Archbishop Coakley on “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told”: “The play offends any reasonable sensibility”

OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 5, 2013) – “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” a play billed as “a theatrical offering for the holidays that challenges the norm and appeals to an alternative audience,” opens today at the Oklahoma City Civic Center.

Presented by the Oklahoma City Theatre Company, the play has drawn advance criticism from concerned Christians who object to the script, an intentionally perverse rewrite of the Bible.

The Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, today said he, too, is troubled by the contents of the play.

“I am deeply disappointed, saddened and disgusted that the Oklahoma City Theatre Company is mounting ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,’” the archbishop said. “It’s painful to realize that there are some in our community who feel compelled to mock and delegitimize our sincerely held beliefs to advance their own.

“It is my ardent hope and prayer that those who decided to bring this play to Oklahoma City will come to see that, far from advancing the arts, its production serves merely to lower community standards and to gratuitously offend reasonable sensibilities.

“In the future, especially given that the Oklahoma City Theatre Company receives taxpayer dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council, its leaders would do well to avoid even the appearance of purposely alienating any part of its audience.

“Yet, as Christians, we should not be surprised at this new and unexpected expression of animosity toward us. In this world, we will have trouble, as Jesus told us, but we can take heart, knowing that Jesus has overcome the world. To bear this affront patiently and prayerfully is to witness to the peace of Christ – a peace the world cannot give. Even as others try to provoke us, we rejoice in the incomparable worth of Christ.

“Fortunately, in the United States today, we may still choose to support uplifting and original literature, movies, music and art – like the recent ‘Of Heaven and Earth’ exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art or ‘The Christmas Candle,’ a movie that is in theaters now – and to ignore self-evidently inferior art like ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.’ I encourage all men and women of good will to do exactly that.”


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