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2.12 Of Priests and Devils (The Osbournes)


This article is from the The Osbourne FAQ, by Mike L. with numerous contributions by others.

2.12 Of Priests and Devils (The Osbournes)

Years ago a particular news snippet caught my attention. It was a news clip
about a religious group who were burning records. It showed children and
adults throwing record albums into a bonfire. A priest told the
interviewer, "One of the albums we're going to be burning tonight is Ozzy
Osbourne's Speak of the Devil". The album cover shows Ozzy sitting in a
chair, or throne, with his mouth open and drooling what is supposed to be
blood (but looks more like strawberry jam). At Ozzy Osbourne concerts,
religious believers have been known to hand out pamphlets to concert-goers.
Religious leaders have condemned Ozzy for being a Satanist and devil
worshipper. Ozzy's shows are boycotted and he is banned from playing
certain cities. Is any of the hype true, and as a parent should you be
concerned if your child is listening to Ozzy Osbourne? To start, Ozzy has
had a record of macabre album titles: Diary of a Madman, Speak of the
Devil, No Rest for the Wicked and The Ultimate Sin. However the old saying,
"you can't judge a book by its cover" certainly comes into play here. As a
priest, an album called 'Speak of the Devil' and showing a man spewing
blood would certainly be cause for alarm. But if you take a closer look at
the album and listen to the songs, it becomes another story. Speak of the
Devil is simply a live album boasting some of the earlier Black Sabbath
material. There is absolutely no reference AT ALL to Satan. The closest
Ozzy comes on that album or most any other of his albums to evil, are songs
such as 'Snowblind' and 'Sweet Leaf' which talk about drug usage. You can
pull out all of Ozzy's albums, glance at the cover pictures and album
titles and dismiss him as a devil worshipper in a heavy metal band. However
we live in a world where people are free to make their own minds up about
what they believe. I fail to see anywhere in Ozzy's career any truth to the
Satanic rumors. I am a fan of Ozzy's and it is true I might be somewhat
biased towards him, but I can reassure you I have never seen anything,
WHATSOEVER, that leads me to believe Ozzy has any relationship with the
devil. Fans of his may laugh at this but there are obviously people out
there who seriously believe otherwise.

So why then has this man been accused so often of being associated with
evil? To explain this would be beyond my abilities. I can however tell you
that his album covers may play a part. The fact that people have claimed to
have heard backwards messages in his music may also play a part. The
suicide deaths of teenagers listening to Ozzy's music also go hand in hand
with the allegations of backwards messages. The fact he was once lead
singer for a band called Black Sabbath also may play a part. I really can't
tell you why people claim this. True, he is a singer in a band which is
considered heavy metal. This does not make him an evil person. In all
fairness, he has lived a life of drug and alcohol abuse and done some very
stupid things which people will always remember him for. Overlooking the
stupid stunts he has done, I don't find any evidence of his being an evil

If you are a parent, should you be concerned if Jimmy brings home an Ozzy
Osbourne album? Well, to answer that you need to look at a few outside
factors. Is the kid level headed and are the lines of communication open
with your child? If the child has serious problems, perhaps listening to
his "Suicide Solution" would be a mistake. It is very easy to misconstrue
the lyrics and it just might play a part in your son's decision. If your
child is planning suicide, there are obviously more serious problems than
that of an Ozzy album. I don't wish to spread panic, there is no need to
really go and censor all of his albums. The fact is that if given the right
circumstances, any medium could lead someone to believe suicide is ok. If
you trust your child's judgement and believe him to be level headed, I
don't see any real problems. Mind you I am NOT an expert, nor do I pretend
to be. I am simply someone who grew up listening to Ozzy's music. Maybe you
should sit down with the lyrics to the song and explain that it was the
death of the singer for AC/DC which prompted the song, and the lyrics
pertain to alcohol solution not answer-to-your-problem-solution. I figure
it like this: If Jimmy is thinking of committing suicide, I think listening
to an Ozzy album would be the same as watching a TV program or reading a
paper on the same subject. If the child sees other teens talking about
wanting to commit, how they tried to, or how life is not worth living,
perhaps that media attention on the topic would affect his decision just as

Up till now I have been talking mainly of suicide, this is because music
could play a crucial weight in a child's decision. However a song about
suicide is irrelevant to the topic of this chapter. I merely wanted to
address the question or whether it is okay to listen to Ozzy. SURE! I never
sacrificed any cats, nor did I try to kill myself. I did not go out on a
full moon and try to eat a dog either, maybe if I was sleepwalking but not
that I can remember. :)

So why then does the religious faith attack this man? I sincerely do not
know. I really don't. Perhaps it has to do with the last chapter. Maybe
when our children turn to drugs and alcohol and kills animals, it must be
heavy metal's fault. There has been a long waged war against metal. I think
statistically you will find that a lot of troubled teenagers and drug
listen to heavy metal but I would not blame that music category for it. As
Ozzy once said, "I'm sure people smoke pot at a Stevie Wonder concert". Let
us now talk about some of the religious people who have attacked Osbourne
for being in league with the devil.

Cardinal O'Connor
This man accused Ozzy of being the devil and told people that exorcisms
were real and that Oz's music was spreading the devil's word. 'A Current
Affair' also did a telephone survey in which the majority of callers said
that they felt heavy metal music was killing their kids.

Jimmy Swaggart
Another television evangelist. The man makes his bread and butter by selling
God. The morals of this are not mine to determine. Jimmy also put down Ozzy.
Jim was later found coming out of a hotel room with a prostitute. He was
later shown on television crying to God and asking for forgiveness. I don't
wish to put him down for his repenting, but the fact he put down someone
else and committed his own sins is hypocrisy. The fact is he is a human
with human urges and he can't deny that. Ozzy made a song and video called
"Miracle Man" in which he talks about Jimmy and his critical views.

Oral Roberts
Another evangelist who has put down Ozzy. This is
the same man who claimed if he did not get 7 million dollars by a certain
time, God would be calling him back home. To me, this seems a very obvious
and pathetic attempt at milking the public. Ozzy makes his money through
hard work, not pretending he will soon die.

None of these people offered to help Ozzy in his time of depression and
substance abuse. Though Ozzy did send Oral Roberts a single dollar for "his
psychiatric bill".


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