Protest Against Jerry Springer: The Opera at the Beck Center for Arts in Lakewood, OH – March 13, 2011
On Sunday evening, March 13, 2011 in front of the Beck Center for Arts in Lakewood, OH, 150 Catholics including a local priest, gathered to protest the blasphemous play Jerry Springer: The Opera.
Organized by TFP-America Needs Fatima, the protest consisted of the praying of 15 decades of the Rosary, interspersed with other prayers and the singing of hymns and playing of patriotic songs by TFP-run St. Louis de Montfort Academy’s band.
Lining both sides of Detroit Avenue, the rally lasted from 5:30pm to 7pm in frigid temperatures. Many protestors held up signs saying “Stop Blaspheming Our Lord,” “Stop Blaspheming the Catholic Faith NOW!” One lady held a sign that said “I love Our Lord Jesus Christ. I reject the Opera.” Others held signs saying “Perversion/Blasphemy Is Not Entertainment,” “Blasphemy Is Not Art” and “Why is theater that offends Christians OK?”
Despite calls to organize a counter-protest from some local promoters of blasphemy, with the exception of occasional bursts of obscenities from two apartment tenants and two counter-protesters holding signs saying “Honk for Freedom of Speech” and another vulgar reference to the clergy abuse cases, the opposition to the protest was muted.
(The lady that is sticking out her head from the window said some terrible profanities, but quickly retreated back into her home when the protestors prayed the Rosary in a very loud and categorical voice.)
Where did the opposition go? Perhaps thoughts about the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan put a damper on counter-protesters and discouraged further blasphemy than what was already taking place in the Beck Center.
According to The Beck Center, they are extending the play three weeks longer than originally planned. In reaction, TFP director Preston Noell said “The Beck Center is addicted to blasphemy.” In shameless defiance, two employees of The Beck Center shouted thanks to the protestors saying they made the blasphemous theater play a success.
However, the facts tell a different story. As the Catholics were processing away from the protest site carrying the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima and singing Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above, some prayer warriors inadvertently stepped on Beck Center property. Their happiness with the “free negative publicity” provided by the Catholic protestors quickly evaporated. Two irate women staff members immediately came out and said: “Get off our grass or we will call the police.” Nice way to express their thanks.
Furthermore, the local Catholic school has canceled all functions at the Beck Center since they started playing Jerry Springer: The Opera.
In contrast to the heavy media coverage of the first public act of protest and reparation held by TFP and America Needs Fatima on opening night of Jerry Springer: The Opera at the Beck Center on February 18th, on Sunday, not a single TV, radio or newspaper showed up to report on the public reparation to Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Therefore, the news media did not report on the support of most locals who honked approvals and gave thumbs up to the protestors.
The owner of a convenience store across the street from the Beck Center was angered by the peaceful protest close to his store front. He opened his store door to blast loud rock music from a stereo. TFP volunteer Kenneth Murphy asked the store owner if he was Catholic. “Yes, I’m Portuguese” as he showed him a picture of Our Lady of Sorrows he kept near the cash register. “We are trying to pray the Rosary. Do you remember how to say the Rosary?” Kenneth asked. “No,” he said, “I forgot.” After telling him that we were even giving him business by buying drinks and lighters for the candles, the store owner said, “Okay, you’re right. I’ll turn off the music. But pray for me.”
The almost two-hour long rally ended with the praying of the Consecration to Jesus Christ through the Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Louis de Montfort.
Then the four young men from St. Louis de Montfort Academy carried the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in procession as the candle bearing “consolers of Our Lady” followed singing “Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above,” accompanied with the bagpipe and brass band. As the blasphemous play Jerry Springer: The Opera played in the Beck Center, Our Lady’s children ended their prayer vigil by kissing her feet with the certainty that they did not stand by doing nothing as her honor was insulted and defiled.
They stood up and defended their Queen.
One man remarked about the event:
“I attend many events and this is the way to do it. I do some picketing. This is the best I’ve seen it done. You had everything in one ensemble: Lively prayers, enthusiastic slogans and inspirational music which brought everyone together and lifted up our prayers to God in a most beautiful manner.
Most importantly, the act of reparation that aimed to console God and to avert His just anger for blasphemy and contumely was witnessed and documented by the angels and written in the Book of Life for all eternity.