When hypocrisy looks like piety
American composer Carlyle Floyd retells the
story of the biblical Susannah in his opera set in rural Tennessee.
Susannah is accused of bathing naked in a river, a sin in the eyes of
“Christian” men who spy on her. Distraught, Susannah asks her
brother, Sam, “What’s it all about?” “It’s
about the way people is made, I reckon,” he responds.
“An’ how they like to believe what’s bad. / How short
they are on lovin’ kindness. / It must make the good Lord sad. . . .
/ At seein’ how men treat one another / An’ say they’re
doin’ it all fer His sake.”