Three months after the Billy Graham crusade, New York City was being offered a new “Salvation” at the Jan Hus Theater. This Salvation is a rock musical, written by two hippie types named Peter Link and C. C. Courtney.
As with other contemporary no-plot musicals, Salvation has the current audio and visual emphases on sex and drugs. But the play’s authors decided the best way to package this youth philosophy is through a parody of the Church—from the rock-bound Baptists to the ecumenical movement. It is interesting that these youthful playwrights,Courtney, a “hard-shelled” Baptist prodigy, was at 13 a child preacher. At 18, while in college, he began questioning his beliefs, soon turned agnostic, and became an itinerant disc jockey. At 25, he can still quote the Scriptures, but the actor in him has overtaken the preacher. and their large audiences, still think enough of the Church to bandy it about. Unfortunately, the blatant stereotypes of the all-too-human clergyman and the myriad “shalt-nots” of historic legalism are the straw Christianity Salvation seeks to knock down.
In its place, Salvation offers constant sex to the point of nausea, a bit of drugs, anti-everything sentiment, astrology, and whatever else happens to pass for a god these days.
Salvation is an entertaining way to make a lot of bread—if one’s god happens to be Mammon.
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