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Oregon Trail’ highly offensive

Ryan Slaney | Tuesday, March 6, 2007

For those of you who didn’t make it out to see St. Edward’s Hall Players’ comedy, “The Oregon Trail,” I applaud and envy you. For those who did, I am sure that you will agree with me that the play was offensive on many grounds, and the only “humor” garnered by the cast was through making crude and insensitive jokes.

I can recall a particular scene in which a stem cell was used to revitalize two oxen to help carry the family wagon to Oregon. The Catholic Church teaches that it is wrong to use embryonic stem cells for medical purposes, as adult stem cells are just as useful in the medical world and human life does not have to be wasted in order to obtain them. Also, the mode by which the stem cell “revitalized” the oxen was through blatantly sexual and perverted acts.

In another scene, Native Americans were brutally shot down. Amid the audience’s laughs during these scenes (and many others), I had to wonder: How is this funny? These things really did happen to real Native Americans who were murdered or forced from their land by the “white man.”

Our culture today is too desensitized to sex, violence and murder, and this play was exemplary of our moral decay as a society. At a Catholic university like Notre Dame I don’t see how a production like this could be allowed, and I would hope that in the future similar productions will not be shown on campus.

Ryan Slaney


Carroll Hall

Mar. 3