Sinead O'Connor Had it Right, Watch Her Rachel Maddow Show Appearance

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Sinead O'Connor Had it Right, Watch Her Rachel Maddow Show Appearance

Remember when Sinead O'Connor ripped up a picture of the Pope John Paul II on Mtv? It ruined her career and she became persona non grata. She was protesting the Church's lack of action on child abuse within the Irish Church. That was in 1992.

O'Connor recently penned an Op-ed for the Washington Post, and has made the cable news rounds in her criticism of the Catholic Church.

O'Connor writes in the Post:

This month, Pope Benedict XVI wrote a pastoral letter of apology -- of sorts -- to Ireland to atone for decades of sexual abuse of minors by priests whom those children were supposed to trust. To many people in my homeland, the pope's letter is an insult not only to our intelligence, but to our faith and to our country. To understand why, one must realize that we Irish endured a brutal brand of Catholicism that revolved around the humiliation of children.

Benedict's apology states that his concern is "above all, to bring healing to the victims." Yet he denies them the one thing that might bring them healing -- a full confession from the Vatican that it has covered up abuse and is now trying to cover up the cover up. Astonishingly, he invites Catholics "to offer up your fasting, your prayer, your reading of Scripture and your works of mercy in order to obtain the grace of healing and renewal for the Church in Ireland." Even more astonishing, he suggests that Ireland's victims can find healing by getting closer to the church -- the same church that has demanded oaths of silence from molested children, as occurred in 1975 in the case of Father Brendan Smyth, an Irish priest later jailed for repeated sexual offenses. After we stopped laughing, many of us in Ireland recognized the idea that we needed the church to get closer to Jesus as blasphemy.

Watch her appearance on Rachel Maddow below. Also watch her full performace on Mtv here.



Comments [19]

Not2Taem's picture

Interesting piece from World News

This is a tad old, but I think its interesting.

http://article.wn.com/view/2010/04/05/Pope_says_Church_in_times_of_diffi...

Joanne Robertson's picture

The pope 'incident'

was kind of the Dixie Chicks moment of it's day ... the masses never got over it Smile

I remember her performing sometime after that and she was visibly shaking.  You could feel the bad vibes from the audience. 

Even if many people secretly agreed with her, you just didn't openly critique the Catholic church back in '92 (yet we thought we were so modern & progressive)... Madonna danced around the subject, but Sinead was fiece & in-your-face about how she felt.

Sinead was too unpredictable for the American market and probably only had success with "Nothing Compares 2 U" because it was a well written Prince song and because (even with a shaved head), she was commercially beautiful in the video.

Tex's picture

Good thoughts, JR!

You know, the part of this interview that is continuing to cause me thought is that part at the end where she is thanking the American media. That's extremely interesting to me. Are we the only people in the world that are calling the Catholics out on this? Interesting....maybe WE have something to do with that. Maybe the Catholics (along with the Mormons) started flexing their 'power' muscles a bit too much in the last two marriage equality votes.  ummmmm   maybe not, but I'm gonna think it anyway - I like the thought! And I really don't like a pervert calling me a pervert.

Twitter Time @kdhales

Robin Rigby's picture

I am a big fan.  I own nearly

I am a big fan.  I own nearly all of her albums and I would say that it was probably more Sinead's mental/emotional issues that took her out of the spotlight but she was never mainstream.  According to VH1 she is a one hit wonder as Nothing Compares to You was her only song to break into the top ten.  I think that's because her music isn't easy, it's challenging in both lyrical content and musical composition.  In fact, just check out this You Tube link with one of my favorite of her songs- it's not exactly pop radio fare: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu7n0ccyywY

This was the first of her songs I ever heard.  They played the video on MTV's 120 Minutes and the next day I went to the nearest record store to purchase The Lion and the Cobra.  I was hooked.  I understood why she ripped up the Pope's picture and I defended her to lots of people who didn't understand what she was trying to say.  I do think that her refusal to sing The National Anthem at a baseball game was a bigger problem for most Americans.  

A couple more links to some of my favorites.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPH4_DDDz8Q&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFz7cZ77NKo&feature=related

Seeing Sinead live on my birthday one year was one of my best presents.  

Yvonne's picture

About that

[...]I do think that her refusal to sing The National Anthem at a baseball game was a bigger problem for most Americans. [...]

Why did she refuse to sing it? thanks for the info

[edit] got my answer thanks both ways Smile

Robin Rigby's picture

I've been trying to remember

I've been trying to remember the details but now that I'm thinking back on it, I think she was performing a concert at a ballpark.  As I recall it was in New Jersey.  They always played The National Anthem but she said no.  I seem to remember thinking that playing it before a concert was weird.  

Yvonne's picture

yes

According to wikipedia:

[...]O'Connor said that she had a policy of not having the national anthem of any country played before her concerts, explaining that these were often written and composed during wars and amounted to nationalist tirades. She pointed out that she meant "no disrespect," but added that she "will not go on stage after the national anthem of a country which imposes censorship on artists. It's hypocritical and racist.

The incident made tabloid headlines, and O'Connor drew tabloid-derived criticism. Her songs were banned from some radio stations.[...]

Tiff's picture

It is weird

It's also weird, in general, to ask someone to sing the national anthem of one country when they're from another.

Tex's picture

Sinead

is one of those people that I'm gonna cut a lot of slack for. She used her 'stage' to speak out against an atrocity when no one else would. What she did to whom she did it - a young, naive, Irish female spoke out against the Catholic church - was, sadly, before its time. It takes some serious yangs to question the 'power' of the 'Vatican'! And then continued to question that 'power' year after year - continued to speak out loudly until she found someone to listen and help her do something about it.

I remember her shaved head and her courage - I don't remember one single song she recorded. She would probably be okay with that.

Twitter Time @kdhales

SMBrown's picture

Try this one (a personal fave): 

Try this one (a personal fave): 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9c03aHny-s

Tex's picture

Yep....down memory lane...

my fave (the aforementioned Prince written song):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUiTQvT0W_0&a=7beZjLSI0iU&playnext_from=ML

Twitter Time @kdhales

Not2Taem's picture

Irish Catholic Dogma

Umong Irish Catholics here in the US, it was a huge deal. The mid week mass grandmas were talking about it endlessly: Evil has overtaken the younger generation; Good girls don't speak of such things... A few of us loved it and took a lot of shit from family and friends for playing her, but mostly, even here she took a big hit among that closed community. A lot of folks in the US don't think that IC (and I'm not talking Chaikin) is real community anymore, with decline in church attendance. Little do they know. Old habits die hard.

Personally, I see her as a minor goddess.

SMBrown's picture

For Grace, below...

Imma gonna do some googling as a refresher.  But...I do remember that I really dug The Lion and the Cobra and most of those songs were written by her (Mandinka's a fave).  Never really liked Nothing Compares to U

SMBrown's picture

Whoops

Whoops

SMBrown's picture

Haven't watch the clips yet,

Haven't watch the clips yet, but did it really KILL her career?  I don't remember that here in the US (in fact i thought it won her some).  But maybe in Ireland it was a problem?

Grace Moon's picture

my memory is a little foggy

I do remember a lot of critcism.. ppl were very uncomfortable with it. and if you notice from the clip no one applauds. She bascially didn't have a hit record after that, (could have been her music), but maybe someone else has a better memory of it.

tweet tweet @gracemoon

SMBrown's picture

My memory's foggy too

Are we getting OLD?  Sad

(I do know that she was eventually diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and I believe prior to that she kind of sank her own career.)

Grace Moon's picture

Here's what someone

on my facebook just commented:
"Yeah- and not only did they not listen they distroyed her from continueing to offer her gift as a musician- wiped her career off the planet then she became a priestest - go figure i loved her when she had angst and a shaved head"

 

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Grace Moon's picture

the last thing

i want to say about O'Connor was that she was a wonderful singer but a lousey song-writer... after all Prince wrote her first and only hit.

culturally she was relevant to lesbians becuase she gave us the "bald lesbian" which i notice baby dykes don't do any more.

tweet tweet @gracemoon