The Rowlett Lakeshore Times, which has been covering the “Rent”/RISD scandal (scandal? shame?) â€” they even sought a quote from yours truly â€” yesterday published a commentary from Lance Ward, a pastor in their community. I began to read it with a mix of trepidation, dread and hope.
Hope because, as it began, the pastor admitted to “wrestling” about how he would respond, and noting that both sides â€” both! â€” had valid points. There seemed to be room, in his struggle to reconcile church and state (education), for the belief that irrespective of his personal opinion of the play (and who knows how familiar he even is with it), it’s not his job to censor it.
But ultimately, he punted. And not in a good way.
Ward latched onto a comment made by a student in the production, a self-described “devout Christian,” and addressed that aspect. And what he basically did was suggest that a truly devout Christian could never justify doing anything â€” including a play â€” that did not honor God. And the implication was, “this includes ‘Rent.'”
At least that’s how I took it. You can read it for yourself here.