Gay-Jesus Play “Corpus Christi” Shut Down In Athens, Cast Charged With Blasphemy

A production of Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi in Greece has been canceled and its cast and producers charged with blasphemy.

The play, which imagines Jesus and the Apostles as modern-day gay men in Texas, had drawn violent protests by priests and members of the nationalist party Golden Dawn, Reuters reports.

Dozens of demonstrators, including some from Golden Dawn, blocked the entrance of the theater and clashed with police on the night of its premiere last month.

Bearded black-robed priests holding crosses were shown on television tearing up posters promoting the play. The Orthodox Church is an integral part of Greek society and a powerful institution.

Director Laertis Vasilio, one of the defendants named in a lawsuit filed by Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus, said authorities should be focusing on Greece’s crippling corruption scandals: “What I see is that there are people who have robbed the country blind who are not in jail and the prosecutor turns against art.” Vasiliou and his crew face several months in prison if found guilty of insulting religion, malicious blasphemy and other charges.

This is hardly the first time Corpus Christi has faced such ire—playwright McNally received death threats during its 1998 Broadway run, and a documentary about the play brought out Christian groups when it screened in April in San Francisco.


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  • Guillermo3

    Well,judging from the one photo,Jesus was cute!

  • Ogre Magi

    No mater what country, Christians are always turds

  • Guillermo3

    @Ogre Magi: But,Ogre Magi,turds
    make good fertilizer_Especially sanctified turds!

  • kennetho9322

    Art is Art! Get over it! I remember WAAAAAY back when “Jesus of Montreal” was considered scandalous!

  • Cosmic Destroyer

    First Barbados, then Jamaica, now Greece? How much pink dollar do these places take in anyway?

  • 2eo

    Blasphemy is a made up crime too protect made up beliefs. Nothing more.

  • Dumdum

    When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity; when many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Besides everyone knows that Joshua was Gay.[That was his real name, it happens to be Hebrew] Mohammed was a pederast. And God is a large Black Jewish Lesbian. Carl Marx said that. “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” Truer words were never spoken.

  • hyhybt

    @Ogre Magi: Thank you for the unreasonably overbroad generalization.

    As for the article… “This is hardly the first time Corpus Christi has faced such ire” seems to equate governmental action, actually locking people up, with mere protests. In a sense, death threats are the opposite: in that situation, the law is on the side of the one threatened.

  • Marjorie 0120

    I suspect that as a country in dire straights as they are, religion becomes more important to them as many face hunger and homelessness. I am not surprised at the reaction. Imagine how we would feel if a play depicting the average gay as pediphiles, who killed their victims, all the worst things imaginable were playing here in the USA. I can’t believe it would be allowed to play unprotested as simply being “art”. Attacking the Christ figure, the core of Christian beliefs is an iffy proposition at best. The play is disrespectful and offensive to believers, it would not be tolerated if the main character were Mohammed, Budda or any other religious figure head.

  • hyhybt

    @Marjorie 0120: Does the play really “attack the Christ figure,” or does it only seem to on the assumption that being gay is horrible? A serious question; I’ve never seen it.

    Not that either excuses imprisonment.

  • Marjorie 0120


    I’ve not seen it either and seeing it is the only way to really answer your question. From the article it appears that Christ is portrayed as being gay and that in and of itself would be considered an affront to believers. Plus, if he were condemning gay life, I doubt the priests would be upset about it, just logically thinking.

  • Guillermo3

    @kennetho9322: Yes,kennetho9322:
    And “Hail Mary”,and “The Last Temptation of Christ”,etc.,etc.,etc.

  • hyhybt

    @Marjorie 0120: To SOME believers, being portrayed as gay would by itself be an insult. What about the others?

    (Sorry, but leaving out that qualifier is a sore point. Hopefully you can see why.)

  • Guillermo3

    @Dumdum: True,Dumdum,but
    atheism is often an opiate for some today.I have an,unfortunately,
    straight friend who is out of work[for years,thanks
    to the “Inside Job” and the GOP]who is militantly atheist.

  • Guillermo3

    @2eo: 2eo,as an atheist friend of
    mine says:”Blasphemy is a victimless crime.”

  • Guillermo3

    @Cosmic Destroyer: Lots of pink $$!!,
    Cosmic Destroyer.Think of Mykonos,Super Paradise in Santorini,Puerta Villarta,etc.,etc.,etc.For better,or worse[both,I think],gays have
    a way of finding and sometimes over-running places which are
    beautiful and where we can be[sometimes obnoxiously]free.

  • Guillermo3

    @kennetho9322: kennetho9322,
    It goes back much farther,too:To the classical world,to the
    Renaissance,and more recently_almost 20 years ago in the
    Musee’ D’Orsay,I saw a large post-Symbolist painting
    [artist’s name,I’ve forgotten]of A gay Christ and 12 demonstrably Gay Apostles.

  • Marjorie 0120

    I believe we are agreeing here just using different language. Portraying Christ as a gay man regardless of the rest of the play, it’s message or goal would be offensive to his believers given what the majority of them believe to be the Bible’s message about homosexuality.

    I don’t believe it to the benefit of our community, but yet another wedge between the two different belief systems. I have no idea what the person in charge had as it’s goal but certainly he could not have thought it would be positive. So was it his intent to hurt us or well, he could not as I said, think it would endear us to those on the fence of trying to decide how they feel about gays and our causes. I feel that the positive presentation of who we are is more effective than a hate filled ugly one.

    As to “what about the others?” I think that deliberately defiling the beliefs of a religion, any religion, does not sit well with many, many of whom may be unbelievers. I am not a Muslim, Jewish or a Buddist but it would never cross my mind to see how disrespectful I could be to the basic tenents of those religions. It’s just provocative and no good can result from it. Like everyone else I have my own personal system of beliefs but don’t feel that gives me any license to slam dunk someone elses’ regardless of how different they are from my own.

    People are thinking about gay issues. There are those who will never accept it, we can’t win them over. There are those who totally accept us and wish us the best, we don’t need to convince them. It’s the undecided that should be the focus of our efforts and I think we have to present ourselves as normal, working people who live productive loving lives, just like them accept for one little difference.

  • 2eo

    @Guillermo3: I still disagree.

    To consider it a crime means it is granted a tangible, readable and measurable entity. Religion offers nothing considered tangible or worthwhile, ergo a crime against it is impossible.

  • Guillermo3

    @2eo: Too clever by.000001,2eo!

  • BayAreaHomo

    Greece is careening towards Nazism at a breathtaking pace, as their economy continues to collapse.

    The Golden Dawn is, quite simply, the Nazi Party. It has rounded up groups of people who assault immigrants, Muslims, Jews, gays and other minorities — often with the police looking the other way.

    This isn’t the only cultural event that the Greek Nazis have disrupted through abuse of the law. An Albanian concert was cancelled when the GD stormed the concert hall, beat up attendees, and used Molotov cocktails to set the hall on fire while the police stood by and did nothing.

    That LGBT people are now being targeted — successfully — speaks to the collapse of Europe back into its old bad habit of Nazism. The world should respond harshly and decisively.

  • Dumdum

    @Marjorie 0120: I do not want to be assimilated. The only thing I have in common with anyone are strands of DNA. Oh sure I am Homo Sapiens Sapiens. And I also eat and breath and poop. But I do not kill other human beings. I will not kowtow to The Borg to gain acceptance. They must evolve to accept us. I don’t object to meeting them halfway. But in the immortal words of The Great Bard. William Shakespeare as true then as now. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs,
    dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with
    the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
    to the same diseases, heal’d by the same means,
    warm’d and cool’d by the same winter and summer
    as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
    If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us,
    do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
    If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.
    If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility?
    Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his
    sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge.
    The villainy you teach me, I will execute,
    and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

  • dwighter

    @Loise, you make $27h thats great going girl good for you! My story is that I quit working at shoprite to work online, seriously I couldn’t be happier I work when I want and where I want. And with a little effort I easily bring in $35h and sometimes even as much as $85h…heres a good example of what i’m doing, cloud68DOtcom

  • GayBacon

    Doesn’t the christian religious right use protests by Muslims as a proverbial cudgel? I wonder what they would think about this.

  • Guillermo3

    @dwighter: @dwighter:I’ve asked
    this before,but don’t see my question here,so,again}Who is Loise?
    Can’t find her/his comment anywhere.

  • Daniel-Reader

    So Greeks should burn the Koran in response to these blasphemy charges, since the existence of the Koran is by definition automatically blasphemy against Christianity. And then the Greek government and the Orthodox Church leaders can deal with the resulting war triggered with the Muslims.

  • Dumdum

    @Guillermo3: About dwighter…The guy is plugging his website on Queerty. The goal of every human being should be to expand ones knowledge of the universe and the world in which we live. To be consciously evolving, not sitting about complacently chewing the cud of ignorance. The day that I stop questioning the world I live in and the people that I share it with, will be the day after I die. I often forget that people with limited intelligence have neither the desire nor the capacity to expand their consciousness. I question everything, I do not want to be comfortable, content, like some bloody bovine animal mucking up the world waiting for some Hebrew scholar who may have lived around 28–29 AD/CE, to swoop in and save me as if I were a damsel in distress, or to reconcile my guilty homosexual desires with some imagined sense of acceptance. I already love myself because I am a pretty neat guy. I do not lie cheat steal or kill. I am respected in my community I help others when I can and I try to make my carbon footprint on this planet as small as possible, all without the aid of an imaginary friend. Challenging these peoples beliefs, pushing their buttons and even pissing them off is a necessary evil. History is rife with such events which ultimately lead to change.

  • hyhybt

    @Marjorie 0120: We do seem to agree mostly. But what do you mean by “the two different belief systems?”

    It’s incredibly frustrating that Christians who do not believe there is anything wrong with being gay are almost always treated by nearly everyone but themselves as if they don’t even exist. That’s why I insisted on inserting the word “some,” and that’s who I was referring to by “what about the others.” I’m curious about whether this play would offend such people.

  • Marjorie 0120


    I used the term two different belief systems loosely, sorry if I confused you. Basically one system of belief would say being gay is as natural as being left handed or red headed even though not typical attributes of the majority of people. The other belief system saying that it is an abomination, abhorrent to the tenants of their churches. This would include Christianity, Islam, etc. Within the two extremes there are those who while are believers (positive or negative leaning towards the gay community), are open to other ideas. Insulting their core beliefs in whatever religion they practice may cause a resentment that closes their pre-existing openness to other ideas.

    Some feel we should not bend and use a softer approach but my concern is many, many people live their whole lives and the only “news” they hear about gays is the outlandish garb at gay parades or scandalous “news” promoted by the Hollywood crowd and the media. There is a place for an aggressive approach I simply think it has to be a balanced approach.

    Most gay men I know live quiet “normal” lives, are not flaming queens that march in G-Strings. While there is a place for that, I don’t think it should be our main focus or only focus in presenting ourselves as “normal”. There are gay people in every facet of employment, in every possible career, why can’t we promote those who excel occasionally. Gay families whose children excel in school or gain merit as adults, some of whom are gay and some of whom are straight. Some straight people believe that a child raised in a gay household will be a gay adult without having had a balanced life in their opinion. Many vote against gay marriage because it would include adoption rights for gays. As a community I see very little done to combat this narrow view. As a gay person I can’t make your child gay anymore than you can make your child straight. Where’s that message?

    All said by me is my opinion only and I respect that others have different opinions.

  • Guillermo3

    @Dumdum: NICE COMMENTS!!,Dumdum!
    I figured shilling his site is what dwighter was doing}Not the
    first time that has happened here.These salesmen are almost as
    bad as the self-hating closet cases who,TOO FREQUENTLY,
    spew their Homophobic hate mail here.

Comments are closed.