By Katie Burnside
On Saturday, I went to go see Corona del Mar High School’s
version of “Rent,” a rock opera that opened in 1996.
You might be thinking so what, but the real excitement is the
controversy that ensued over the production.
Since CDM resides in the heart of Orange County, naturally many
conservative Republicans ranging from 40 to 80 years old
(respectively) had a huge problem with some of the topics
highlighted in “Rent,” one being homosexuality.
Even a church in Topeka, Kan., termed as a hate group by the
Southern Poverty Law Center and infamous for its protests at
funerals of American soldiers that have did in war, heard word
about the play and made it their mission to save Orange County from
“Those who enable fag filth by such projects as Rent are also
worthy of death,” the Westboro Baptist Church wrote in a news
The church made it their mission to fly out to California and
protest on Friday to prevent people from seeing the play. The
three-person group assembled for a couple of hours before they felt
that their lives were in danger by the 200 something student
What is there to be afraid of, high school students chucking
their BMW car keys at them?
Anyways, the whole point of this is to highlight that as humans,
we tend to judge ideas, people and actions before we’ve researched
all the facts and experienced what there is to offer.
It’s human nature to act now and ask questions later. We all
secretly think that we don’t judge, but the truth is we tend to do
it as second nature.
I know that I have been guilty of this from time to time. I tend
to make some snappy judgments before evaluating the circumstances
I’m not saying that we need to agree or disagree on the same
stuff. I just think it is wise to give things a chance and be
open-minded before we make judgments that can hurt others and
further deter from “world peace.”
If the church group had only kept an open mind about the subject
and let the high school’s theater department be, they could have
seen how great the play actually was and appreciate how hard these
students fought for what they thought was right and how hard they
actually worked on the play.
As a part-time Newport Beach resident, I was really proud.
Life is full of choices
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