John Otte, the student involved in the “Corpus Christi” controversy, reflected on the incident in a recent e-mail to Dallas Voice. He said if campus safety was the main concern, he’s happy with the decision to cancel the production at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.
A plan to bring the production to Fort Worth has not moved forward this week, although Todd Camp said other theaters have stepped forward to offer space after Rose Marine Theater “rescinded” their invitation.
Here’s what Otte said in the e-mail:
Innuendo and rumor exists in political and populous opinion claiming there were other reasons for canceling the Tarleton class production of “Corpus Christi,” but I want to make it clear that I have no factual knowledge of any interference.
That being said if pressure was or was not received, I know the Tarleton administration, my dean and my professor did everything in their power to preserve academic freedom and to ensure the safety of all students at Tarleton State University. They fought for as long as they could to stave off censorship and preserve this institution of higher learning.
In no way do I blame them for their decisions. I know that my professor, caring deeply about each one of his students in the department, weighed every issue before him and in the end our safety was much more important than the presentation of a play.
While I fear this can set a precedent for censorship through fear mongering, I in no way judge the decision of my professor. If our safety could not be ensured I am happier with the outcome at hand.
I hope that we can simply move forward and learn from everything that has occurred. After all why else are we pursuing knowledge in a higher education setting? The message remains clear from “Corpus Christi” unconditional love through all adversity.