Summarized by Janus Wilkinson
LDS Church's Position Sought Over High School Production of 'Godspell'
OGDEN, UTAH -- A very heated debate over a Utah High School's plan to
put on the musical "Godspell" has led to questions about the LDS
Church's position on the musical. Ogden High School had planned to
put on the musical but with such a controversy going on, the
production may be delayed.
Some protesters in the Utah town say the play is too religious. Others
say it is sacrilegious. School officials and supporters say the message behind
"Godspell," is one of community healing, and they vow that the show will go
on. One parent of a student had asked the School Board to cancel the play saying
that it had no place at a school. Another complaint came from the assertion
that school officials passed on incorrect information, stating that Brigham
Young University had once performed the play. That information was incorrect
and may have influenced many people into supporting the school's decision to
present the play.
Harold Oaks, BYU associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and
Communications, said "Godspell" had been presented as a high school
workshop but never as a university production. He also said that while The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had taken a stand that the
musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" did not present Christ as a deity, the
Church had not taken such a stand on "Godspell."
Tose in favor of the production say the messages promoted in the play
are tolerance, forgiveness and loving one's neighbor, without a specific
religious belief being promoted.
Godspell' has some parents upset in Ogden
Deseret News 17Sep00 A1
Too religious or sacrilegious? Both sides are adamant