For the original post from “Jesus-meetpopculture“, click this link.
Gaga has certainly amassed an immense fan base, and has, as you say, a ‘religion’ (I’d say she certainly preaches a gospel) based on inclusivity, tolerance, peace, and love.
There are certainly positive associations with Gaga’s ‘religion’ (e.g. inclusivity), along with other that aren’t too terribly positive. But the negative ones (e.g. sexualization) aren’t articulated too often in popular circles, which I would say is a commentary on society/popular culture as a whole.
I find it interesting that you ask the question whether or not Gaga has created a ‘religion’ or a ‘non-religion’. I’m not sure whether you addressed if her ‘religion’ was actually non-religion in your post, but I would say that it is certainly not non-religion. Her persona/message – a gospel if you will – is full of religious qualities: outlining a belief system, including narratives/symbols (her own or stolen), and promoting a certain lifestyle.
Peaceful Future T-shirt graphic
She, as you say, envisions a future with a more peaceful religion for the younger generation.
Jesus too, includes poor people, women, Samaritans, lepers, children, prostitutes and tax collectors – outcasts – not only to listen to him, but he invites them into the Kingdom of Heaven. This can easily be seen as a gospel of inclusion.
I would also say, strangely, that Gaga, when envisioning a more peaceful religion, echoes Jesus’ message in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7). Specifically when he teaches his: “You have heard that it was said… but I tell you…” message. He contrasts the ‘old’ ways and teachings: “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy”, with “Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you.” (Matt. 5:43-44)
In these two ways, Gaga shares similarities with Jesus. And if Christianity is the by-product of followers Jesus, I’ll be fascinated to see what ends up with followers of Gaga…
Of course, there is that whole thing with Jesus dying, resurrecting, and being the Son of God… that helps with establishing a lasting following.
Many Christians, myself included, struggle with the problems of religion, in the same way that Lady Gaga does. (I like the interview a lot, I also like how she separates the church from religion, but that’s a whole ‘nother conversation)