Christianity Can Be Dangerous

So, while some say Christianity is pro-choice, others, such as the magic-comedy team of Penn & Teller, say it is something to fear. Such was the message the act delivered during their offering of an X-rated parody of Christ's crucifixion, to the horror of many of the spectators at the World Magic Seminar, a magician's convention in Las Vegas. In the skit Teller was in costume as Christ and was on a full-sized cross that was wheeled into the room on a cart. A midget in an angel costume simulated an obscene sexual act on Teller, who was almost nude. Then Penn, dressed as a Roman gladiator, pulled away what was supposed to be the "Shroud of Turin" covering the cross. Some attendees were so shocked they walked out of the performance. Rick Neiswonger, a veteran magician turned market executive, said the stunt offended "the majority" of the four hundred people present. He told the Las Vegas Review, "They [the organizers] warned everybody that something offensive was going to happen, but my God, where do you draw the line This was beyond bad taste." A magician called the Amazing Jonathan disagreed, explaining, "This was performance art. I know that Penn is a practicing atheist, and I agree with him that Christianity can be dangerous. Look at the Trade Center. That was done in the name of religion." Despite the controversy, ABC invited Penn & Teller to perform on its Super Bowl show.

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