By John Connolly

FAIRFIELD, Connecticut, February 13, 2008 ( – A Jesuit University has invited the rapper Ludacris to perform at a campus concert, despite the rapper’s very obscene, violent and sexually explicit lyrics.

A cursory glance at the lyrics of Ludacris’ songs reveals countless uses of the ‘f’ word and other similarly or even more offensive obscenities, an endless stream of derogatory references towards women, and a recurrent theme of gangster-style violence. In one song alone, entitled “Move B****h”, Ludacris uses the ‘f’ word a dozen times, the ‘b’ word a similar number, includes several explicit references to sexual acts, a reference to drug use and to drinking and driving, and repeated mentions of violence.

Fairfield University in Connecticut, which claims to foster “ethical and religious values and a sense of social responsibility” in its mission statement, invited Ludacris to perform a concert on February 15. The university promised $85,500 to bring Ludacris to campus, despite the fact that the university has an official concert budget of only $33,000.

“What makes a Catholic university unique is the moral formation and Christian education it provides to its students,” wrote Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society, in a letter to the president of Fairfield University, Jesuit Father Jeffrey von Arx. “There is no excuse for ‘entertainment’ on a Catholic campus that demeans women, celebrates promiscuity and promotes violence.”

The university’s press release praised Ludacris for his political activities: “[Ludacris] established The Ludacris Foundation, which supports grassroots organizations that work to help young people,” said the university in a press release. “He received the 2007 National Runaway Switchboard’s Spirit of Youth Award for helping teenage runaways. He’s also an ambassador for Youth AIDS, an education and prevention program that aims to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.”

The Diocese of Bridgeport could not be reached for a statement before publication deadline.

In 2002, Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly criticized Ludicris for his rap lyrics, calling for a boycott of Ludacris’s sponsor, Pepsi. O’Reilly said that Ludacris’ lyrics glamorize “life of guns, violence, drugs and disrespect of women.” Pepsi subsequently dropped Ludacris from its advertisements with an apology, noting, “not all [artists] are compatible with our brands and what consumers have come to expect from us.” In 2006, talk show host Oprah Winfrey joined in the criticism of Ludacris for rap lyrics that “marginalize women.” 

Contact Fairfield University:

Fairfield University
  1073 North Benson Road
  Fairfield, CT 06824

Phone: (203) 254-4000

Contact the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport:

Office of the Bishop
  Catholic Center
  238 Jewett Ave.
  Bridgeport, CT 06606-2892
  Phone: (203) 416-1352

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