Ashley Baxstrom: Thank God for celebrities, you know? Like, for real. Because without them, how else would conservative religious authors promote their books in new and exciting ways, am I right?
Author and radio personality Teresa Tomeo has found her golden goose (or is it a calf?) to rail against in the recent remarks made by actress Susan Sarandon about Pope Benedict XVI. During a red-carpet interview at last weekend’s Hamptons International Film Festival, Sarandon referred to the Pope as a “Nazi.” The comment came up during a conversation about Sarandon’s 1995 film “Dead Man Walking,” based on an anti-death penalty book by Sister Helen Prejean, whom Sarandon portrayed in the film. Sarandon said she had sent a copy of the book to Pope John Paul II, “the last one, not this Nazi one we have now.”
Tomeo is currently working the promotion trail for her new book Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ Not Conformed to the Culture (and that link includes a trailer!), making the outspoken Sarandon a perfect target example. In a statement put out by Ignatius Press, issued via Religion Press Release Services, Tomeo said that “No amount of foundation or age-defying makeup can hide the ugliness verbalized by actress and Revlon spokeswoman Susan Sarandon against the leader of the Roman Catholic Church” (Burn! Double burn!) Tomeo demands that Sarandon apologize (twice, as apparently she repeated her comment for emphasis).
The Pope, born Joseph Ratzinger, was briefly conscripted into the Hitler Youth when joining became mandatory in 1941. The Catholic League and the Anti-Defamation Leage have both condemned Sarandon’s remarks and the ADL has requested an apology.
However Tomeo’s larger point is that Sarandon is just a piece of the ever-present (ever-vilified) Main Stream Media which is desensitizing us, and women in particular, as she will apparently be explaining in a chapter entitled “Media Mania and the Feminist Mistake.” “The bottom line is that women – Sarandon and many, many others – have come to believe that it’s necessary to be ‘out there’ in order to get attention,” she said. With the help of her book, Tomeo hopes that young women “can shed the toxic messages that objectify and enslave them and embrace the truth about being a beloved daughter of God.”
Sarandon may be under fire for directing her comments at the Pope, but others have recently used the Hitler moniker from all sides of the ideological spectrum, including country musician Hank Williams, who was recently let go from ESPN’s Monday Night Football program after referring to President Obama as Hitler.