The Shofar is the ancient trumpet which called the people of God to prayer, repentance, sacrifice and war.

Wednesday 19th January 2005: 1:00pm

Director Resigns over Play   

News in last Sunday's Sunday Mail that students at St Andrews University are putting on the blasphemous play "Corpus Christi" has led to a campaign by a Christian prayer group against  the struggling Crawford Arts Centre in St Andrews, where the production is being staged, and the resignation of one of the Arts Centre's directors.

Accountant Roy McLachlan, who owns the Ardgowan Hotel in St Andrews, was seen as vital to the Crawford's survival, but he resigned earlier this week, after being tipped off about the play by the organisation Christian Voice. 

Christian Voice National Director Stephen Green said today: "Our members have been praying that the Crawford Arts Centre will cancel the play, and they have left the remaining directors and the principal of the University, Dr Brian Lang, his Deputy and the Master in no doubt about the offence the production will cause to them and more importantly to Almighty God."

The Centre has strong links to the School of Art History at the University, with University staff featuring prominently on its Friends Committee.  'Corpus Christi' is being staged in the 66-seat Studio Theatre at the Centre from Thursday 9th to Saturday 11th December.  Three evening performances at 7pm and a Saturday matinee at 3pm are scheduled. 

The play, by homosexual writer Terrence McNally, presents Jesus as a hard-drinking, promiscuous, swearing homosexual who is crucified for being 'King of the Queers' after being betrayed by Judas, who is cast as his lover.  To heighten the offence, the students at the University, which is attended by Prince William, are also portraying Mary, the mother of the Lord, as an alcoholic, according to the Sunday Mail:

Scottish members of Christian Voice are being joined in a protest outside the Crawford by Operation Christian Vote, who beat the British National Party in Scotland in this year's Euro election, and by the Scottish-based pro-life group UKLifeLeague. 

Stephen Green added: "Naturally we intend to protest outside the Crawford during the whole production run should this miserable event go ahead, and I am praying that Scottish Christians will come to St Andrews in numbers to show that blasphemy will not be tolerated in the ancient kingdom of Fife.  There is a human rights dimension as well, in that Christians have a right not to be insulted in our religious beliefs.  We are looking for our faith to be respected, our rights to be upheld and for parity of esteem.  I call on Fife Police, the Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal to dust off the common law offence of blasphemy in Scotland and prosecute those involved with the play.  If they do not, they will implicate the whole of Scotland in this blasphemy, and as God is not mocked, I fear for the future."

Christian Voice has taken the lead in fighting blasphemy in the UK.  Earlier this year the group forced an apology from Trinity Mirror Group after a blasphemous article in the Sunday Mirror led to demonstrations in Canada Square and at the homes of directors including Edinburgh-based Sir Angus Grossart.  Two years ago, God used Christian Voice to prevent an attempt by Peter Tatchell and the National Secular Society to read the 'Gay News' poem on the steps of St Martin in the Fields church in London.  "We are well up for this," said Stephen Green today.