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Lady Gaga and Jesus: Striking Similarities



[Bridge]
In the most Biblical sense,
I am beyond repentance
Fame hooker, prostitute wench, vomits her mind
But in the cultural sense
I just speak in future tense
Judas kiss me if offensed,
Or wear ear condom next time


On the surface of things, the Famed Monster may be considered blasphemous, sacrilegious, anti-christ (as I have heard some referred to her) or simply demonic. However, I believe Gaga provides [fundamentalist] Christians with an excellent opportunity to interrogate notions of evil, righteousness, love, justice and how Jesus defines and negotiates all of those as He (the supposed Divine)engages frail, depraved humanity.
I first became aware of Lady Gaga's infamous song while reading a blog post by one of the persons I follow on twitter (You can read his post HERE). I found his post quite interesting but I needed to hear what Gaga was saying for myself and to answer the question that he posed, "Gaga, The Illuminati and The Catholic Church : How Far Is Too Far?" I could not determine if she had gone far without knowing what exactly she said. Thus begun my own "Enquiry" into the matter (A real enquiry; not like the one recently concluded. I wanted to get to truth).

Lady Gaga and Her Judas

For Gaga, Judas might have been her metaphor for love. The betrayal experienced by someone you love(d) or because of love is painful but then you find yourself forgiving love and loving again. By using this powerful metaphor, Gaga juxtaposes betrayal in romantic love relationships with the betrayal in the relationship between Judas and Jesus. Is she saying the two men were in love? That is a simplistic, unsophisticated way of understanding her metaphor! She is offering a paradigm for us to look deeper into that particular relationship and to review our former perceptions of Judas. Perhaps, there was a meaningful relationship between the two despite the betrayal; despite the tension and like love is always forgiven (despite its many betrayal), Judas might have been forgiven by Jesus. Love should not be hated because someone we loved hurt us; neither should Judas be demonised and repudiated. Didn't something beautiful come out of his betrayal of the Christians' Saviour?

Jesus and His Judas



It is interesting to know that Christians are perhaps alone in "dissing" (demonising) Judas. Not even the Jesus that they follow feels the same way about Judas. So from whence comes this bitterness and condemnation and ostracism of Judas from the "Hall of Faith"? What disqualifies him? Is it ungodly to fall to one's vulnerabilities? Was he not one of the chosen 12? I believe these are the serious questions Gaga is asking The Church to answer... And they are fair questions.
If Jesus is God, Then he must have known of Judas' intentions and he must have discerned Judas' heart. Yet he kept Judas around and protected him from exposure before others. Tension between the two was no secret. While Jesus was having his feet washed, with expensive perfume (worth a year's wage) by some hooker, Judas was saying to him that better things could have been done with the money she used to do that; but she wasted it on you! Yet, Jesus (Yeshua)did not expel him from the crew. Even the night when Jesus announced his own betrayal, he deliberately protected the identity of His betrayer (Everyone around the table was asking, "Is it I?", Unaware that Judas was the culprit. Perhaps Jesus knew that the others would have done exactly what Christians are doing today - Bash Judas. Peter would have drawn out sword long time. Gaga offers redemption to the image of Judas. Like Jesus, she shields him from the onslaughts of the religious and offers salvation to the reputation of one considered (in the most biblical way) to be "beyond repentance." Both Gaga and Jesus see beyond a perceived villain and embraces the pureness of the soul of the individual. Both Gaga and Jesus are seen as pop icons of their day for going up against religious and social status quo. Both Gaga and Jesus tend to situate themselves with those who have been shoved outside the margins of society by those who man it boundaries and both are constantly repudiated by the religious sect of their respective era. Striking similarities!!!

So having listened to Gaga myself, I am in a far better position to answer the implicit question in my friend's post (albeit he was referring to her artistic rights), "Had Gaga gone too Far?" Gaga journeyed farther than many Christians have ever gone or will ever dream to go but was she inappropriate? A resounding NO reverberates in my consciousness!! I praise Gaga for this much needed paradigm shift by interrogating Christian idiosyncrasies. You go Mama Monster!!!

P.S. I am not a Lady Gaga Fan; left up to me her album sales would be at a cool zero. I think she is a contrived version of Madonna but that is for "a nedder" (another) post.

Comments

  1. Damien, you outdid yourself on this one. I absolutely love this blog. I listened to it also and the song took me back to ME.. If God did parr with and still forgives the hypocrites, homosexual,thieves, murderers and all sort of people who CHRISTIANS bash or "hates" then who are we to condemn then and in this case Judas, someone who we would consider has betrayed us. Judas in this song clearly is someone that Gaga loves and has hurt her, however she is willing to forgive him/her and move on. Therefore in this context I WILL equate what she says in the song with that of the TRINITY as it relates to forgiveness. By the way "mi cyaaan deal with Gaga"!

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  2. Indeed Damien, the gospel story presented has always demonized Judas, and has never presented him as "forgivable". As narrow-minded as this might sound, perhaps it's because of how John 17:12 ("While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled."KJV) has been interpreted to read that Judas was unredeemable because it was his plot in life to betray Jesus.

    Nevertheless, his act of betrayal, did not exempt him from receiving forgiveness...and most certainly the verse above did not say that Jesus never forgave him or that he was unforgivable. Jesus was simply stating a fact that he preserved all that His father had given to Him except Judas, who was predestined to do an awful thing to bring about a wonderful result.

    It must be noted that the end does not justify the means. Yes, salvation is now available to the Gentiles because of what Judas did...but what he did was wrong. (I know you know this Marcus).

    The point of contention is the glorification of the character of Judas. Although I could not hear every word in the song, I understood the message. Gaga is asserting that although her partner ( a typology of Judas) hurt her, she still loves him/her (whichever, I don't know).

    The topic of forgiveness or the expression of such is something that is lacking in some churches. A more Pharisaical approach tends to be the order of the day - YOU SINNER!! AWAY FROM ME!!! LOL!!!! My God a tell yuh! There really needs to be a "re-cognitioning" of how we treat those who have fallen from grace; and a re-branding of the Judases who, like us, are still worthy of forgiveness; lovable, capable and valuable.

    Marcus, peace out!! Got to go study.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you both "Anonymouses" for your feedback and response. To the second anonymous respondent, I wont label your response as "narrow minded" as you may have applied to it yourself. I would call it however, a position that may not have been thoroughly thought through. Let me see how best I can demonstrate what I see as shortcomings in your very appreciated response:
    1. I do not understand how you have used John 17:12 to speak to Judas and His destiny. we need to understand a few things before we can carefully exegete the text and subsequently, make applications. I just want to point our attention to 2 of the things we need to understand: (a)What does the term lost mean? Does it speak to Judas character or his destiny or both (does it refer to how Judas would end his life or his redemption)? Indeed those are critical questions to answer! (b)The Greek term Aπολλυων (Apollyon) and the Hebrew term אֲבַדּוֹן‎ (Abaddon) are words from which your English concepts of "Son of Perdition" and "Man of Sin" are derived. Biblical history and escathology will suggest to you that there were many men of sin/sons of perdition as there is one to come as demonstrated in: 2 Thessalonians 2:3; or Daniel Mention of same... or John speaking of perdition (end, destruction, demise) in Revelation 17:8 and 17:11.

    My question to you then is since there were/are other Sons of perdition, how do you suppose that Judas as a man of sin (description of what he did) is eternally condemned? Additionally, how do you interact with Judas' betrayal and Peter's Denial (backsliding) of Jesus? I guess Judas' offense was "worseRRRR"? The rightness or wrongness of Judas' actions is not what is on trial here; Christians response to him is! Peter's Offense (Using a few "Klaats" to prove him never knew that so-and-so man) was similar in seriousness. Yet, in some Christian quarters he is revered as Father of the church and "first Pope".
    Moreover, your reference to "fallen from grace" is highly suspect. How is that possible and if one falls from "grace", was it GRACE to begin with since GRACE is independent of human effort (and not a reward)?

    I trust for all our sakes that there is a "re-cognition" and "re-branding" of how we treat with the Judases we encounter. Truth be told, there is a bit of Judas (Son of perdition/man of sin) in ALL of us!!

    All the best with your studies

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  4. i must commend u mr. williams, always careful in ur selection of controversy and offer much to consider.

    now onto the matter at hand: i agree that gaga has made a unique comparison. her betrayal being offered as tantamount to that which Jesus experienced (she must av been really hurt).Now i agree that she provides the platform for keen examination of Judas' fate and for that we must applaud her. Judas' destiny, like all, was known long before he even acted and his act catapult the master plan of God.

    so one must now question what was the theme of this master plan. last time i checked i believe it was redemption, which of course includes forgiveness..... too bad brother Judas neva knew that.

    ps. quite interesting that the 'famed monster' was the one that provided the platform for examination

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  5. very interesting... the comparison above goes beyond mere human thinking... I found this post to be very enlightening and educational. Mr. Williams continue to write in this profound manner and bring enlightenment, while dragging the minds of mere human to think and apply knowledge and to get rid of superficial thinking!!! posted by Nosaj

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