2011-04-23

Thoughts on Gaga's "Judas"




For most folks inclined to hate Gaga, I think she spoon feeds them material in her song Judas. Once people hear the following lyric, I bet many will nod with a self-satisfied grin and say "told ya so!":

"In the most Biblical sense,
I am beyond repentance
Fame hooker, prostitute wench, vomits her mind..."

But is there more to this song than sheer shock? Perhaps. I think a lot will be revealed when we see the video that goes with the song. But, in lieu of the video, I will say this:

The charitable interpretation is that she is exploring her own deep struggle between trying to follow the love and compassion of Jesus, while being constantly treated as a traitor and whore by religious insiders. Thus she identifies strongly with both Jesus (as a follower of his way) and Judas (as a maligned traitor figure). I think this is represented in the following lyric:

"Jesus is my virtue / Judas is the demon I cling to"

In this interpretation, she has a deep compassion for Judas because she deeply identifies with his plight. To her, he is a misunderstood, misidentified traitor figure who was actually doing his best to follow Jesus (like her).

That's the charitable interpretation. The uncharitable interpretation is that she created a catchy dance tune with ambiguous and controversial religious lyrics, and then released it as close to Easter as possible to maximize publicity and sales.

My final interpretation will depend a lot on the video, and the iconography she uses in it. If it seems to have some substance and introspective depth to it, I would incline toward the charitable interpretation. If it's just a bunch of skin and shock, I will incline toward the uncharitable.
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This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.