A “MATERIAL GIRL” NO MORE?
Catalyst December Issue 2005
Pop-singer Madonna used to be known as “The Material Girl.” But now she says she’s changed. However, her new documentary, “I’m Going to Tell You a Secret,” which is a behind-the-scenes account of her “Re-Invention Tour,” contains more than a flash from her past. One part of the film, in particular, caught our eye. Here’s what we had to say about it:
“Madonna is a mess. The same woman who brags about her journey from Catholicism to Kabbalah, and who warns young people that they will ‘go to hell’ unless they renounce their ‘wicked behavior,’ makes a film that not only takes a stab at Catholics and Jews—it delivers an attack on diversity. That it took her an entire year to make this movie suggests that her creative talents have dissipated: some in the asylum could have done it in a week.
“The scenes that touch on religion are more pathetic than offensive. The film opens with Madonna reading from the Book of Revelation, and she later tells us that our modern culture is the ‘Beast’ of Revelation. For Catholics, this is at least an improvement: Catholic-hating Christians have long told us that we’re the Beast. Then there is the scene that caricatures Orthodox Jews and that shows a woman dressed as a nun revealing her undergarments. Worse still is the man dressed as a Cardinal grabbing his crotch and giving the finger with both hands.
“It is not Madonna’s quip about ‘most priests are gay’ that is the most telling commentary in this documentary. No, it is what she says to men and women wearing various religious garb: She informs us that ‘religion breeds fragmentation’ and that ‘these religious costumes, for most people, end up separating everybody.’ She then endorses getting rid of religious garb ‘so you can be one consciousness, OK?’
“In other words, Madonna hates pluralism (a.k.a. diversity) and loves uniformity (a.k.a. inclusion). She belongs at a local college teaching multiculturalism; her increased nuttiness would make her a sure bet to win tenure.”
Just prior to the release of the film, Bill Donohue was asked by a reporter from the celebrity page of the New York Daily News what he thought about Madonna’s purported interest in turning over a new leaf. He was asked to comment on her alleged interest in finding morality.
Here’s what the column had to say: “Catholic League president William Donohue likes Madonna’s new morality: ‘For her to have this sudden wakeup call—that the kind of behavior for which she is infamous is not salutary for young people—is refreshing.’”
The column continued, “But he doesn’t like her proclamation, also made in the documentary about her 2004 Re-Invention tour, that ‘most priests are gay.’ Donohue adds, ‘We’re glad to see she is no longer with us. Jews will have to make up their own mind about whether they’re going to welcome her. Lots of them don’t want to.’”