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December 16, 2003
A Class Act All The Way

Singer Lauryn Hill, after being invited to perform at a Christmas concert at the Vatican, paid back their hospitality by insulting her hosts and their religion:

American singer Lauryn Hill, from a stage used by the Pope, shocked Catholic officials at a concert by telling them to "repent" and alluding to sexual abuse of children by U.S. priests. The broadside came during the recording Saturday night of a Christmas concert attended by top Vatican (news - web sites) cardinals, bishops and many elite of Italian society, witnesses said.

Pardon me, but having a hip-hop artist telling anyone to repent is somewhat akin to having a drunk lecture you on the evils of cocaine. While I am aware that the Amrican Catholic Church has a big problem with sexual-abuse scandals -- and should be a lot more cooperative with investigators, especially in Los Angeles -- what Lauryn Hill said and did does nothing to help the situation, She was just rude, as the story makes clear:

"I did not come here to celebrate the birth of Christ with you but to ask you why you are not in mourning for his death inside this place," she said according to a transcript of her statement run by the Rome newspaper La Repubblica. ... Hill, 28, did not sing the song listed on the program but instead sang a song about social injustice. ... Hill told the crowd to seek blessings "from God not men" and said she did "not believe in representatives of God on earth."

I am appalled by this behavior, especially the last quote. Lauryn Hill may think of herself as a modern Martin Luther, but having heard her music, I won't be waiting for one coherent thesis, let alone 95 of them. It takes a lot of chutzpah to go to someone's house to celebrate their holiday and tell them that their religion is false. If that's what the organizers of the event wanted, they could have just invited the equally rude and idiotic Sinead O'Connor, who has a better voice anyway.

Freedom of speech and religion are wonderful, but it doesn't mean that we shouldn't be polite, especially when we are in someone else's house. Lauryn Hill's family apparently didn't teach her any better.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 16, 2003 5:24 AM

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