Madonna was raised in Detroit, Michigan in a big Italian Catholic family. Her name is in fact adopted from one of the many aliases of the Virgin Mary, a near goddess to the Catholic faith.
Later in her life, Madonna converted to a sect of Judaism called Kabbalah. She has even, at times been asked to be called Esther, after the Jewish historical figure.
Madonna has given millions of dollars to the Kabbalah Institute and some argue that her divorce with her most recent husband, Guy Ritchie, was because of her strange religious beliefs and practices.
Fame and fortune just aren’t enough
Madonna has talked about why she went from Catholic pop star to Jewish princess, saying:
I was what you would call at the top of my world. I’d won a Golden Globe for Evita, I was pregnant, I had fame, I had fortune, everything that you would perceive a person would want in life. But I’m sure everyone’s had that out-of-body experience where you say to yourself — and it might happen at 28 or 38 or 68 — why am I here? Why am I inside of this body? What am I doing? And I was hearing that question a lot.
Still, she’s drawn criticism from Kabbalah rabbis for some of her religious-themed music. One, Israel Deri, said:
Such a woman brings great sin on Kabbalah.
She likes gays, what can I say?
Madonna has been a strong supporter of the Democratic Party and many liberal social movements. She came out in support of Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign and has been an advocate for gay rights since her rise to fame in the 80s. At a gay rally, Madonna said in a speech:
If we can elect an African-American as president, we can support gay marriage!
She came out against the war in Iraq and the Bush administration, saying:
Global terror is everywhere. Global terror is down the street, around the block. Global terror is in California. There’s global terror everywhere and it’s absurd to think you can get it by going to one country and dropping tons of bombs on innocent people.