New York, NY, January 9, 2012 … The age-old stereotypes about Jews and money are "alive and well and continue to bubble up to the surface" in society, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said today in reaction to an anti-Semitic sermon by Keith Hudson, an evangelist preacher and the father of pop star Katy Perry, who during an appearance in Ohio reportedly railed against Jews and money.
In a sermon last week at the Church on the Rise in Westlake, Ohio, according to news reports, Mr. Hudson railed against Jews, telling hundreds of worshippers: "You know how to make the Jew jealous? Have some money, honey. 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."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and author of "Jews & Money: The Story of a Stereotype" (Palgrave Macmillan) issued the following statement:
Keith Hudson's unabashedly anti-Semitic remarks to hundreds of worshippers in Ohio about Jews and money are a reminder that the age-old stereotypes are alive and well and continue to bubble up to the surface in many segments of society. We have seen it previously manifested in pop culture and in religious and political spheres.
Church-based anti-Semitism historically has been one of the most virulent forms of this disease. We have made much progress in this country in terms of religiously based anti-Semitism. That's why this manifestation is so disturbing. It is always much worse when it comes out on a religious platform – when an individual who is looked up to as a religious leader gives the old anti-Semitic stereotypes a patina of renewed credibility.
Would these words have been made by any other pastor, we most likely would not have heard about it and his remarks would have remained within the confines of a congregation. But because this is the father of a pop celebrity, the anti-Semitic remarks he uttered are taking on a life of their own, both in the echo chamber of the Internet and in the real world.
Katy Perry is blameless for her parents' behavior, and it is unfortunate that her good name is now attached to her father's words.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.