Pop icon; noun; a celebrity, character, or object whose fame in pop culture constitutes a defining characteristic of a given society or era.
Since her 2008’s debut album, The Fame, our entire culture has gone Gaga! In a matter of months the 24-year-old native New Yorker, Stefani Germanotta (just don’t call her that!) skyrocketed to becoming one of the world’s greatest pop stars, being dubbed the title “The New Queen of Pop.” With shocking outfits ranging from bubbles to beef, envelope-pushing prime-time performances and lyrics that leave you guessing at their meaning, Lady Gaga has surpassed the world of pop singers to being a pop icon. With two Grammy Awards, 10 singles, 55 million record sales, and even her own perfume line (coming Spring 2012 – a fragrance smelling like semen and blood…no seriously) she’s an international superstar.
Her new single Born This Way hits airwaves tomorrow and, unlike some of her other lyrics, its meaning is clear:
I’m beautiful in my way, ‘Cause God makes no mistakes,
I’m on the right track, baby I was Born This Way.
Don’t be a drag, just be a queen, A different lover is not a sin,
Whether you’re…black, white, beige, chola descent,
You’re lebanese, you’re orient, whether life’s disabilities,
Left you outcast, bullied or teased, Rejoice and love yourself today,
‘Cause baby, you were Born This Way
No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life,
I’m on the right track, baby, I was born to survive,
‘Cause God makes no mistakes, I was Born This Way
Religion; noun; a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with arder and faith
Deep down, what Lady Gaga is looking for is what we have all looked for – acceptance. “I want to create a space for my fans where they can feel free, and they can celebrate. I didn’t fit in at high school…I felt like a freak. So I like to create this atmosphere for my fans where they feel like they have a freak in me to hang out with, and they don’t feel alone.” As a bullied and teased teen, the self-titled “Mother Monster,” sees her concerts as her community. Stefani Germanotta was a social outcast who wanted to be accepted. So Lady Gaga created a different world where she and other “outcasts” could be accepted. “The Monsterball is by nature a protest: A youth church experience to speak out and celebrate against all forms of discrimination (and) prejudice.”
For Lady Gaga and her fans, concerts (aka “Monster Balls”) aren’t really about being entertained as much as they’re about finding an identity.
But for Gaga and for us, an identity wrapped up in the attention of others is like trying to fill an empty stomach with sugar-free candy – it just leaves us hungry for something more. Behind the crazy costumes and head-scratching quotes is an artist that nurtures loyalty, approval, and a sense of family among her fans. She loves them, works for them and speaks on their behalf. In the world that she’s created, she’s influencing the perspective of an entire culture.
Coming from a Catholic home, she shared, “I believe in Jesus, I believe in God, I’m very spiritual, I pray. But at the same time there is no one religion that doesn’t hate another racial group or religious group or sexual group. I suppose you could say I’m a quite religious woman that is confused about religion and I dream of a future where we will have a more peaceful religion.” As a gay rights advocate, her YouTube video calling for the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Act has over 2 million hits and got the attention of Senator Harry Reid. At one of her “Monster Balls” she told the audience, “Does everyone know what I hate more than anything? I hate the truth, in fact I hate the truth so much I prefer a giant dose of bull any day over the truth.” She reads the Bible, condemns prejudice, and encourages her LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgender) fans that they were “born this way.” Meld it all together and you have a belief system.
“What I’ve discovered is that in art, as in music, there’s a lot of truth-and then there’s a lie. The artist is essentially creating his work to make this lie a truth, but he slides it in amongst all the others. The tiny little lie is the moment I live for, my moment.” ~Lady Gaga
And in those moments, Gaga creates her own religion.
Revolution; noun; a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving
“Some artists want your money so they can buy Range Rovers and diamond bracelets, but I don’t care about that kind of stuff. I want your soul.”
~ Lady Gaga
When it comes to influences like Lady Gaga, we need to listen with caution. “Test everything; hold fast to what is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21).
The reason her views on spirituality and truth are so dangerous isn’t that she launches an all-out assault on God – it’s that she redefines Him.
For Gaga, a loving and accepting God is one that allows us to call our own shots. She’s created her own world, with her own rules, and her own values of tolerance and affirmation. But the problem is only those that are tolerant and affirming of her values are considered a part of her world. Different opinions, while she may respect them, are called narrow and intolerant.
Second Peter 2 talks about the kind of people whose teachings can creep into the church, perhaps even sound like the truth, but instead they are “destructive heresies.” They are bold, willful,“indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.” (vv.10) “And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed…They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed.” (vv. 2, 14). What Lady Gaga is producing isn’t just music – it’s a movement.
“To everyone who says this is wrong to feel like this say, ‘I was born this way baby.’”
Lady Gaga’s beliefs on homosexuality go against God’s design for our gender roles to reflect His relationship with His people (Gen. 2:18-25, Eph. 5:22-33). What she calls being “Born This Way,” God clearly calls sin. (Lev. 18:22). Second Timothy 3:1 describes how “in the last days there will come times of difficulty.”
If we hold to God’s Word without compromise, we’re probably going to be misunderstood, labeled as “prejudiced haters,” and un-cool outcasts of society (John 15:18).
“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Tim. 3)
He made you perfect, Babe…I’m beautiful in my way, ‘Cause God makes no mistakes, I’m on the right track, baby, I was Born This Way.
It’s true that God makes no mistakes – but we have. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) And unless we’ve been made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ, we’re not on the right track. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). We’re sinners, rebels, enemies of God – and we’re born this way. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”(Romans 5:12, Eph. 2:3) He made us in His image, to be beautiful in His way (Ps. 139). But we turned on Him, ran from Him and went our own way. “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) And because Jesus provided the payment for our sin on the cross, we don’t have to be outcasts looking for acceptance. “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”(Romans 10:13).
I was born again this way. Are you?
KATIE MCCOY / contributing columnist
Visit her blog at www.unlockingfemininity.com/