I will be the first to admit that I really like Lady Gaga. Would I hangout with her if given the chance? Probably not. But I really do enjoy her music and for the most part, her message. When you look at popular music you can see a couple of messages floating out there.
The most obvious message out there is “Sex is all thats important”, just go listen to some Britney Spears, Rihanna, or most of the American Top 40 countdown. Probably the second most popular message out there is “Get rich or die trying”. For a listening example see 50 Cent’s 2003 Album Get Rich or Die Tryin. Finally, the third most heard message in popular music is probably “Screw you!”, example: Cee Lo Green’s hit single Forget You (radio edit). So we can see that music is saturated with music promoting messages of Sex, Greed, and Bitterness.
Yes, Lady Gaga does have songs about sex… almost every artist does. But it is not the only thing she sings about. Lady Gaga’s biggest message can be heard in her new single Born This Way. This message would seem to be a message of acceptance and tolerance of all lifestyles. Now don’t get me wrong, Lady Gaga is weird as all get out; But a lot of what she says can be taken out of context by the religious right (lets not forget I include myself in that group!). I saw someone blog about how her lyrics “just love yourself and your set” is a call to worship yourself as God. I think that’s just bologna. As I’m sure anyone who is young enough to remember being a teenager or who has a teenager, it can be hard sometimes to love yourself. Especially with the messages that other singers are putting out there (you have to look this way, you have to wear this, you have to be this, you have to do that, etc.). While Lady Gaga is far from some theological genius, the obsession with over analyzing everything Lady Gaga says is going to far.
To another extent, Katy Perry gets this same kind of attention (if you read my blog semi-regular you know how much I love Katy Perry). In her song Firework, she encourages young people to be all they can be and to never give up despite what others think. A great message in a world saturated with messages of Sex, Greed, and bitterness. Yet because her music video features a gay couple, it has become branded as a pagan anthem of hedonism. Really? Really?! Give me a break! How can we connect with the culture like Christ if we reject everything not produced by David Crowder as “of the Devil”?
Should we be taking theological advice from Katy Perry and Lady Gaga? Of course not, and if you do I think you need some help. But should we condemn them and their refreshing messages? By no means.