Corpus Christi Cancelled After Blasphemy Protests

Corpus Christi Cancelled After Blasphemy Protests

A play dramatizing the story of Christ and the Apostles has been closed down following protests from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party and religious groups that it was blasphemous, theater officials said.

Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi, directed by Albania-born Laertis Vasiliou, had been staged at the Hytirio theater in the central Athens Gazi district for the past three weeks.

“Performances of Corpus Christi at Hytirio theater will stop. It was not our intention to provoke ‘religious sentiment’ or to create tensions,” organizers said in a statement on Nov. 1. They said they were sorry that people ended up being beaten and abused because of the play.
“We tried to go on with the play for three weeks. It was not possible… continuing as if nothing is happening is not a solution,” they said.

The Athens premiere of the play on Oct. 11 after opponents led by Golden Dawn staged a protest in which a journalist who was using his mobile phone to video it was beaten while police watched and did nothing and one person who was arrested was released from a police bus by a member of the party while police did nothing to stop him.

Vassileiou, who is of Greek origin, and Vassia Panagopoulou, one of the actors, said in announcing the cancellation that they didn’t want to provoke distress. t their goal was not to provoke such a distress. They said they respected the Greek Orthodox Church, which had objected to the play’s showing, but noted the work by American playwright Terrence McNally had appeared in other countries without protest and said the showing in Greece was brought down by religious fanatics.  The play has been asked to take part in two international festivals, International Theatre Festival MESS Sarajevo and Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogota.

(Source: theinsider.gr)

 

  • Anonymous

    I’m not religious but the play was clearly intended to provoke religious people. (like those that intentionally provoke Muslims with ridicule of Allah. I think people should have a right to watch this crap if they want to but its crappy “art”.

    On another note…. there is no need to qualify Golden Dawn as “neo-Nazi” every time talk about that party. The party itself does not call itself nazi. This is just parroting foreign press.

    While some of its high ranking members are racist (with some even plausibly admiring fascist ideology) in practice most of its members seem to be along Metaxas line than Hitler supporters. In addition I think the majority that support that party in the polls don’t support the parties views beyond deporting illegals. Simply parroting foreign press when most Greeks should know who Metaxas was only shows low standards of journalism.

  • Anonymous

    What do you expect. Far leftists like Spyros Kouvoussis references crypto-commies Syriza like “human rights’ experts. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he called IMRO propagandists “ethnic macedonians”.

     http://eu.greekreporter.com/2012/10/30/syriza-mep-chountis-says-siemens-deals-wrong/

    Most of our leftists have learned absolutely nothing from our massive debt and illegal progblem  Rather than focus basics like defense and private industry they want to continue to encourage Greeks to rant again some illuminate “elite”, rant “racism” and “fascist”towards any Greek that tries to defend our homeland, and continue to beg for handouts (just like they  have for the last 30 years) .

    The ones that rant ‘corruption” in greek media are generally the same ones that supported ever increasing government spending these last few years. Most of them voted Pasok and now pretend they didn’t. All the do is rant without offering a way forward that differs from anything they’ve said in the past. These commies and crypto-commies don’t want austarity because they want to continue their looting money off other taxpayers, the banks, the EU, IMF,…. whomever they can parasitically take money from… rather than live off their own efforts.

  • Anonymous

    What’s ironic is Kouvoussis references Golden Dawn as “neo-Nazis” against their own will (who I would agree are extremists but I would not call them Nazis more along lines of Metaxas)…. while meanwhile he frames self-admitted communist supporters Syriza as “left-wing activists”.

    Has everyone already forgotten the cold war? Millions dead due to communism? I could understand criticism to far right extremists like GD but whats with the nostalgia over far left extremists like Syriza Mr. Kouvoussis? IMO these double standards in reporting… among some leftists that claim to be “moderates”…. are whats driving rightwing extremism. Too many allegedly leftists sound sympathetic to communism. Where are the voices of protest among allegedly moderate leftists againt violence of the far left? (which has been far more common these last few years). And why aren’t more of our leftists criticizing the leftist extremists in their ranks that treasonously lobby on behalf of IMRO propagandists?

  • Anonymous

    “the showing in Greece was brought down by religious fanatics”

    The showing was brought down to poor ticket sales due to bad press. Using “religious fanatics” as an an excuse is lame. (and I say this as someone that is not religious in the least)

    McNally ‘s play (who’s gay) is a second rate piece that shamelessly provokes religious folk  (even in the US) by using Jesus in support of gay marriage as a method to draw media attention to himself to sell tickets.

    This isn’t just a Greek thing. In the US it provoked American christians as well.  Texas’s Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst  said  “No one should have the right to use government
    funds or institutions to portray acts that are morally reprehensible to
    the vast majority of Americans,”.

    It received critical attention for its exploration of gay themes in Christianity It was also condemned by Catholic League, a Roman Catholic watchdog group, for what they viewed as blasphemy, sacrilege, and anti-Catholic bigotry.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Christi_%28play%29#cite_note-13

    While I don’t think there shouldn’t be laws to prevent anyone from showing such plays…protests by those that disagree is also fully within their right.  While burning Korans should be allowed  this does not mean we should go out of our way to intentionally burn Korans to anger Muslims. Making films singling out just Jews as a cult should be allowed too. This does not mean we should do so. 

    Have to wonder how Mr. McNally would react if religous folk start putting on plays mocking his sexual addiction to men’s behinds? Bet he would call it homophobia. Rude provocations may not be a a crime but it’s still bad behavior.

  • Anonymous

    “But noted the work by American playwright Terrence McNally had appeared in other countries without protest”

    Not true.  More shoddy journalism. Plenty of other religious groups in other states (including McNally’s native us) complained about the provocative nature of this play.

    Perhaps if Mr. Kouvoussis spend 5 minutes learning how to use Google… instead of manipulating facts to push his leftist political views… others could take him more seriously.

  • Da Prof

     The issue is not whether censorship should be legislated, but whether legislators should have police at their disposal to protect them taking executive power into their own hands for political purposes, in violation of the constitution.

  • Da Prof

     You should run for political office in the USA. Your arguments sound as if they came straight out of a neoconservative think tank. Surely just a coincidence…

  • S Kouvoussis

     Just a few points

    1) I know that the play had faced protests in other countries as well. This is what the producers said in their announcement though. In the last paragraph I am telling what they say in their announcement. So, blame them for saying something that doesn’t represent the truth. I am just summarizing their announcement. It is true though that such violent protests have never taken place in any other Western country.

    2) GD is a neon-Nazi gang. Not a party. It is a gang. What it is neon-Nazi? Because it supports SS,SA, Hitler and the original 1930’s German Nazis. Please visit their site. Their official ideology is “national socialism”, in German the first two syllabus make “Nazi”.

    3) The play is provocative only for homophobic people. I don’t see anything provocative or bad in Jesus being depicted as a gay. Being gay is natural. Being homophobic on the other hand is a mental disease.

    4) I really do not understand how my political point of view has anything to do with the play or freedom of speech. I am no “crypto-commie” though. I am openly socialist and a very proud one.  Syriza extremist? That’s a joke. Syriza is no different than most Social-democratic parties of the 1950’s. It is a neon-Keynesian party that speaks about state intervention in the economy in the form of raising public expenses.

    5) I haven’t seen the play, although I wanted. It might be “crap” in terms of art. But it should the viewers to decide that, not religious fanatics. What is going to be next? Kazantzakis?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dean-Hutch/100000645191738 Dean Hutch

     “Blasphemy”, for a gay man and atheist, is a victimless crime.  Blasphemy laws have NO place in modern-day society; France got rid of that bigotry- and supersitition-honoring crap 230-some years ago.  Religious dogma, like any other (socio-)political belief system, is or at least should be open to criticism, and those who push their arch-conservative agenda while spouting silly god-talk to justify their bigotry as well.

  • Anonymous

     And your sound like the came from Marx. Why not try offering some sort of solution for once rather than ranting about me or “the elite” comrade?

  • Anonymous

     I agree blasphemy laws are silly. However some widely exaggerate the situation in Greece. It has a blasphemy laws that are rarely enforced. By comparsion .in many Muslim states blasphemy IS enforced. (not to mention in some Muslim states being gay is a crime)

    All though their words and methods are wrongsSome of the reasons why GD are angry are actually morally justified. Illegals are not “Immigrants’ as foreign nationalists keep trying to frame them. They are border violaters that need to be deported.

    Another eason for the rise of extreme national group like GD is also because many of those that decided to reference the former Yugoslavians  as “ethnic macedonians” now dishoneslty pretend not not notice their sudden identity change into “descendents of ancient Macedonians” and rampent “united Macedonia” irredentist rhetoric. 

    Apparently racism is fine when its directed only against Greeks.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpFQUH_9VPA

  • Anonymous

    1. The way you phrased is was if you they were stating a fact.  You didn’t use a quote. You said “but noted the work by American playwright Terrence McNally had appeared in other countries without protest “, This was untrue.
     
    2.  Where do they say they “support Hitler”?  As far as I can tell they keep saying they support Metaxas and aren’t Nazis. This isn’t to say some in GD aren’t extremists but this does not automatically make them Nazis.

    3.  The play was intentionally provocative by using a key figure in Christianity. I am neither religious or homophobic but just because someone homosexual made a play doesn’t mean its beyond criticism.

    4. In practice Syriza is filled with COMMUNISTS. If you think that a party filled with Marxist and Leninist  isn’t extremism it only further illustrates your own extremism.

    5. I agree that the play should be allowed. I also believe people should be allowed to burn Korans or Torahs. However this doesn’t mean the play was in good taste. I don’t think all the people that protested this play were “religious fanatics” as you slanderous claim. I think some of them were just religious.

    I am not religoius in the least but I find it destrurbing how some Greek leftists obsessively criticize the Greek church yet stay dead silent about far far more extreme Muslim nations. IMO this double standard in reporting only fuels rightwing extremism (since many Greeks are starting to feel persecuted by leftist extremists who are overly obsessed with showing how they are “anti-nationalist” to the point they are bizarrely racist towards Greeks)

  • Anonymous

     I am not arguing for “censorship” .  I am arguing that the religious people offended by the play’s provocative nature had a moral right to do so.

  • Anonymous

    Its unfortunate that Mr. Kouvoussis sees a party filled with communists as “moderates”. I wonder if these sub-parties of Syriza has names like “nationalist socialist front’ and “neo-Nazis” would he have considered it “moderate”. Have allegedly moderate leftists you already forgotten the horrors of communism comrade Mr. Kouvoussis?

    Active Citizens (Ενεργοί Πολίτες): democratic socialism, patriotismAnticapitalist Political Group (ΑΠΟ): communism, trotskyismCommunist Organization of Greece (KOE): maoism, communismDemocratic Social Movement (DIKKI): left-wing nationalism, socialism,[35] euroscepticism[36]Ecosocialists of Greece: eco-socialism, left ecologyInternationalist Workers’ Left (DEA): revolutionary socialism, communism, trotskyismMovement for the United in Action Left (KEDA): communismRadical Left Group RozaRadicals (Ριζοσπάστες): democratic socialism, patriotismRed (Κόκκινο): communism, trotskyismRenewing Communist Ecological Left (AKOA): democratic socialism, eurocommunism, green politicsSynaspismós (SYN): democratic socialism,[37] eco-socialism,[4] eurocommunism,[5] environmentalism,[37] feminism[37] Unitary Movement: democratic socialism, social democracy
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_of_the_Radical_Left

  • Anonymous

    Some of our allegedly moderate leftist like like to lecture about ‘fascism”  seems to have conveniently forgotten that In the last 1940s many far leftists (in particular communists) were kicked out of Greece for engaging in treason and terrorist violence against other Greeks during Greek civil war.  While the rest of Greeks formed a democracy and aligned with free nations, some of our allegedly moderate leftists colluded with Tito and IMRO in trying to detach Macedonia from Greece as well as framed Stalin, Lenin, and Trotsky was “human rights”. I recommend you learn the names of the parties that are the backbone of Syriza and what they support before trying to make them appear like

    Our far leftist extremists also used to go on an on about “the elite” just like some of the communists in Syriza (akaCoalition of the Radical Left ) and even some of our allegedly “moderate” leftists do today .

    I can only hope their left wing extremism does not go on to extend to colluding with IMRO propagandists in trying to ethnically eradicate yet Greek again… or only noticing violence by right wing extremists while staying silent about the constant violence by leftists (which some leftists try to manipulatively frame as “protesters” rather than “left wing extremists”…..  or there is the real possibility of another civil war in Greece.

  • Anonymous

     Some of our allegedly moderate leftist like like to lecture about
    ‘fascism”  seems to have conveniently forgotten that In the last 1940s
    many far leftists (in particular communists) were kicked out of Greece
    for engaging in treason and terrorist violence against other Greeks
    during Greek civil war.  While the rest of Greeks formed a democracy and
    aligned with free nations, some of our allegedly moderate leftists
    colluded with Tito and IMRO in trying to detach Macedonia from Greece as
    well as framed Stalin, Lenin, and Trotsky as  “human rights”. I
    recommend you learn the names of the parties that are the backbone of
    Syriza and what they support before trying to make them appear like moderates.

    Our far leftist extremists during that era also used to go on an on about some conspiratorial  “elite”
    just like some of the communists in Syriza (akaCoalition of the Radical
    Left ) and even some of our allegedly “moderate” leftists do today. Their classwarfare rhetoric was to encourage class warfare and victimhood so leftist could generate support for their leftist cause. I have observed some allegedly moderate Greek leftists try to pretend only some of the elite stole money from government these last few years…. when we all know that the poor and middle class were robbing government coffers blind too. (including invading taxes)

    I can only hope the current rise of left wing extremism does not go on to extend to
    colluding with IMRO propagandists in trying to ethnically eradicate yet
    Greek again… or only noticing violence by right wing extremists while
    staying silent about the constant violence by leftists (which some
    leftists try to manipulatively frame as “protesters” rather than “left
    wing extremists”…..  or there is the real possibility of another civil
    war in Greece as left and right extremists fight each other.

  • Anonymous

     I have observed some like to  go on and on about other country’s thugs… but seem to have no problem tolerating the brutality some in their own nation have been up to these last few years.

    For instance how is the search for WMDs in iraq coming along… the WMDS that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed for?  How are the war crimes trials coming along for those that not only attacked a sovereign state under false pretenses but even violating the Geneva conventions by using torture?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

    Apparently violent thugs are tolerated as long as its about killing people in other nations not ones own. Sure is easy to argue for others to get into a civil war… ….while looking the other way with what’s going on in one’s own country.

  • crawlkill

    seeing a group of sane people apologize because neo-Nazis are attacking people because those sane people are permitted to exist in their own country makes me want to die. how does Greece expect to be taken seriously behaving this way? beg for money, complain about terms being applied thereto and then mimic the worst moment in human history -as perpetrated by the nation the money was begged from-? I just. I just don’t understand.