In the Trenches in Topeka

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In today’s cultural war, those opposed to Christian values often test the resolve of those who believe in them. This was the case of twenty-five friends and supporters of the American TFP and its America Needs Fatima campaign were on hand to protest a nudist production about to take place on a public facility in Topeka, Kansas.

The city was already the site of a widely-protested anti-Catholic sculpture at a local university campus. It also suffered an attempt at passing a citywide ordinance to prohibit “discrimination” against homosexuals in business and housing. Now, several plays commissioned to support nudism were performed at the city-owned Topeka Performing Arts Center’s Hussey Playhouse. From Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, the production featured “stage nudity” involving six actors. The foundation invited the entire family including children (under 18) who could attend with a parent.

On the opening night of the first performance, Saturday, September 24 at 7:00 p.m., supporters and friends of the American TFP and America Needs Fatima, protested outside the theater offering a rosary in reparation. For those unable to attend, the American TFP sponsored an email protest.

nude_play_protest_2Bearing signs asking Topekans to defend the innocence of their children as well as signs giving the dictionary definition of obscenity (which some seem to have forgotten), the protestors prayed the rosary and made a stand for morality and the perennial values of Christian civilization.

Compass Facility Management oversees the tax-supported Topeka Performing Arts Center. Interim director Carl St. Clair stated in an article in the Topeka Capital Journal (8-10-2005) that some court decisions in similar cases ruled in favor of such displays. Thus, the center is renting their facility to the “naturist” Lake Edun Foundation to avoid legal complications. Children who cannot attend an X-rated movie apparently can see a similar show on city-owned property.

Sadly, public officials also showed great moral timidity in defending public morality. The Topeka Capital-Journal (8-11-2005) was unable to get a response from either the Shawnee County District Attorney or the Kansas State Attorney General. The Chief of Police for Topeka said, “I have no comment. I haven’t given it a thought one way or another.”

Topeka City attorney Brenden Long did however respond that there is both a city ordinance and a state law that prohibits public exposure with the intent to arouse. The article also noted that the last time a Topeka production featured on-stage nudity was in April 1977.

Unfortunately, our society is becoming increasingly numb to such moral outrages. Many do not want to make it an issue. The problem is that if those of us who still hold Christian values do not have the courage to confront these advances, the opposition will become only bolder the next time.

The notion that public opinion should tolerate such an affront to public morality in a taxpayer-supported facility is a sad sign of the times. The fact that children of all ages can attend makes this outrage on public property especially repugnant.

Even if one does not attend or approve such events, accepting such aberrations lowers the moral standards. All should be concerned, because upholding public morality is necessary for a well-ordered and upright society. When events such as these take place without reaction, those who wish to abandon public morality go on the offensive.

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