Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Christians, Disabilities, and Power

News Flash. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Doug Grow, it is OK to ridicule Christians, because Christians "represent power."

Well, sometimes BNW has a pretty good idea what will offend. For example, it's had productions with such titles as "Ripped Off the Cross! The Last Crusade of Bill B'Jesus."

Not surprisingly, some Christians weren't amused. But Christians, and other groups pilloried by BNW, represent power. Mental disability equals powerlessness.

Caleb McEwen, BNW's artistic director, said he can't be too concerned about offending.

"We have the right to be wrong'

"People have the right to be offended and we have the right to be wrong," McEwen said. "If we can't use the word 'retard,' does that mean we should not use idiot, moron, or crazy, either? Eventually, we can't say anything."

McEwen pointed out that the word "celebretard" is never used in the script.

But that, according to Sherry Gray, is part of the problem.

Gray, a St. Paul woman who is guardian for her sister, who has intellectual disabilities, is the person who put a national spotlight on the title. She saw an ad for the production and posted her thoughts -- "This is wrong" -- on an international website for people who have family members with disabilities. Not surprisingly, most of the website users share her despair.

"It's the use in the title, with no context, that bothers me," Gray said. "I'd like to see them change the title. But if they can't do that, I hope this can at least be a teachable moment."

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1 Comments:

Blogger Mahan said...

I cannot remember exactly where I read it, so please be aware this is anecdotal, but I do recall reading that anti-Catholicism (and, by extension, Christianity) is the last great American predjudice allowable in today's society.

Given the ideological makeup of many members of the press (but by no means all), I am unsurprised by the underlying comments in Mr. Grow's column.

May 15, 2007 6:31 PM  

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