Could you imagine Jesus Christ as a gay man? Filmmakers can, but many Christians can't.
Casting Jesus Christ as a gay man was always going to be a controversial move, and the producers of "Corpus Christi" knew that they'd ruffle some feathers.
And they did. Pennsylvania-based Christian group America Needs Fatima blasted the “blasphemous homosexual play” and demanded a “public apology to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to all God-fearing Americans," according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Yet several LGBT politicians and theologians will stand side-by-side at the Castro Theatre this weekend when the film is screened in support of the movie, the newspaper reported.
“Corpus Christi: Playing With Redemption,” is a documentary, and follows actors and promoters as they hold productions of Terrence McNally’s 1998 play, “Corpus Christi,” which depicts Jesus living in 1950s Texas, the newspaper reported.
The play also depicts Jesus as having sexual encounters with his apostles, according to the newspaper.
Such artistic expression has not come easy: actors and producers have endured bomb threats, harassing emails and comments on YouTube, and harassment of the director’s mother, according to the newspaper.
State Sen. Mark Leno and Supervisor Scott Wiener, both of whom are LGBT, said they supported both the film and the protesters' First Amendment rights, but that bomb threats and hate mail crossed the line.
Despite the hoopla, the show will go on.
“We have no doubt that ‘Corpus Christi’s’” message of God’s inclusive love for LGBT people will drown out the angry words of those who attack our play without having seen it,” director Nic Arnzen told the newspaper.
If this riles them, they'd best stay away from Dolores Park on Easter Sunday. Every year a "Hunky Jesus" contest is held.