is a crime. If this is so, why not a play? If I write a play that supports the murder of gays, is that hate speech?

Cincinnati Catholic checking in here. Haven’t seen the play Corpus Christi and don’t intend to. I can take well-meaning criticism of my religion or even farces a la Monty Python. In-your-face plays like “The Vagina Monologue” don’t bother me as long as its purpose isn’t solely to provoke. But it seems to me that this playwright is deliberately trying to offend in order to generate publicity. And that is usually a sign that the work can’t stand on its own merit.

Had the work been about a transgendered Dalai Lama, would you expect that no Buddhists (or non-Buddhists) would protest? And would it bother you as much if they did? Because, frankly, from your posts, it seems to me that you have a clear bias against people of faith.

How you got from point A to point B here is beyond me, but these two issues have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

So I must have missed the part where the guy said he was: a) catholic or b) from Cincinnati (Adams County being 45 miles east of Cincinnati).

Let me start by saying that i don’t believe that “hate speech,” whatever that might be, should be a crime. I think we should punish bad acts, not bad speech, unless the speech constitutes a direct threat or some other legally-defined crime, such as conspiring to commit murder, etc.

I suppose that determining whether or not hate speech is a crime would involve looking at the laws of the state in question. For example, a few months ago in the thread about Gwen Araujo, i linked to the section of the California Penal Code that covers hate crimes. IANAL, but as far as i can tell there is nothing there that suggests that speech is a hate crime. Others may want to question my assessment, and i can certainly see room for a judge to interpret the hate crimes section loosely enough to incorporate speech. The relevant section says:

I’m not sure what the Ohio law says, and i’m too lazy to look it up right now.

I live near Cincinnati and I’m a Catholic, although I’m not sure how much longer I will be. I seem to be fast wandering off to skeptical deist. But I figure I should use what little Catholic powers I have left for good. So I’ll make a proclamation.

Know that within the bounds of this nation one must accept the rights that protect us even as these same rights might offend. Go forth then and witness blasphamy if thou willist to do so, it can’t be any worse than “reality” TV.

Feel free to defend me at my excommunication. Bring pie.

Blackclaw: If that’s all you’ve done to warrant excommunication, you’ll probably have to wait awhile. They don’t give up on you that easily… believe me, I’ve tried.

Actually, from what I’ve read, the play is more of an exploration of faith by a segment of the population that’s all-too-often condemned by self-righteous Christians. Quoth a review on Amazon:

Now I haven’t seen it, so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the review, but a lot of the controversy seems to be coming from loudmouths who haven’t actually read or seen the play, either.

Bricker:

I waffle between accepting “hate crimes” as aggravating factors and not accepting them as thought crimes. It’s a complex issue for me. If I’m in an aggravating factor mood, the situation described in Esprix’s post fits neatly in what I’m willing to label a hate crime. YMMV.

I don’t, however, accept the idea of criminalizing “hate speech” alone, under any circumstances, whether it’s by Opus Dei, the Klan, or Eddie Izzard.

Lisa:

I was raised Catholic, and most of my family remains so. At the moment, my fiancee and I are trying to work out how we’re going to break it to them that we won’t be getting married in the Church. She went to Purcell for a couple of years as a non-Catholic, so she’s been burned pretty badly by both the shepherds and the flock, and I don’t blame her. Still, I find myself defending it in situations where I think the criticism is uwarranted, and I find the rabid hatred of some of the ex-Catholics I run into occasionally as repulsive as the knee-jerk defensiveness of some of the devout. Hell, I’m a fan of Romero.

As for the patent offensiveness of the play, well, see my reply to Rex. Even if it is a deliberate attack on the Church, I’ve got to wonder how GLBT folk feel about the current conventional wisdom that lays the blame for the molestation crisis at the feet of queer clergy members. Everybody knows about them child molesting gays, right? Given the way that the Church has treated it’s homosexual members over the years, I think a bit of needling is probably in order.

About my linking the (presumably Protestant) Ten Commandments wackos in Adams County with Cincinnati Catholics: let’s just say I expected better from the Church I grew up in. I know I should have known better when some equated criticism of Pilarczyk’s stonewalling over the molestation investigations as a return to Know-Nothingism. I’m just sick and tired of Christians of any denomination spouting histronic about the persecution they face in the Cincinnati area, when you probably won’t find a more theocratic town north of the Mason-Dixon. It’s getting really, really, really old.

I’m a playwright. I have written several plays with strong religious overtones, some of them negative. Most of this comes from my own experiences with Christianity and I use them in my works. What a character says doesn’t necessarily stand for the author’s own views. If I’ve written a play that has characters in favor of murdering gays, that’s not validating it, it’s exploring those characters - characters, just like people, are not perfect, and something’s got to cause conflict.

I don’t agree with many teachings from the Catholic Church. Just because some of my characters do, it doesn’t mean that those are my views.

Ava