Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Catholic Church finally learns how to talk back to Madonna

For years, the Catholic Church's huffy responses to Madonna's antics have earned her only more fame. I am basically a fan, but I've thought the insulting Catholics thing was a little tired since at least that video where she makes out with the iconography.

Finally, the Catholics have learned to fight back. Here is the Catholic League's press release, in its entirety:

May 22, 2006


The singer Madonna kicked off her “Confessions” tour in Los Angeles yesterday. Between political statements and oral sex jokes, Madonna found the time to don a crown of thorns, hang from a mirrored cross and croon her ballad “Live to Tell” in front of a screen flashing images from the Third World.

Commenting on this is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:

“When the Material Girl first embraced Kabbalah, we thought her new-found faith would inspire her to show some respect for religion. It stands to reason that a woman whose faith is so important to her that she drags her rabbi to her concerts would not want to mock the faith of others.

“But I guess you really can’t teach an old pop star new tricks. Madonna has been spicing up her act with misappropriated Christian imagery for a long time now. Perhaps she can’t arouse any interest in her work without it. Poor Madonna keeps trying to shock. But all she succeeds in doing is coming across as a boring bigot.

“Do us all a favor, Madge, and stick to singing and dancing. Knock off the Christ-bashing. It’s just pathetic.”

I would have left out the "oral-sex jokes" reference at the beginning, but otherwise, it's a masterpeice of talking to her fans in their own language IMHO.

I like especially the phrase "boring bigot." It just rings in the head.

Well played.



Psyton said...

Ugh, they made this one easy for Madge:

All she has to do is point them to the Second Commandment. She used Christian images to make a point that the world needs to wake up and start dealing with the horrible issues around the world... The Catholics then turned around and used that portrayal to say Madonna was being a bigot.

Way to use your Dogma to justify very un-christian judgements for all the world and your lord to see... hypocrites.

Sorry, but come to the gay guy with a Catholic League vs Madonna, and he's gonna side with Madonna. NOTHING the Catholic League makes can be turned into a decent 8-minute dance-remix.

Chalicechick said...


OK, the line about the 8-minute dance remix is funny.

Had Madonna just performed in fron of the images of kids, I wouldn't have a beef.

But between the nun costumes, her makign our with inconography in her "Like a Prayer" video and this, she really very clearly does have a huge thing with the Catholic church.

I do think she is intolerant.


Matt said...

Ok, if we pretend that Madonna does actually have something meaningful to say on the subject of religion, and isn't just recycling her old publicity stunts, then she should read these:



I also would question the comment about siding with Madonna over the Catholic Church when it comes to homosexuality. People at the Kabbalah Centre are said to state homosexuality is a 'curable disease' and a 'mistake'. I cannot confirm this but Madonna was criticized as a "hypocrite" by Boy George for this.

boyinthebands said...

Thanks Matt, you beat me to what I was going to write. That and she has bored me for years.

The Catholic League isn't on my Christmas card list, but good for them for making the right response.

LaReinaCobre said...

I vacillate between being really sympathetic towards the Catholic Church and frustrated with them. All it takes for me to feel anger is when I think about how the Catholic Church has not used its power or influence to challenge some of the horrendous atrocities committed by governments that control the lives of millions of Catholics. Same for the Evanglicals. These religious institutions had nothing to say about Guatemala, for example.

That just pisses me off. So I don't care if Madonna makes the church feel uncomfortable, though I wish she'd be more specific.

Matt said...

Well the Roman Catholic Church is one billion people and therefore a reflection of humanity in the rights and wrongs people have carried out in its name. Same with Islam, same with Protestantism, same with Hinduism blah blah blah... I could go on but it is just not necessary.

Going back to the point about Madonna, she isn't interested in a debate over the conduct of the Roman Catholic Church. She is interested in Madonna Inc - maintaining the publicity and sales machine that has served her so well in the past.

In terms of intra and inter-religious dialogue, she is a complete irrelevance. Why the Roman Catholic Church, or elements of it, have decided to even respond to her is beyond me.

The only religion Madonna truly represents is the Cult of Celebrity; and sadly this cult (in the UK at least) dominates our media and much of our culture.

LaReinaCobre said...

While I don't think the Vatican necessarily represents the views of all Catholics, I am disturbed at the way it uses its undeniably enormous influence), and on what issues it remains silent on. I find that a lot more offensive than anything Madonna does. If anything, she is doing the Catholic Church a favor, by putting it in a position of being "victimized" - an idea I find laughable.

Psyton said...

I guess I feel a more appropriate 'christian' response would be "while we're mildly upset you felt the need to use christian imagery to spice up your act, we forgive you and hope that we can both do our best to weild human spirituality and compassion into a postive force in our own ways."

Snarkily calling Madonna a boring bigot and attempting to take her to task for "christ bashing" seems like the most UN-Christian thing the Catholic League could be doing... Hence my tendancy to wedge that statement into the "bad christian" bin... and I lose respect for the Catholic League.

Needless to say, their effect backfired where I am concerned

Chalicechick said...

I think the first time, that response would have been jsut fine.

Madonna has been doing this in one way or another for most of her career. ("Like a Prayer" came out over 15 years ago.)

She's been getting rich off of makign fun of Catholics for getting close to two decades and I think Matt is right that her only real religion is the almighty dollar.

(I don't find calling her a bigot inappropriate. If she were mocking Jews over and over, would we hesitate to call her an anti-semite?)


Chalicechick said...