After viewing Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” music video (dir. Francis Lawrence) for the first time, I’m not sure of how to precisely describe the experience. It was artistic, full of imagery, and sexually explicit.
Beyond Gaga’s characteristic “†” and a brief crossing of herself while dancing, my curiosity of how this video was directly related to the “Christianity” part of “Christianity and Popular Culture” was only satisfied when professor Harris informed us that Gaga is a self-proclaimed Christian.
But seriously. Gaga. A Christian?
Or This Gaga?
When seeing images like these and scantly clad in her music videos, I question how “Christian” she actually is. American Christian values promote modesty and censorship of sexual content, especially in movies and on television. I struggle with labelling Gaga a Christian because much of what she produces could be considered soft-core pornography.
In my search of a quote to confirm her Christian-ness, I found Gaga’s thoughts on religion in an interview with Larry King. (Interview clip)
“I’m very religious, I was raised Catholic, I believe in Jesus, I believe in God, I’m very spiritual, I pray very much. … At the same time, there is no one religion that doesn’t hate or speak against or be prejudice against another racial group or religious group or sexual group. And for that I think religion is also bogus. So I suppose you could say I’m a quite religious woman who’s confused about religion.” – Lady Gaga
Never once does she say she’s a Christian. Her struggle with being religious and hating the bad things religions do, is something that resonates with many people – myself included. I wonder though, if she’s playing a part.
In the same way, Johnny Cash was a musical legend (which Gaga is in the making), and he embodied being a: rock star, country boy, folk hero, preacher, poet, drug addict, rebel, sinner, and saint? I thoroughly appreciate what he has to say for himself:
“I’m still a Christian, as I have been all my life,” … “Beyond that I get complicated.”
“I am not a Christian artist, I am an artist who is a Christian.”
In the “Bad Romance” video we see Gaga wanting the love of the world (the music industry and/or fame), struggling when taken, offering herself up, her ‘baptism’ into that world (drinking the vodka), and forced to dance in slavery. We see her overcome “the man” and literally burn him.
But we also see images of her weeping – a terribly sad and repentant Gaga?
In “Judas” we hear:
Jesus is my virtue/And Judas is the Demon that I cling to
Therefore: Gaga is both fond of and despises religion. She preaches a gospel of extreme inclusivity. She, “Dream[s] of and envision[s] a future where we have a more peaceful religion, or a more peaceful world.”
If Gaga purported herself as a Christian – already believing in Jesus and God, promoting peace, and loving others – would she be a good christian? or great?