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Lady Gaga and the Gospel of Judas

Lady Gaga and the Gospel of Judas

The Rev. Dr. Patrick Cheng, theologian and professor at Episcopal Divinity School reviews Lady Gaga’s latest song and video “Judas”:

Lady Gaga — the queer icon and pop sensation — is setting off the Christian right again. In her new song and video, “Judas,” Lady Gaga sings over and over, “I’m in love with Judas,” referring to the reviled disciple who betrays Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver. Is there anything redemptive, theologically speaking, about this song and video?

…The song and video “Judas” also raises important questions for me about whether any one group has a monopoly on the Christian faith, and it asks us to consider who might be the true betrayers of Jesus’ message today.

Lady Gaga’s newest video is filled with biblical imagery. She is dressed as a Mary Magdalene figure, clinging onto a handsome biker Jesus adorned with a gold crown of thorns. They travel with 12 other bikers who wear leather jackets emblazoned with the names of the 12 apostles.

Read it all here.


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J Michael Povey

Oh dear Patrick. Yours is a sophomoric analysis. EDS can do much better than this.

J. Michael Povey (a joyful christian, a priest, and blessed to be queer)

Gregory Orloff

Oh, if only the “Christian” right could get as shocked as it is by Lady Gaga by the un-Christlike nature of militarism, budget cuts targeting the poor, the homeless and the sick, and so many other policies it supports, as they are no less blasphemous under the scrutiny of the Gospel.

And oh, if only so many Christians of any stripe could be as enthusiastic and creative about being Christlike and performing the Gospel as Lady Gaga is about her music and her art.

Kate Jackson

The Christian right should realize by now that 99.9% of whatever wild ‘n crazy things Gaga does, Gaga does for the shock value. There’s no deeper meaning to it, she’s just do it to make people gasp.

I like her music, but really…the attention-grabbing is getting old.

As for the the discussion on the Gospel of Judas…

The Betrayal needed to happen in order for Jesus to be crucified and rise again. Even Jesus said so. Even the most vile people can have an important part to play in God’s plans.

The rest of it (especially the Oh Poor Misunderstood Outcast Was Really The Only One Who Was Faithful) just smacks of conspiracy theories and cults. No thanks.

All due respect to Dr. Cheng, but he seems to have missed what is, at least, Lady Gaga’s stated intention behind the song and the video. For her, the character of Judas is a metaphor for past mistakes, regrets, and darkness that she is unable to leave behind: “Jesus is my virtue,” but “Judas is the demon I cling to.” And her attraction to Judas, in the video, ultimately leads to her death, stoned by an angry mob.

I understand art is multivalent, but it’s difficult for me to find anything redemptive in the song or the video.

Michael Poteet

E Sinkula

As a gay man, I personally don’t like my faith in Jesus Christ being compared to a gnostic sect that revered the betrayer of Christ. Its videos and commentaries like this one that make it hard for me to relate with more liberal, gay-affirming portions of the Church.

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