“Students at a public high school in Hartford, Connecticut, recently walked out of a controversial play that was welcomed by school officials who feel students need more exposure to homosexuality to address the issue of bullying. The production titled Zanna, Don’t! depicts an alternate universe set in Heartsville, U.S.A. where homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuals are “outcasts” who are forced to keep their relationships hidden.” One scene in particular disturbed the audience and sent many climbing over chairs and screaming in an effort to leave the building. It was asked to be removed from the play beforehand but the Principal, Adam Johnson, decided to leave it in and just warn the students about it. The scene in question shows two male actors embraced in a passionate kiss. The premise behind the play reminds me of an episode of Twilight Zone (“Eye of the Beholder”) In that episode, a woman is thought to be hideous by the pig-faced society around her. When she is actually quite beautiful . Similar to Ayla’s struggle in Jean M. Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear. Where the play went wrong, however, was the passionate kissing scene. I don’t see that as being acceptable in any high school, even if the two kissing were heterosexuals. It appears that Principal Johnson pushed it a bit too far. Maybe he did have the best intentions in his attempts to knock out their problem with homosexuals being bullied. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf (deaf = screaming/ running) ears. Is bullying a problem? ABSOLUTELY. Regardless of the subject. Should it be dealt with? ABSOLUTELY. I appreciate Johnson’s efforts but I wish he had thought it out a bit more carefully. But, just as the homosexual community shouldn’t be forced to live their lives in a way that someone else believes is correct..so should they also allow those who do not agree, to live their lives. Let me be clear, there is an enormous difference between simply preferring/believing in another way of life (heterosexual Christians, for example) and displaying hate and contempt for those that choose to be different (unfortunately this sometimes also includes heterosexual Christians).
There is a story in the bible of a Samaritan woman at a well (John 4). Jesus has been traveling and is tired and thirsty when he comes upon her. In doing so, he breaks several Jewish customs. 1. He speaks to a woman. 2. She is Samaritan, a group the Jews traditionally despised. 3. He asks her for a drink of water, which makes him “unclean” from using her cup or jar. Jesus then talks with her about her previous husbands and that the man she is currently living with is NOT her husband. When the woman says that the “Messiah” is coming, Jesus answers that it is him. At this, the disciples come on the scene. They are shocked to see what Jesus is doing. The woman then returns to her town and invites the people to come see Jesus. The Samaritans come to the well and beg Jesus to stay with them and teach them. So He does.
Knowing she was socially unacceptable, Jesus still treated her with respect. He didn’t come up to her with a picket sign proclaiming “I hate whores” or “Samaritans Suck and are going to Hell”. He asked her for a drink of water, which she gave him. He spoke with her gently, not perspiration inducing/fist pumping holy rhetoric. He didn’t force his views on her, nor did he force his way to her town to “tell all the sinners how to get right with God”. They invited him into their village, eagerly. It’s hard for us now to understand how strong the hatred was that Jews had for Samaritans. Samaritans were a mixed race people (intermarrying with Assyrians centuries before). They were hated for this, and for having their own version of the bible and their own temple. The woman at the well was even shunned by her own people. Evidenced by her act of drawing water at the hottest part of the day, instead of the usual morning or evening times. She was rejected because of her own immorality (several divorces, living with someone who was not her husband). So here is Jesus, not only speaking to a Samaritan..but a woman that even the Samaritans shunned. She would have been considered by the Jews as “the lowest of the low”. And not only speaking to her..but drinking from her cup.
The bottom line is this: Do not force someone to live according to your beliefs, whichever side of the fence you live on. Whether that is making a play containing a scene with 2 males kissing passionately a mandatory event, or displaying hate and anger to those who are marching in a Pride parade. Those for homosexuality, let it be a choice for those who are not. ..and for those against it…if you want to act out of anger and hate in the name of Jesus, you really need to check your resources. If you want to draw lines in the sand and refuse to associate with those living outside of your beliefs in the name of Jesus legalism, check your resources. I will leave with the frighteningly fearful and small minded words of “Leader” from “Eye of the Beholder”. Words that, although sometimes tweaked, are heard too often from the pulpit…
Leader: We know now that there must be a single purpose! A single norm! A single approach! A single entity of peoples! A single virtue! A single morality! A single frame of reference! A single philosophy of government! We must cut out all that is different like a cancerous growth! It is essential in this society that we not only have a norm, but that we conform to that norm! Differences weaken us! Variations destroy us! An incredible permissiveness to deviation from this norm is what has ended nations and brought them to their knees! Conformity we must worship and hold sacred! Conformity is the key to survival!