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So I've watched Lady Gaga's new Judas video twice now and I have to say, I'm mildly insulted by it.  I'm not up in arms in a rage about it, but I do find it completely disrespectful to the Christian church.  Before I go any farther in this rant I will say three things: I am happily agnostic, was raised Roman Catholic, and do not agree with many of the church's teachings.  That being said, I have Christian friends who are religious, and I respect both them and their beliefs (for the most part).  I am also a fan of Lady Gaga, though she has been getting on my nerves lately for being a little too full of herself.  Now that full disclosure is over, onto the point:

Prior to the video I didn't find fault with it.  The word Judas has come into the English vernacular to mean someone's weakness ("you're my Judas"), and using Jesus' name in the way she did works into the song as a metaphor.  That being said, you can listen to the lyrics without having to take it as some sort of religious statement.  Although I wasn't the biggest fan of the song itself, I didn't understand the controversy that surrounded it as being anti-christian.

Then I saw the video.

The religious connotations (to me) as so beyond blatant.  The bikers have the names of the apostles on their backs for crying out loud.  Their leader has a bedazzled crown of thorns.  Then there was the matter of that overdrawn baptism or what have you water scene.  Without the religious symbolism I feel like the music video would have worked just as well (though I'm sure there will be people who will disagree with me, but this is my opinion).  My problem with it is this--why is it whenever someone basically parodies or twists the beliefs of the Christian and Catholic church, it's considered edgey or cool, but if it were any other religion there would be protest from all sides?  If the music video had been designed around Islamic or Jewish tradition, this would be a more wide-spread uproar.  Oh sure, there will be some news publicity about it and how it's anti-Christian and what have you, and FOX News is already having a field day, but it will die down by the end of the week (though FOX News may keep talking about it for months because it's FOX News and they really don't have enough to talk about).  But was the video about any other religion (technically western religion, as the west seems to not believe the eastern religions are real religions), the outcry would be much, much louder and less socially acceptable.

So why don't we hold Christian teachings to the same level of respect that we do other religions?  Yes, some of the Christian zealots are crazy, but theyr'e just that--zealots.  There are zealots of every group, regardless of age, gender, creed, religion, or sexual orientation.  We can't allow our hatred or annoyance of them to influence our feelings on the religion as a whole.  If it's because we as agnostics or atheists don't agree with their teachings that's fine.  We're all entitled to our opinion, and we're certainly entitled to not agree with them.  But who gives us permission to mock, lampoon, or parody it?  Christians value the teachings, even if we believe it's nothing more than fairy tales or modern myths.  It's our job to respect their decision to practice their religion just as it is theirs to respect ours.

TL;DR - Respect other people's religions, even if you don't believe in it yourself.  It means something to other people, and its not your job to take it away from just because you think it's a load of shit (just as it's not their job to take your choice not to believe from you).

Date: 2011-05-06 10:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] she-wolf.livejournal.com
I have yet to see Judas, but I'm not surprised by this: while I like Gaga's music and applaud her creative efforts by bringing fashion as such a wild element into her act, her music videos, particularly newer ones, just don't do it for me. Alejandro read to me as very insulting to the Christian faith (re: nun gets gang-raped around the ending), and while I'm not particularly religious myself (ditto agnostic), it made me wonder how this would be viewed if it was my faith she was referring to.

While the ability to satirize and critic religion is a privilege, not to mention freedom, we in the West should be proud to have, there's no need to go overboard in a manner so "in your face" with the popular media. It would be considered highly unacceptable to do this towards any other faith; why should Christianity be an acceptable target?
From: [identity profile] red_confession.livejournal.com
I'm not saying that people shouldn't have the right to mock whatever they want, including religion(and I'm not accusing you of saying I was, either), I just believe that we should respect the beliefs of other people, regardless of what they are (within reason, of course. Respecting someone's belief in something extreme as say... jihad or pedophilia or something is an entirely different manner).

But yes, for the most part this :D
Edited Date: 2011-05-07 04:34 pm (UTC)

One more grin for the road ;)

Date: 2011-05-07 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] she-wolf.livejournal.com
As far as religion goes, I think there's room for both respect and mockery. Many of the freedoms we enjoy are in part a by-product of someone standing up and saying religion shouldn't be above questioning or reproach, which is what a lot of jibes are there to point out. Where the line is crossed though, and I think this is what you're getting at, is when it goes too far, when shots are taken without any respect that to some this is a deep faith, and becomes potentially hurtful to those that do believe. When is it pushing the envelop, and when is it tearing it up into pieces?

And another (though icon =/= content matter)

Date: 2011-05-09 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] red_confession.livejournal.com
Yes, exactly. I'm not saying people should keep quiet about whether or not they find religion ridiculous, but when someone makes a movie about the apostles making a gay orgy or something to that outrageous extent, I think that they've gone too far and need to take a step back and realize that they are potentially hurting someone. I'm not saying they CAN'T do it, just that they SHOULDN'T. I mean it's a free country and using the same example apostle orgy movies are within free speech, but you should also self-govern (not censor) yourself to be respectful...

Date: 2011-05-06 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blackjackrocket.livejournal.com
See, I'd go the other way with it. I'd say we SHOULD be able to mock any belief system we like.

Date: 2011-05-07 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] red_confession.livejournal.com
I just want to preface this by saying I'm not intending to put words in your mouth, but this simply how I took what you said against what I wrote.

It's okay to mock something because we don't believe in it? That hardly seems fair. Beliefs are just that, beliefs, and they aren't fact. I'm agnostic because I damn well don't know what lays beyond. For all I know Christians are right, or Muslim, or Jews, or Buddhists, etc. I'm not saying that I don't mock them because I fear they may be right, or anything like that, but rather because it doesn't seem right to me that we should . I'm not saying you or anyone else isn't allowed to mock it, but I feel like Christianity especially should be given more respect than it has been lately.

Date: 2011-05-07 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blackjackrocket.livejournal.com
We should be able to mock what we find ridiculous, whether or not someone believes in it.

Date: 2011-05-09 02:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] red_confession.livejournal.com
I suppose I should rephrase myself a bit. I'm not saying that one shouldn't mock religion in general. As I said, I'm agnostic and I find several aspects of the christian religion (and other religions) ridiculous and I do let that point be known.

What I'm talking about is going too far with that, and flat out insulting someone else's religion. For simplicity's sake I'm going to use the same example I used above. Although it's not illegal to make an apostle orgy movie and within someone's rights to do so (within whatever decency/pornography laws the state has), it's incredibly disrespectful to the Christian religion. That's the sort of "mock" I meant. Gaga's video doesn't take to that extreme by any stretch of the imagination nor am I comparing the two, but it's a step more in that direction than the "religion is stupid" side.

Date: 2011-06-10 06:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sal mattos (from livejournal.com)
I'm new here, but was drawn in by your DCU related posts, saw this and thought I'd add my two cents.

Gaga herself is actually quite Catholic, and even prays with all of her dancers and crew before doing her performances. I think what she's doing is taking the imagery she's grown up with and putting it into a different context. I don't think for a second she's trying to dilute or mock any of it, but rather use powerful cultural imagery as part of her aesthetic. How successful that is depends on the person viewing/listening.

Date: 2011-06-10 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] red_confession.livejournal.com
Go for it. I left this entry unlocked on purpose. I'm always up for debate, so long as it's friendly.

To be honest, my rant started with Lady Gaga's video and sort of went off on a tangent to Christianity being the cool thing to mock in general. I don't believe that Gaga intended to be insulting with her video at all. She's always been the type to push the envelope and really this video was no different. I wasn't insulted by the Alejandro video in terms of Christian imagery, despite the fact that others were. However that was the way it came off to me. Like you yourself said, it depends on the person viewing. I'm a fan of Gaga and I love the song. I still listen to the song. I don't like the music video, and as a result I choose not to watch it. I don't think that people should be up in arms over it (it's giving Gaga exactly what she wants--attention).

I really just want to know why Christianity became the cool thing to mock, honestly. It was more the music video was the particular thing that made me realize it than I believed the music video was the shining example of it.

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