redconfession: ([999] The Axe)
[personal profile] redconfession
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).
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March 2012


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