Out Of Context Or Out Of His Mind?

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I would like to take you all back to the remarks of the father of singer Katy Perry, which I posted yesterday.

“You know how to make the Jew jealous? Have some money, honey. You go to LA and they own all the Rolex and diamond places. Walk down a part of LA where we live and it is so rich it smells. You ever smell rich? They are all Jews, hallelujah. Amen.”

What do you think when you see those remarks?

a) He is promoting the antisemitic canard that Jews are all rich and love money



b) He was praying for business owners. He was talking about being blessed in life: G-d wants you to be blessed and have G-d’s favor on your life, like the Jews are blessed. He wants you to be so blessed that you can even make the Jews jealous.

If you answered a), you are normal.

If you answered b), you are pastor Paul Endrei (or have been hanging out with him way too much).

The Rev. Keith Hudson, father of pop megastar Katy Perry, spoke at Church on the Rise in Westlake on Thurs, Jan. 5, and made comments stereotyping Jews that the church’s pastor Paul Endrei said were taken out of context.

Endrei confirmed that Hudson told attendees, “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.”

But Hudson’s remarks were meant to be complimentary, Endrei said.

“He was praying for business owners … he was talking about being blessed in life,” he said. “What (Hudson) said was, ‘God wants you to be blessed and have God’s favor on your life, like the Jews are blessed. He wants you to be so blessed that you can even make the Jews jealous,’ which was inappropriate.

“You might say that with your friend or whatever, but it was inappropriate,” Endrei said. “If he would’ve just said, ‘Hey, God wants you to be blessed,’ it would’ve been fine. He went too far.”

Endrei called Hudson’s remarks “stupid” and reiterated that “the idea of praying for prosperity is fine, but we felt like that was inappropriate.”

Endrei said Church on the Rise was one of the most pro-Jewish churches in the Cleveland area and hoped people wouldn’t view his ministry negatively in light of Hudson’s comments.

“I just took 42 people to Israel and had a wonderful time,” he said. “We pray for Jerusalem’s peace. We’re 100% backing the Jewish people and their struggles to maintain their land that we feel like God gave to them from the time of Abraham. If I should be criticized, honestly, it would be to be too pro-Jewish. That’s why it’s so funny the way the cards got played in this particular situation.”

I’d submit this is not a case of the “cards being played” a particular way, but rather a joker trying to bluff us.

Update: After I wrote the above, I noticed* that Perry’s parents had themselves commented.

But when the Blaze questioned Keith and his wife, Mary, in an exclusive interview, they offered up a very different explanation, calling the media’s depiction of the sermon “so out of context.”

During a phone call Monday afternoon, Keith said that the media have been inundating him with phone calls.

“I’m not anti-Semitic,” Keith explained. ”We have lots of Jewish friends. We’ve supported Jewish orphanages…The Hudsons do not mean any harm.”

Rather than a “sick blast” or a “rant,” he explained that the comments were said in jest and that there was certainly no harm meant by them. “I was joking. I have said this for years – I’ve said it in other churches before,” he continued.

Just before the comments were made, Keith said that he was talking about and praying for small business owners — mainly individuals who were self-employed. “I was talking about how God wants people to prosper and to be a blessing,” he explains. “God wants to bless you so you can be a blessing.”

It was after speaking and praying for these business owners that he made the joking comments about Jewish wealth. Quips about Judaism and wealth are widely regarded as pejorative and have been known to cause offense. But it’s the context that the Hudsons say is missing from media reports about the incident.

Mary went on to explain that the family has given thousands of dollars to Jewish charities and that they have supported Pastor John Hagee and Christians & Jews United for Israel.

Additionally, the husband and wife duo said that they have preached with Messianic Jewish leaders. According to Mary, her family may even have Jewish roots. ”We love the Jewish people,” she reiterated.

“I think where I erred was in using the word ‘Jews,’” Keith said, acknowledging the fact that some may see the word as offensive (though he maintains that he had no ill will in using the term). “I should have used the word ‘Jewish’ instead.”

In an interview with the Blaze, Pastor Phil Tammy Hotsenpiller (an expert in spreading faith in Hollywood whom we have profiled in the past), a close friend of the Hudson family, flatly rejected the notion that they are anti-Semitic.

“I would say it’s absolutely false,” Hotsenpiller said of the media’s anti-Jewish charges. “They’re some of the most pro-Israel people I know on the planet. There‘s rarely a conversation we have that doesn’t talk about blessing Israel [and] praying for Israel…”

The Blaze also interviewed David Schneier, a lawyer and a rabbi at the Messianic Initiative. When we told Schneier about the anti-Semitic allegations, he was surprised, as the Hudsons have worked with him in the past.

“Anyone who says anything like that — they don’t know them. Its nonsense,” he said. “I know them personally. They’ve attended conferences with the Messianic Congregation. They have never appeared to be and are not anti-Semitic. Period.”

Hmm.

On one hand “Some of my best friends are Jewish” and “Antisemitic remarks? Heck, I’ve been making similar remarks for years” aren’t the best defences to accusations of antisemitism. Neither is supporting Messianics. And talking in the third person is never a good idea.

On the other hand, giving money to Jewish orphanages and charities makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

So the question remains..

Were Keith Hudson's comments antisemitic?

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* I should have noticed it earlier since Zionist Shark mentioned it

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