Madonna has caused a furore with a controversial mock crucifixion during her current tour. Last week, Dusseldorf police warned the singer that she could be in breach of their “insulting religious beliefs” law and might face arrest, while numerous religious leaders have condemned the performance as “blasphemous”. For the stunt, Madonna wears a crown of thorns and is hoisted on to a ‘disco cross’. Madonna insists she is doing it to try and raise Aids awareness.
Madonna, Madonna, up on the cross
I must confess that I’m quite at a loss
to understand just what your grand gesture means.
Are you simply intent on giving a shock
to church leaders living wholly in hock
to scriptures outmoded by Darwin and genes
or is this provocation a means to an end?
Is it transcendence that you intend?
What will you say if a jury convenes?
Will you be witty and poke holes in the creeds,
suggest that religion distracts and misleads
or will you throw up a series of smokescreens?
Am I being cynical if I suggest
that you will back down if put to the test,
that all this controversy’s designed for bored teens?
It is of course possible that I am quite wrong
and your crucifixion is explained in a song
that is loving and careful and in no way demeans,
but I think it’s part of your blonde ambition
to play fast and loose with old superstition –
and getting nailed is one of your lasting routines.
I think you want to be pop’s second coming
any which way you can, whatever depths you’ll be plumbing
to get your face onto our screens.