Katy Perry is causing controversy as the ‘American Idol’ judge recently mocked a contestant’s Christian parents. After being raised herself by evangelist preachers, Perry has never hid her disdain for religion, but the pop star took things a little too far recently.

Contestant 21-year-old Israel McFarland auditioned in front of the ‘Idol’ judges, and Perry couldn’t help but make fun of his Christian parents.

Almost immediately, the audition became awkward when Perry asked Israel about his “unusual” name, which isn’t unusual at all. McFarland told the judges his parents wanted to give their children “names from the Bible” and that he was raised in a strict religious home. McFarland admitted his mother wasn’t a fan of secular music and that she wasn’t fond of his songs that included cursing, but it was one of the few things the singer enjoyed and that he wasn’t going to stop cursing anytime soon.

Perry then encouraged the singer to take her advice and write a same-sex-themed song similar to her “I Kissed a Girl” titled “I Kissed a Boy, and I Liked It,” adding to let them only hear it for the first time on the radio. Perry was raised by evangelist parents who are both preachers. Perry has always blamed them and the strict Christian upbringing for not allowing her to be herself.

Perry continued with McFarland asking the singer what “Satan music” he would be singing for his audition. Perry disrespected the contestant’s parents and the singer when she assumed he was not religious himself. The singer may have admitted to enjoying cursing, but that does not mean he was interested in singing about the devil or mocking his parent’s beliefs.

Perry’s question was wholly inappropriate and unprofessional. Often it seems as if contestants are brought on the show as a mere form of entertainment for the judges, which is not what American Idol should be about. Contestants should get a chance to display their talent and be judged on that, not on their personal beliefs or what they do outside of the competition. Instead of remaining professional and respecting the beliefs of others even if they are not in line with her own, Perry chose instead to be mean-spirited.

McFarland performed an original song he wrote called “The Cost,” about missing his family and what it’s like to chase dreams in the music industry.

“I want to chase my goals, but that just sort of unbearably brings me away from my close friends, and I don’t know, man, like life is so short.”

Fellow judge Lionel Ritchie was impressed with McFarland’s singing and voted “100 percent” for him to move on, but Perry and Luke Bryan felt the singer needed work as a vocalist. Bryan told McFarland he was better suited as a songwriter than a singer and told the young artist to go and work on his skills and come back in the future.

Perry said while the two shared many of the same similarities, she didn’t think he had what it took to be an “American Idol.”

Even though McFarland was sent home, the singer continues to release his music via streaming services and refuses to give up on his dream of becoming a star. It seems Perry’s words had no effect on McFarland’s motivation. His parents have yet to comment on Perry’s insults.

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