This message came by a roundabout route—a reader sent me a link to an Italian blog (translated) that was discussing a protest petition of a ‘blasphemous’ play that is being put on at…the University of Minnesota! The petition is titled “Blasphemy is not education”:
I understand the University of Minnesota plans to stage an anti-Catholic play, “The Pope and the Witch” by Dario Fo, a communist playwright. … I believe this play is blasphemous and not a legitimate expression of academic freedom. I am deeply offended as a Catholic. Together with thousands of TFP Student Action members, I urge you to respect the Catholic Faith and cancel “The Pope and the Witch.”
I beg to differ. Blasphemy is highly educational, and I hope our university can do more of it. We are not here to reassure you that your ignorance and prejudices are alright, we’re supposed to shake up our students.
I’m also amused that all this indignant young person can say about Dario Fo is that he is a communist <gasp!> — right. Dario Fo, winner of the 1997 Nobel for literature. Religion does seem to make for a fine set of blinders, doesn’t it?
I don’t think the petition has had the slightest effect. I hadn’t heard a single word about it until it was mentioned in my email, and the play opens this week. I’m tempted to go, because it should be entertaining and being able to thumb my nose at religious bigots adds a little extra flavor to it. If only we weren’t expecting several more inches of snow later this week…