MARILYN MANSON FIRES AT CATHOLICISM
Catalyst January/February Issue 2001
Marilyn Manson’s new CD, “Holy Wood,” is replete with assaults on religion and celebratory comments on violence. On the cover is a picture of Manson on a crucifix with his jawbone removed; both Circuit City and Best Buy have required Interscope Records to put an alternative cover on the CD.
The new single from the album is called “Disposable Teens.” Its lyrics include multiple obscenities, along with such poetic fare as “I got a face that’s made for doing violence upon, I’m a teen distortion, survived abortion, a rebel from the waist down.” On the cover is a depiction of an aborted baby nailed to a cross. Other songs on “Holy Wood” are called “Godeatgod,” “Cruci-fixion in Space,” “President Dead,” “In the Shadow of the Valley of Death,” “The Death Song,” “The Lamb of God,” “The Fall of Adam,” “Burning Flag,” “King Kill 33° ” and “Count to 6 and Die.”
We immediately sounded off on Manson’s latest tirade with the following statement to the media:
“‘Holy Wood’ is vintage Marilyn Manson. Preoccupied with violence and religion, Manson uses infantile expressions to convey his perverse vision of reality. But reviewers who remark that Manson assaults religion shoot too broadly: it is Christianity that he hates and it is Catholicism that he hates most of all. Why else would he appear dressed as a bishop with a cross behind him in his video for ‘Disposable Teens’? And why else would he wear a pope’s miter while performing live? No, this is a guy at war with Christ and the Vicar of Christ on earth.
“The appropriate response for Catholics is to boycott all Marilyn Manson CD’s and to return any albums that might be offered to any family member as a gift this Christmas. It would also be an opportune time to explain why this is being done. As for the Catholic League, we will ask Interscope if there is any reason other than greed that is motivating its promotion of Manson’s ‘Holy Wood.’”
Our news release led Manson to attack the Catholic League: “I can’t possibly be at war with Christ, because your religion killed him and what he stood for. But if you want to be at war with me…bring it on.” This remark was posted on the Internet on Manson’s home page.
The Catholic League will not shy from criticizing Manson but it refuses to take the bait of this madman. The vile and illiterate response we got from his fans demonstrates what happens when people overdose on junk.
Readers should know, however, that no matter how outrageous Manson is, there are some media barons who love him. Unless, of course, he attacks some group they consider off-limits.
Ann Powers of the New York Times recently reviewed a New York concert by Manson. She noted, without disapproval, his anti-Catholic taunts. But then he apparently stung her. “His negativity,” she wrote, “is inching toward thoughtless conservatism: at the concert he cursed the homeless as well as priests and teachers.”
We have the strange suspicion that Powers would be utterly unable to identify thoughtful conservatism anymore than she could identify thoughtless liberalism. But we can say this: God bless the homeless—had Manson not railed against them, priests would never have made the cut.