Friday, May 20, 2011
Lady Gaga's Jesus Complex
Stephanie Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born in New York City in 1986. She is much better known by the strange moniker, Lady Gaga. Her father was an internet entrepreneur and she learned Roman Catholicism from her Italian-American parents although she declares "pop culture…is my religion" now. Her ascendancy to the top of the pop charts has been nothing short of breathtaking. Barbara Walters chose her as one of the 100 most influential people in 2009 and she was crowned with Oprah's blessing when she declared Gaga to be a "cultural and spiritual leader."
Unquestionably Lady Gaga is the world's most popular pop star. She has over one billion views on her YouTube videos and 12 million Facebook fans. She is ranked number one on Twitter with over 10 million followers ahead of teen sensation Justin Bieber and President Barack Obama. Unlike many modern day celebrities who deny their roll as a roll model when they are ruthlessly scrutinized by the press, Lady Gaga firmly asserted her status as a role model at a charity function in London in 2010: "I find it so important now to be a role model and a figure."
So, just what is it that Lady Gaga is modeling for the millions who are excessively enthusiastic and blindly devoted to her? She portrays herself as being an eccentric and seems to reach out to those who are different. She lifts herself as a refuge for those who "are eccentric or have a strong identity or live in a fantastical regalious way." By the way, 'regalious' seems to be a made-up word. One of her thirteen year old fans said, "Lady Gaga has empowered us. To know that you're not the only freak is great. Now the freaks are rising up and taking a stand."
Despite rumors that Lady Gaga is a hermaphrodite, she denies it but not too strongly. When asked if she was offended by the rumor her reply was, "No. No, not really. At first it was very strange and everyone sort of said, 'That's really quite a story!' But in a sense, I portray myself in a very androgynous way, and I love androgyny." She is a very strong advocate of the LGBT community. She credits the gay community as being the crux of her fan base, "The turning point for me was the gay community".
Lady Gaga lives in a world where there are no absolutes. Her fan base consists of a younger generation that has embraced the religion of humanism which promotes relativism over absolutism. Shading the differences and erasing the boundaries between the sexes is necessary to consistently hold to relativism.
Is the influence and ideas propagated by Lady Gaga causing immeasurable harm to the youth of modern society? It would probably depend on whether they decide to take her seriously. She admits to using drugs in her teen years and said, "I still like MDMA" (ecstasy). Her attire, comments and act are all outrageous. She has worn a coat made of Kermit the Frog Muppets, a dress of raw meat that explodes with fake blood and sunglasses made of cigarettes. Her set often appears to have ascended from the underworld. She has doused herself in fake blood and her act includes streaks of fire sprouting from her crotch and bosom.
Jesus once said, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him." (Matthew 12:35) Jesus taught that what comes out of the mouth is a revelation of what is in the heart. Has the sudden fame gone to Lady Gaga's head? Is it affecting her psyche? Is her fan base becoming cultish in nature? Is she feeling divine and messianic when she makes statements like "It's more self-worship, I think, not of me? I'm teaching people to worship themselves." If that statement doesn't grab your attention she will invite you to question her sanity with a statement like "I felt, and I still feel, that I was sent to this planet from my planet, Planet Goat, to create a ruckus."
Is Lady Gaga feeling immortal when she says "It is part of my destiny to take the bullets, but my heart keeps on beating. You cannot destroy me because I am an art piece." Reality is sometimes difficult to accept. It seems more and more in our society are trying to escape by divulging in such things as mind- altering drugs, internet fantasies or video games. In a rather messianic way Lady Gaga declares that she can recreate herself over and over again as she chooses a kind of multiple rebirth. She "used to pray every night that God would make me crazy. I prayed that God would teach me something, that he would instill in me a creativity and a strangeness that all of those people that I loved and respected had." Be careful what you pray for.
There are no taboos in Lady Gaga's life. Anything goes. Her whole life seems to be an attempt to blur society's concept of what is normal or abnormal. She likes to portray herself as a messianic martyr, a Christ figure crucified for the sake of her followers. Her plan to save includes self-worship, accepting yourself as you are. This is, of course, contrary to the teaching of the true Savior who encouraged others to refuse to be satisfied with who they are and promised them a transformation through his own shed blood.
Will Lady Gaga have a lasting impact on society or will she be another shooting star, experiencing her fifteen minutes of fame only to crash in self-destruction? No one should wish this on her. Lady Gaga is a soul, precious in the sight of God and she is one for whom he made the ultimate sacrifice. Would that she would come to know the real Messiah!
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.