Thursday, June 07, 2018
Open Letter to Marcelo Crivella, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro and Bishop of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God
Dear Bishop Crivella,
I am Jo Clifford, the author of the play "The Gospel According To Jesus Queen Of Heaven" whose performances you are doing your utmost to prevent on the grounds that they are offensive to religion.
I am so glad that at least we both agree on the importance of religion. Like you I don't want to see it insulted or denigrated in any way.
It matters so much in this sad and cruel world that we all try to live the way Jesus taught us and that we try to love and respect each other as best we can.
I am sure we can agree on this. And I have to tell you, my friend, that this is all in my play if only you could see it.
I am sorry that you can't. Sorry, too, to see so much suffering and confusion in your eyes as you try to justify the censorship of the play.
Of course you'll know the story that Jesus told of the woman who was making bread and who mixed a tiny amount of yeast into the dough and how it worked its way through "about sixty pounds of flour".
He said the Kingdom of Heaven was like that.
Me and my play, and the brave devoted souls who are producing it, and all the good people who have seen it and will see it in the future in your beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro and all over the world... We are that yeast and we are changing the world. Bit by bit it is becoming a more open and loving and accepting place. Somewhere where all God's children have the right to live in justice and in peace.
And you cannot stop us.
I understand you cannot see the play on this occasion but please read it. I can easily arrange for it to be sent you in Portuguese.
Of course you don't have to agree with it. I would never dream of interfering with your freedom to feel and respond to my work in any way seems best to you.
In the meantime I send you all my good will and my deep wish that you find peace and happiness.
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