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The Religious Affiliation of Grunge Rock Singer
Courtney Love


Courtney Love is a Jewish Catholic. She is in no way an observant Jew, and appears to have little Jewish identity. She is not known to be a practicing Catholic.

Courtney Love credits the Scientology-associated group Narconon (a drug rehabilitation organization) in the liner notes of one of her CDs, but her spokeswoman has stated that Courtney Love is not a Scientologist.

From: "The Challah Fame: Who's Who in Jewish Rock" (http://www.jewsrock.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=challah.view&page=L; viewed 6 November 2005):

Everything about Courtney Love is controversial, so it's no surprise that even her Jewish identity has been called into question. Half-Jewish groups have claimed Love as one of their own, but the singer has also stated that only one of her grandparents was a Jew. Add this to the various bizarre rumors about Love's background - could her mother actually be Marlon Brando's lovechild? - and her tendency to, well, make stuff up, and it becomes nearly impossible to determine the truth. As with all rock stars, though, we're probably best off accepting Courtney Love's stage persona. Unhinged and usually also undressed, Love has been thrashing around in the headlines since she was just the rocker wife of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. As Cobain's star rose, Love's band Hole began to get attention, making Love a star when Live Through This was released not long after Cobain's suicide in 1994. Naysayers claimed that the album was written entirely by Love's husband; surprisingly, 1998's Celebrity Skin did very little to refute those rumors, possibly because so many of the songs sounded like the handiwork of Love's ex Billy Corgan. Love's band has since released America's Sweetheart, but the singer has gained more attention recently for several public meltdowns, at least one indecent exposure outside a Manhattan Wendy's, and a stint in rehab.

From: Matthew Berke, "Half-Jews: What do Gwyneth Paltrow, J. D. Salinger, and Paula Abdul have in common?", a review of The Half-Jewish Book: A Celebration, written by Daniel Klein and Freke Vuijst, on BeliefNet.com website (http://www.beliefnet.com/story/43/story_4373_1.html; viewed 6 November 2005):

Once upon a time, the half-Jew was regarded as a strange and lonely figure--an outsider both to society at large and to the Jewish people... But as the intermarriage trend has continued, being half-Jewish suddenly seems unremarkably common. Indeed, according to Daniel Klein and Freke Vuijst, authors of The Half-Jewish Book, "halfies" now outnumber full-blooded Jewish children under the age of 11, and they're gaining on the rest.

More important, Klein and Vuijst contend, half-Jewish is not a partial or fragmented identity to be lamented, but rather a "rich and elaborate" double identity to be celebrated. Unfortunately, the authors--a married couple with a half-Jewish daughter-can't decide whether to name-drop glitzy personalities with Jewish origins or to explore their distinct new cultural sensibility. They end up doing a bit of both.

In People magazine mode, Klein and Vuijst provide a catalog of stars who are half-Jewish, including... Not all half-Jews are Hollywood types: the half-Jewish clan includes... singers Carly Simon, Arlo Guthrie, Paula Abdul, and Courtney Love...

Relatively few of the halfies considered here live religiously serious Jewish lives... Indeed, many observe no religion, multiple religions, or are practicing Christians, who, despite their feelings of attachment, are simply not part of the Jewish community... few will reconnect with Judaism...

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Webpage created 6 November 2005. Last modified 6 November 2005.
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