January 10th, 2012
05:56 PM ET
Katy Perry’s father, Pastor Keith Hudson, has apologized after being criticized by two prominent Jewish groups for giving a sermon that included anti-Semitic remarks.
The evangelical preacher drew ire from the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday because of remarks he made about Jews during a recent speaking engagement at the Church on the Rise in Westlake, Ohio.
“You know how to make the Jew jealous? Have some money, honey,” Hudson allegedly said. “You go to L.A. and they own all the Rolex and diamond places. Walk down a part of L.A. where we live and it is so rich it smells. You ever smell rich? They are all Jews, hallelujah! Amen.”
The director of the ADL, Abraham Foxman, called the remarks “unabashedly anti-Semitic,” although he noted that he was not involving the pastor’s 27-year-old pop star daughter in his reaction.
“Katy Perry is blameless for her parents’ behavior, and it is unfortunate that her good name is now attached to her father’s words,” Foxman said.
SWC founder Rabbi Marvin Hier said the alleged comments were reminiscent of Hitler or his propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbles.
The Church on the Rise told CNN in a statement on Tuesday that Hudson’s words were taken out of context.
“Keith Hudson was praying for different individuals and groups of people and he asked for business men and women to stand so that he could pray for them to be blessed and prosperous in their business pursuits,” the statement says. “The comment was intended as a compliment, not as a criticism.”
Paul Endrei, senior pastor at the Church on the Rise, added in a voicemail left with CNN that the congregation is “a very pro-Jewish church.”
“I know from talking today to Keith [Hudson] that he definitely is not, you know, anti-Semitic, or was intending to say anything negative at all,” Endrei said. “In fact, the statement he was trying to make was positive, but it was taken out of context.”
Hudson himself has offered an apology for his comment, telling CNN in a statement that he “deeply” regrets the “hurtful and ugly language” he used while speaking at the Ohio church.
“I am not going to offer any excuse, or tell you not to think what I did wasn't so terrible. I do insist, and G-d is my witness – that I am not an anti-Semite,” Hudson said. “But that is the point. We can do lots of harm even to those we love simply by using words irresponsibly.”
He continued, “I used images about Jews rooted in the worst anti-Semitism in the past, images that at times led to the persecution and murder of Jews…I used them without ever considering what they meant. … I apologize for the hurt that I caused my Jewish friends. With the help of G-d, it will not happen again.”
In a statement on Tuesday, the ADL accepted Hudson’s apology.
Katy Perry has thus far remained quiet about the controversy, although she has told fans that her family does not speak for her.
On Saturday, as rumors continued to circulate about her split from estranged husband Russell Brand, Perry tweeted, “ Concerning the gossip, I want to be clear that NO ONE speaks for me. Not a blog, magazine, ‘close sources’ or my family.”
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