Idol Chatter

Despite fellow blogger Charlotte Allen’s rather icy assessment of my recent posting in praise of Madonna’s crucixifion act and my defense of a woman’s right to image the divine on the cross, my NPR commentary on the same topic was controversial enough to catch the attention of one of the most famous gossip-columnists in America, Liz Smith. Yes, I’ve made the tabloids!

In her New York Post column on Monday, headlined “A Thorny Issue,” the queen of celebrity (and, apparently, NPR) gossip writes:

“MADONNA IS doing Christians a favor. She is performing a woman’s right to stand in Jesus’s place… as a Christian, I know that one of the most important spiritual tasks asked of me is to see the crucified Jesus in each and every person I encounter… it offends only because our imaginations are so impoverished.”

So says teacher/author Donna Freitas, about the controversy of Madonna on the cross in her latest concert. Freitas spoke on the NPR program “All Things Considered.” (As the world knows by now, while suspended on the cross, wearing a twinkly crown of thorns, Madonna sings “Live to Tell.” Images of AIDS-stricken African women and children flash on the giant screen above her.) La Ciccone has insisted, “I don’t think Jesus would be mad at me.”

Well, I don’t try to fathom what Jesus would think. But maybe being named Madonna gives you special privilege.

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