Grant Swank
Eastern Nazarene College anti-Christian play presented
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By Grant Swank
October 18, 2009

Dear ENC President Corlis McGee:

I just sat through the 4 pm October 17 musical, "Once On This Island," in Cove Center.

I am disappointed and disgusted.

This play should never be presented on a Christian campus, let alone a holiness campus.

Its accent on godS — in the plural — was throughout, particularly praying constantly to these gods, in one instance for gods to heal a sick body. There is only one God who appeared in Christ. There is no room for polytheism laced throughout an ENC drama department presentation.

At the Friday homecoming Marriott dinner, when the musical was highlighted with a lead actress singing, she sang out "My God. . ." in the singular. That obviously told the attendees that she was praying to the biblical God, the deity adhered to by Eastern Nazarene College. However, when she sang that same song in the Saturday musical, "God" was changed to repeated mentioning of "gods," not only by this one singer but all singers in one selection after another.

Further, there were two lovers in the play who spent the night together — unmarried. Such was an obvious scene depicting just that, no indirect implications implied. It was evident without apology or qualification.

In addition, there was much so-called dancing throughout the musical. The dancing was without doubt in most instances quite suggestive. This underlined most disturbingly the demonic overtones from start to finish. There is no polite way to state that but to state the strong term "demonic."

Moreover, who scheduled this offensive presentation on none other than the Lord's Day afternoon at 4 o-clock?

In the printed musical program on page 2, the musical director and drama department head both tried to legitimatize the musical as being multicultural, a lesson in colonialism, etc. Even praise was given to students sharing with one another their understandings of "the faith." This does not wash with any thinking Christian, that is, when sitting through the production. These two program page 2 statements are limp at best, insulting at worst.

The musical was not a "child-friendly" performance because of the violence and demonic/ghost insertions. What child should have been subjected, for instance, to scenes in which knives were put to humans' necks under threat of slaying these individuals? I am sorry that my granddaughter, age 5, was seated in the audience.

A teen grandchild of mine was planning on attending ENC in a couple of years. Now, not so.

My wife and I will not be contributing moneys henceforth to ENC.

Though having attended ENC plays for decades, I doubt if I will ever trust an ENC production again. I will never recommend friends attending an ENC play, though I have been a chief supporter of same for years.

What is particularly sad is that the young students in the musical have now been given the message that this kind of anti-Christian production is legitimate at Eastern Nazarene College; therefore, they will expect same for future productions. This should never happen again.

These students should be read such emails as this one. And the musical director as well as drama department head should be given this email with directives to squash any hopes of scheduling this kind of content.

I noted in the musical program on page 2 there a sentence that the college mission statement has been changed. A red flag went up on that sentence. Why has that mission statement been changed? I then would appreciate you mailing to me the "old" mission statement" and the "new" one to compare what change has been made for as far as I know we alumni have not been informed of any change in the college mission statement.

Finally, I am seriously posting on well-read Internet websites the above for Eastern Nazarene College graduates and prospective students to read what has happened in Cove Center this homecoming weekend. If the world does not know, I fear that the drama department is going to continue its present track of improper productions at the college from which I graduated.

I cannot envision my professors Bertha Munro, Edith Cove, Alvin Kaufman and such ever countenancing a musical such as has been offered this homecoming event 2009. This kind of "opening up the door" to obscene, anti-Christian productions simply cannot continue. If it does, I will be at the forefront to communicate with as many alumni as I can muster about this horrific intrusion.

© Grant Swank

 

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Grant Swank

Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., is a pastor at New Hope Church in Windham, Maine... (more)

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