January 5, 2001
volume 12, no. 5
Student Forced by University into Mental Hospital for Christian Stand

    PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 4, 01 ( - Temple University and some of its officials are facing a lawsuit after a student was involuntarily committed to a state mental hospital after he initiated a Christian response to a blasphemous play performed on campus.

    Agape Press reports that Michael A. Marcavage, a junior at the university in the fall of 1999, discovered that the Temple University Theater Department would be performing the play Corpus Christi on campus. He decided to organize a Christian protest against the play that depicts Jesus as a homosexual who has sex with his disciples, and was crucified for being "king of the queers."

    Marcavage met numerous times with Vice President of Campus Safety William Bergman and Director of Campus Safety Carl Bittenbender to discuss his options in protesting the play. After one meeting Marcavage relates that he was forcibly detained by Bergman and Bittenbender and then handcuffed by a Temple University police officer and taken by police car to the Emergency Crisis Center at Temple University Hospital.

    Although released hours later after a doctor who examined him found that he was "not in need of involuntary treatment," Bittenbender allegedly signed a statement at the emergency center claiming Marcavage was "severely mentally disabled" and that he represented a "clear and present danger to others."

    Senior Trial Attorney Brian Fahling of the American Family Association's Center for Law & Policy, who is handling the case, said, "This kid is as solid as a rock. Besides being a college student on the Dean's List, Michael was a White House intern with security clearance, is founder and president of a ministry called Protect the Children, president of his own business, and a volunteer who has worked with Campus Crusade for Christ and gone oversees with Feed the Children."

    Fahling added, "This is a good Christian kid who wanted to stand up for Jesus, and instead was handcuffed and dragged to a mental hospital as if he'd been seeing pink elephants."

For other news stories, see

January 5, 2001
volume 12, no. 5
News on the Church in the USA

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