David Bowie's provocative new video for the title track of his latest album, The Next Day, has drawn the ire of the Christian advocacy group the Catholic League.
Shortly after the debut of the clip, which is populated by a variety of grotesque religious-themed characters, Catholic League president Bill Donohue posted a statement on the organization's website criticizing Bowie and the video.
Donohue begins by writing, "David Bowie is back, but hopefully not for long. The switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced, this time playing a Jesus-like character who hangs out in a nightclub dump frequented by priests, cardinals and half-naked women."
Donohue then gives a descriptive account of the video, which he says "is strewn with characteristic excess." The clip includes a scene of self-flagellation, eyeballs being served on a plate, philandering priests and a scantily clad women who suffers a severe case of stigmata. Donohue concludes that the clip "reflects the artist -- it is a mess."
The conservative advocate also takes Bowie to task for his apparent confused view on religion. He cites a 2003 interview in which the rock legend discusses how he dabbled in Tibetan Buddhism and then "went through Nietzsche, Satanism, Christianity…pottery, and ended up singing." Donohue adds, "Too bad the pottery didn't work."
In the same interview, notes Donohue, Bowie says, "I'm not quite an atheist and it worries me. There's a little bit that holds on." Donohue then muses about what Bowie believes in today, concluding that "it's a sure bet he can't stop thinking about the Cadillac of all religions, namely Roman Catholicism. There is hope for him yet."
"The Next Day" video was conceived by Bowie and directed by Floria Sigismondi. It features Gary Oldman as a debauched priest and Marion Cotillard as the women with stigmata issues.
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