(JTA) — Comments made by the Rev. Keith Hudson, the father of pop star Katy Perry, during a sermon at an Ohio church were taken out of context, the church’s pastor said.
Paul Endrei of the Church on the Rise in Westlake told the Cleveland Jewish News Tuesday that Hudson’s remarks were meant to be complimentary, but that "He went too far."
On Jan. 5, Hudson told church-goers, "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."
Endrei told the newspaper that Hudson was praying for business owners and wishing that they be as blessed as the Jews, so much so that it would make Jews jealous.
He also said that his church is pro-Jewish and noted that he recently led a delegation of 42 people to Israel.
"We pray for Jerusalem’s peace. We’re 100 percent backing the Jewish people and their struggles to maintain their land that we feel like God gave to them from the time of Abraham," Endrei said. "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."
Perry’s mother, Mary Hudson, also spoke at the church.
On Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League accepted an apology from Hudson.
In a letter to ADL, written in response to the League’s public expression of outrage over the incident, Hudson wrote: “I am not an anti-Semite” and “I deeply regret the hurtful and ugly language I used in my message in Ohio."
“Religious leaders bear a responsibility to speak out against anti-Semitism, and it seems Mr. Hudson now realizes the power of his words. He should use his church pulpit to teach and preach against anti-Semitism,” said Abraham Foxman, ADL national director.