Pop-singer Madonna took her “Confessions” tour to Rome on Sunday, August 4. During her song “Live To Tell,” she wore a crown of thorns while suspended from a mirrored cross.

On several national TV shows, Bill Donohue labeled Madonna’s latest stunt “an act of provocation.” Had she gone to Venice on a Saturday, he said, the Catholic League would not have registered another complaint, but her decision to perform two miles from the Vatican on a Sunday was another matter altogether.

No wonder Jewish and Muslim leaders joined Catholic leaders in denouncing Madonna’s trip to Rome—it was an in-your-face gesture that if tolerated would only have beckoned more attacks on religion. The Catholic League agreed with Bishop Velasio De Paolis, a Vatican official, who compared her act to “Satanists [who] use religious objects for Black Masses.”

Donohue appeared on NBC’s “Today” show on August 6 to discuss this issue. He said Madonna’s portrayal of herself as Christ on the cross was “the functional equivalent of taking a middle finger and sticking it right in the face of Christians.”

The next day on CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now,” Donohue labeled Madonna’s mock crucifixion “gratuitous,” saying it had nothing to do with the song. He also wondered why “She always chooses my religion. We thought we got rid of her. If she chose Muslims she might lose her head.”

It’s time for this 48-year old to hang it up.

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