Pastor of Catholic Church Condemned by Right Wing Pundits for Commending Lady Gaga
From "demon jazz" to Elvis Presley’s famed gyrating pelvis and beyond, popular music has remained a favorite target of American evangelicals hoping to stir up their base or fill column inches in their weekly rants.
Little surprise that when the pastor of an upstate New York Catholic Church praised Lady Gaga as the product of a Catholic education, a pair of right wing commentators took to their syndicated column to gas up the christian panic machine.
At the center of the controversy isn’t so much Mother Monster herself, but Rev. John Medwid, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in the upstate New York town of Amsterdam.
In an annual newsletter for the St. Mary’s Institute (the Catholic school affiliated with Medwid’s parish), he said "In September at the opening Mass I officially announced that this was going to be the Year of Lady Gaga at SMI [...]many people may not realize that Lady Gaga is the product of Catholic education [...] "she was someone who followed her own path ... It takes a great deal of courage especially for young people to blaze their own trails in life!"
Lady Gaga (aka Stephani Germanotta) is a graduate of the prestigious Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattan where she remains an active alumna.
Medwid’s letter provided the impetus behind an opinion piece written by L. Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham published on conservative christian (but not Catholic) news outlets Friday. In the piece, Bozell and Graham used the letter as a jumping off point to attack not only Lady Gaga’s more sensational brand of entertainment, but also her support of gay rights.
In a series of facetious questions asking what Catholic children should find commendable about Lady Gaga, Bozell and Graham took particular issue with her history of advocating for gay rights.
"Was it how she constantly promotes gay themes in her music and bashes the military for its treatment of gays? Or maybe she’s a trailblazer of another sort."
True to form, the pair of right wing commentator made sure to somehow implicate President Obama in this non-scandal, saying:
"Speaking at a gay-left dinner in 2011, President Barack Obama began by joking, ’I took a trip out to California last week, where I held some productive bilateral talks with your leader, Lady Gaga.’"
Comments to Bozell and Graham’s article CNS News.com were typical, with their "christian" readers predictably eating their own.
"Beware those who say the Catholic religion is Christian."
"Excommunicate him NOW."
"This pastor is brain damaged, possessed, or both."
Bozell and Graham are no strangers to inflammatory rhetoric. The pair work for right wing Media Research Center where they serve as president and director of media analysis respectively. Together they have authored "Collusion: How the Media Stole the 2012 Election---and How to Stop Them from Doing It in 2016" and "Whitewash: What the Media Won’t Tell You About Hillary Clinton, but Conservatives Will." Their work has been lauded by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.