Read an article on MSN this morning about how members of Madonna’s faith are all upset that she was written a song about 16th Century Jewish Mystic Yitzhak Luria.
OK, if I understand the folks who are complaining correctly, they believe that Madonna is capitalizing on Kabbalah mysticism. While she’s obviously no icon of propriety, I have to say that I really don’t understand how this can be the case. When, say, the mother of a dead soldier becomes famous by making a big show of asking the president to pray with her, then giving lots of interviews to newspapers about how he won’t do it and lining up the book deals and speaking engagements, that, arguably, is capitalizing on one’s faith.
But for Madonna to write an album about her religion and praising a historical rabbi doesn’t seem that way to me at all. I mean, it’s not like people are going to pick up the album, saying “I figured I’d get this, even though I’ve never heard of this Madonna chick, because I’m really into 16th century Jewish mystics and Yitzhak Luria is my total fave.”
Call me a Pollyanna here, but as far as I can tell Madonna really believes this and her faith is sincere and deeply felt. I think she wrote the song because she’s into Luria’s writings and I really can’t think of any other explanation that makes sense.
As a member of a small faith, I can assure any of my readers of more mainstream faiths that being a member of a small religion in no way makes you cool. At best, it makes you mildly eccentric, at worst, people look at you funny, then go check cultwatch.com just to be sure. And while I don’t particularly want Madonna to convert to UUism and put out an album about Theodore Parker, I think she’s owed the benefit of the doubt for trying to spread her faith in a sincere manner.
That said, she's probably better off donating a bunch of profits from the album to charity or the church, not that she hasn't been a famously big doner already.
But I still don't think she has done anything wrong.