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Comments from Carol and Dwight

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"The Side of the Angels" On Sunday afternoon, April 25, eight of us from UCBR attended a performance of "The Laramie Project" at the Swine Palace on the LSU campus. Afterward, I appeared on a small panel consisting of one of the ministers from the University Presbyterian Church, and the director Leon Ingulsrud to discuss issues of religion and tolerance with audience and cast. Having seen the TV version a couple of times and the last half of a live performance at General Assembly a couple of years ago, I found myself moved to tears, again, by the end of this show. See it. Everyone. The Welcoming Congregation Committee. See it. Matthew Shephard, the gay man brutally slain one cold October evening in 1998, could have come from any of our home towns or from Baton Rouge. The last performance is May 9. Toward the end of the play there is a powerful standoff between a rabid fundamentalist preacher and the more progressive people of the town. To isolate his toxic presence at a rally he is surrounded by "fat assed" angel wings. Yesterday one of the hardest questions to answer, even as a U. U. minister, was "Where are the angel wings when we need them?" Another was "How do we show tolerance to bigots?" And, sadly, there was consensus that around here being on the side of angels could, sometimes, be dangerous to your health. Carol