January 10, 2012
SWC Receives Apology from Singer's Father
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Rev. Keith Hudson released the following statement to a number of Jewish organizations and media outlets, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center:
I deeply regret the hurtful and ugly language I used in my message in Ohio. I have had a few days to think about what I said, and to listen to my words as they were understood by others.
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 God is my witness - that I am not an anti-Semite. If anything, my faith as a Christian reminds me, and always has reminded me, of my special closeness to the Jewish people.
But that is the point. We can do lots of harm even to those we love simply by using words irresponsibly.
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 can't tell you where I picked up phrases and descriptions that became part of my vocabulary. I used them without ever considering what they meant. I probably would have used them for the rest of my life, had people not pointed out to me their origin and evil purpose.
My joy in life is preaching - using words to call people to God. I understand the power of words, and the need for all of us to think twice before using words that can hurt or harm others. I apologize for the hurt that I caused my Jewish friends. With the help of God, it will not happen again.
In a related development, the SWC's Interfaith Director, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein reports that he and Reverend Paul Endrei spoke following Rev. Hudson's remarks. Rev. Endrei said that he was deeply hurt by the implication that his church might support anti-Semitism. In fact, he said, his church is a proud supporter of Israel. He pledged to get the word out to his community, and try to undo any damage that was done by Rev. Hudson.
January 9, 2012
The Simon Wiesenthal Center today denounced anti-Semitic remarks Keith Hudson, an evangelical minister, and father of pop star Katy Perry, made during a sermon at Church On The Rise in Westlake, Ohio. "You know how to make the Jew jealous? Have some money, honey," Mr. Hudson said to the congregants, adding, "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."
“If you take out 'L.A.' from his rant, most people would guess that Hitler or Goebbels was speaking,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “It’s hard to believe that something good could emanate from the mouth of a preacher who is filled with such bigotry and hatred,” Hier added.
Rabbi Hier is available for additional comments. To schedule an interview or for more information, please contact the Center’s Public Relations department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400.000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.