A top Scottish teacher's union is drawing backlash from Christians in the United Kingdom after promoting a controversial play in which Jesus Christ is portrayed as a transsexual.
The Christian Institute, a nondenominational Christian charity in the U.K., reports the play titled The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven was written by Jo Clifford, a man who identifies as a woman. Clifford also performs the title role in the play.
As the BBC previously reported, theatrical advertising described the play this way: "Jesus is a transexual woman. And it is now she walks the earth. This is a play with music that presents her sayings, her miracles, and her testimony. And she does not condemn the gays or the queers or the trans women or the trans men, and no, not the straight women nor the straight men neither. Because she is the Daughter of God, most certainly, and almost as certainly the son also. And God's child condemns nobody. She can only love..."
The Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) announced two passages from the play are scheduled to be performed at an LGBT event sponsored by the organization, whose website says they represent around 80 percent of lecturers and teachers in Scotland.
The EIS said the play "invites us to imagine Jesus coming back to earth in the present day as a trans woman." It will be a part of the EIS's Gay Pride event scheduled for June 17 to "celebrate Pride and the end of the school year."
Clifford told the BBC in 2018 the play was "an act of homage" to Jesus and never intended to mock or insult Christianity.
But The Christian Institute's Education Officer John Denning said the play is deeply inconsiderate of Christians who are in the EIS.
"This play deliberately re-imagines Jesus as a trans woman and puts words into his mouth that he never said, misrepresenting him," Denning said. "That's deeply distressing and offensive for many Christians who value him and his teaching above all."
"It is hard to see how a teaching union justifies using the subscriptions paid by its members, many of whom are themselves Christians, to promote this play."
In 2016, the play was performed in a Church of England congregation in Manchester, even though it was opposed by several bishops, according to The Christian Institute.
Former Church of England Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali said: "It is quite clear from the Gospels that the identity of Jesus is male, his 'mum' is Mary and he always refers to God as 'Father', so to suggest otherwise is contrary to Christian teaching."
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