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Madonna - Banned in Tennessee


A reader writes:

For those who believe Bob Corker won because of racism, rest assured he won on religious fundamentalism. Proof in point: last night in Chattanooga, TN (Bob Corker's hometown) NBC aired "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" instead of the Madonna concert. Our children and grandchildren learn to cut school, be cool, borrow Dad's Ferrari and tell a few harmless lies. But by the Grace of God, our community protects impressionable youth from that sexual and religious deviant Madonna. Our children will know only the true Virgin Madonna not the "Like-A-Virgin" Madonna.

Just as an aside, Chattanooga has progressed some. I am an avid hockey fan. Every time the major networks broadcast the Stanley Cup Finals, area stations always air a Billy Graham Crusade around 1970. So Ferris is a big step forward in a little step town!

The Madonna NBC concert was, to my mind, astonishingly good. I'd seen the concert live, but the filming took concert-movies to a new level. Stuart Price's remixes of old Madonna songs were also easier to appreciate. It was like a two-hour music-dance-video. I should also add that I believe Madonna is often an authentically Catholic pop-artist. Case in point: a whole set last night focused on chidren orphaned by AIDS in Africa, and used as its leitmotif a verse from Matthew's Gospel. Here is a pop performer, reaching millions, and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (It was, in my view, more effective by omitting Madonna's gratuitously provocative appearance on a crucifix.) The simple image of the cross on stage as the Gospel injunction to help the poor and feed the hungry was displayed in words above it was one of the most effective fusions of Christian evangelism and pop-culture I have ever seen. And yet she is banned in Tennessee. As a reader once put it to me, these fundamentalists may believe in Jesus, but many sure don't believe Jesus.

Madonna is closer to Jesus' authentic teachings in this respect than many Christianists.