Today, Playbill put out an article entitled Local Production of Inherit the Wind Canceled Due to Religious Objections. The Mankato Free Press wrote about it here, three days earlier. And it got me thinking.
Freedom can be bittersweet in its beauty.
A rural Minnesotan town of 13,000, founded by conservative Lutherans 160 years ago and home to both a conservative Lutheran college (as well as a Roman Catholic Diocese), putting pressure on residents to quit a play that goes against the conservative Lutheran religious agenda…doesn’t really shock me. Or bother me, really. In fact, it kinda’ makes me fall in love with my country.
It is the reality of First Amendment Rights. There was nothing illegal or immoral – even the former director said he quit because he got sick of being asked “Are you seriously gonna’ do that play?” In fact, the ACLU tried to stick their nose into it and the former director told them to piss off.
It’s the definition of civil discourse. Nobody got threatened. Nobody engaged in corruption or extortion. It was really nothing more than a play that got cancelled because it was unpopular and people didn’t want to see it. That happens all the time.
If a stage play with some anti-gay elements was set to show in San Francisco, I can see a similar situation occurring…but possibly not so civil…and probably reported by more outfits than just Playbill and a local newspaper. The fact that that hasn’t happened really makes me think, “No one is dumb enough to try to put on a homophobic play in San Francisco.” But the converse of that is, “Putting on a play that goes against a fundamental Christian teaching in a small town that is basically owned by conservative Lutheranism is kinda’ dumb.”
America is an amazing place founded in freedom. Occurrences like these are actually Wins for that ideology. No unconstitutional legislation or behavior – just The Power of The People, freely stating what they want – and getting it. The very definition of Constitutionality. The bittersweet beauty of freedom.
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