Posts tagged Lady Gaga

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.

Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney in Lancaster for a Funeral

I went to high school with Taylor, although I doubt he remembers me.  We graduated from Lancaster Mennonite High School in the class of 2000 … although I don’t think either of us came from a Mennonite background.

Since high school, he’s been cast in a number of TV roles.

But, recently, his tabloid fame has gone in an upward trajectory since he was cast in Lady Gaga’s “You and I” music video .

And, according to various sources Taylor is dating Lady Gaga … or rather, is dating the person behind Gaga, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

I didn’t know Taylor too well. We had a couple classes together and he beat me more than once in some badminton games (I have a picture of us hanging out somewhere in my storage boxes from high school), but otherwise we hung out in different groups.

So, how does a news tid bit like this make it on a blog about God, death, funerals, etc.?

Well, the two of them were recently in northern Lancaster County (about an hour from where I live) for the funeral of Taylor’s grandmother.

Grief is a complicated thing.  And I can only imagine life, and death, are even more complicated when the celebrity factor is in the equation.

What really impresses me is Stefani’s ability to support Taylor by coming to Lancaster without creating any commotion that would have disrupted the funeralization of Taylor’s grandmother. It was a real gracious gesture on Stefani’s part, and one that I think shows a significant respect and character.

I know the funeral director (Chad) that held the service for Taylor’s grandmother.  I went to funeral school with Chad, and after talking with Chad on numerous occasions, we found out that he and Taylor often played golf together, and that their families were close, so, being that Chad and his family were close to the Kinney’s,  I know Chad did a great job serving that family.

I pray that Taylor’s able to find the peace and silence to think about his late grandmother and grieve her loss.

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