The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project Act 2: Lifestyle 2 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Amanda Gronich calls back the Baptist Minister. The Baptist Minister tells Amanda he does not really want to talk about Matthew Shepard. Amanda tells the minister she went to his service on Sunday. The minister clarifies that his views are not necessarily his congregation’s, but he notes that he is somewhat involved with the case because the girlfriend of one of the perpetrators is a part of the congregation. The minister says that the congregation had been trying to help Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney for years, and he is providing spiritual guidance to one of them, who is on suicide watch.
As Amanda Gronich finally speaks with the Baptist Minister, he tries to divide his personal views from the views of the congregation. However, as a religious leader, this attempt seems somewhat unconvincing. As the Baptist Minister goes on to describe how Aaron’s girlfriend is a part of the congregation, it is clear that the minister is more concerned with maintaining his community and the status quo than actually encouraging morality in his religious followers.
Themes
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Prejudice Theme Icon
The Baptist Minister notes that he thinks Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson deserve the death penalty. The minister also says, however, that he hopes that as Matthew Shepard was slipping into a coma he had a chance to reflect on his “lifestyle” and think about the “word of the Lord.” Amanda thanks the minister for his time.
The Baptist Minister, when he says he hopes Matthew reflected on his “lifestyle” after the attack, seems to imply that Matthew’s brutal death was a kind divine justice for his homosexuality. The minister’s vision of God is clearly a vengeful, angry one.
Themes
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Violence, Punishment, and Justice Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Prejudice Theme Icon