The report, as in all media reports these days, is anything but objective. Here is another account from Playbill:Protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church showed up to protest at The Juilliard School in New York on Thursday and were joined by counter-protesting students, who greeted them with music.Apparently the protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church Cult have run out of dead soldiers' funerals to disrupt, so they looked far and wide and decided that the greatest menace currently bearing down on America right now is—I am not making this up—the arts. All of them.The church cult announced on their website last week that they would be protesting at The Juilliard School. In a press release, WBC decried the school's dance, drama, and music programs.Oh the vanity of it all! “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” (Gal. 6:3) Too many words to cover the awful sin of this “institution of higher learning”. Sum it up like this: You have made your children to be good for absolutely nothing except full, final and awful destruction!In an apparent message to the students' parents the release said, "If you had taught those children to invest 5% of the energy they use for the vanity called 'The Arts' America would not be leading the world in racing to destruction."
I doubt that the Julliard students are guilty of anything more than excessive practice of scales. I think we can label this story The Most Inappropriate and Mistaken Critique of the Arts in the 21st century so far.The Kansas-based hate group the Westboro Baptist Church, known for disrupting soldier’s funerals with chants and signs displaying gay slurs, is coming to the supposed heart of Gomorrah 8-9 AM November 3, to picket outside The Juilliard School in New York City.The cause of the protest appears to be nothing more than the group’s anger at “the vanity called 'The Arts’,” according to a statement posted on the group's webpage. The call to action can be read in its entirety here.Juilliard students told Playbill.com that they are planning a counter-demonstration called ”God Loves Jazz.”Using Bible verses to attack the supposed vanity of the school, which is ranked as one of the top music academies in the world, the Westboro group decries ”Too many words to cover the awful sin of this ‘institution of higher learning.’ Sum it up like this: You have made your children to be good for absolutely nothing except full, final and awful destruction!”The site goes on to explain, “If you had taught those children to invest 5% of the energy they use for the vanity called ‘The Arts’, America would not be leading the world in racing to destruction. Clarifying, God will not ever have idolatry, fornication, adultery, divorce and remarriage (which Christ said is adultery, at Luke 16:18, and other places) sodomy, same-sex marriage, murder, lying, stealing and all the rest of your proud sin, including your awful pride.”The Juilliard School is part of the Lincoln Center arts complex on Broadway at 66th Street in Manhattan.
I run into the occasional Julliard alumnus and have noticed that they do have a touch of hubris. I used to tell them that I graduated from the McGill School of Music, also a body of about 800 or so dedicated students, but that never seemed sufficient somehow. So lately I have been responding to the phrase "I went to Julliard!" with the comment, "you know, I attended one of the very few music institutions in the world that has a higher reputation than Julliard: the Mozarteum in Salzburg." That is usually followed by an extended silence. Here is a photo of me playing a concert in the Wiener Saal at the Mozarteum: