Lady Gaga and Jesus
When you set up a twitter account, you’re supposed to give a brief description of yourself that’s viewable for the public eye. My description states, “I blog about my journey as a missional funeral director. I’m the last person to let you down in Parkesburg, PA.”
Lady Gaga’s states, “Mother Monster.”
Queer theorist Michael Warner writes,
“Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. There is nothing in particular to which it necessarily refers. It is an identity without an essence. ‘Queer’ then, demarcates not a positivity but a positionality vis-à-vis the normative.”
Lady Gaga is the embodiment of Queer Theory, not necessarily in her sexuality, but by her identification and normalization of “whatever is at odds with the normal.“
A quick scroll through her nearly 14 million twitter followers shows that most of them are “weird”, they are “the rejected” and the “monsters.” The kind of people that would walk through the doors of a church and be sneered at by the onlookers.
Granted, some of her followers flock to her because of her (ambiguous) sexuality. But many flock to her as their “mother monster” … because she accepts, even normalizes the weirdness … the queerness… she embraces those who feel that they’re not apart of the “normal” … that are broken … not whole … not legitimate … that are, in some ways, monsters.
Most churches would hate her. Most churches would hate her followers. They either couldn’t see past the lifestyle, couldn’t see past the way they dress or couldn’t see past the philosophy.
But not Jesus. In fact, a quick look at Jesus’ tribe and we soon realize that he too was the “Mother Monster” … the One who made a mosaic out of broken pieces.
Mary Magdalene the Harlot.
John the Baptist.
Matthew the Tax Collector.
Peter the Zealot.
Philip the Doubter.
Paul the Persecutor
Monsters. Rejected. All.
Lady Gaga’s tribe is strong. They’re strong because they’re united by their brokenness … by their “queerness.”
Like Jesus, Gaga has found one of the strongest bonds for community: not primarily sin, but rejection.
The difference between Gaga and Jesus? She lives off her tribe. Jesus inaugurated his through death.
But, if Jesus was walking in America today, and if He was afforded the opportunity, I’d love to see his conversation with the “Mother Monster.”
And I hope – just maybe – one of Jesus’ people can share of His rejection, of how He was despised, how nobody looked at Him, a man that had nowhere to lay His head … and maybe, if she’d join His tribe, she’d finally find her home.
But, I wonder if Jesus’ people have become too normal to embrace the rejects of the world? If we see Lady Gaga and her followers as the ones Jesus WOULDN’T want, maybe we’ve lost touch with the real Jesus and become too comfortable with a Jesus that doesn’t exist.