Matt Levin: Applauds PVPA production’s stand against bigotry
To the editor:
I’m writing in support of Scott Goldman, who heads the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA), its students and staff and their production of “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.” Those who petitioned that they find the play offensive to their religious beliefs show they have no idea about the school’s community — and no respect for that community’s beliefs. No idea that there are those who find the actions of these petitioners themselves offensive to decent society. No idea that what they find “blasphemous and hateful,” others can find thoughtfully challenging. No idea of the meaning, depth or use of satire to, in fact, drive home lessons these petitioners would probably approve.
Those who petitioned to close the show must believe in a God so ineffectual that “He” will be diminished, so insecure that cleverly written lines in a stage play would crush His spirit. They petition, they step in, because apparently God won’t (which should be a clue). They would have us believe that participation in a stage play, which requires people to study, concentrate, perfect memory and movement and coordination with a large group of others, will suddenly change the faith of thinking people of any age. That we are unable to distinguish between a theatrical production, which asks “What if...?”, and religious texts. The play’s said to fathom the mystery of faith; I’d like some answers to that one, myself.
I applaud PVPA’s “courage to do the right thing and set an example” — that bigotry, even under the Christian name, has no power here.