Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision to prohibit state facilities from processing military benefits for National Guard personnel in legal, same-sex marriages has been widely criticized and even mocked on a national level.
Now, Fallin has expressed at least some empathy for a local group of pastors, who are protesting the play, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. The play, which is scheduled to start running Dec. 5 at CitySpace Theater in Oklahoma City, has been described by one writer as “a gleefully queer play based on the Bible.” It is a comedy that satirizes biblical stories.
The protesting pastors have signed a letter arguing the play might violate state and federal obscenity laws, a dubious, overreaching claim. They also say the play is “overtly offensive,” but that is a highly subjective claim. Obviously, many people found the comedy to be extremely entertaining during its off-Broadway run in New York or it wouldn’t be still performed around the country. The pastors also ask rather dramatically in their letter, ” . . . why is it necessary to profane Jesus Christ?” That’s just empty war-on-Christmas rhetoric. Satire and humor can always carry meaningful artistic and moral value. The play might be viewed as redemptive in this regard.
A spokesperson for Fallin said no state funds are being used to stage the play, adding Fallin “would not support using state funds for an event that would be intentionally offensive to Oklahoma’s faith based community.” Again, it’s a sweeping generalization to imply the play is “intentionally offensive.” I’m sure there are people in the so-called faith-based community here that would actually enjoy the play.
Keep in mind that Fallin is up for re-election in 2014. She seems to be still banking on anti-gay political stances for votes. That may still be effective in conservative Oklahoma, but that’s changing, and someday it won’t be the case. Fallin remains on the wrong side of history.
And, as is always the case in situations like this, the pastors’ letter and Fallin’s public stance are only giving the play more publicity.