Sunday, February 13, 2011

Was Lady Gaga "Born This Way"?

Lady Gaga has quickly become a Pop music superstar. Her influence is now undeniable - from her outrageous costumes to her edgy videos, she knows how to make a splash. This is exactly what has happened with  her most recent song, "Born This Way", which is now being hailed as the new "gay anthem". Raised Catholic, she has apparently struggled with her sexuality and she is now arguing with others in her song that she was "born this way". Was she?

Here are some of the lyrics in the song, not necessarily in order:

I'M BEAUTIFUL IN MY WAY
Source: Wikipedia
'CAUSE GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES
I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

DON'T HIDE YOURSELF IN REGRET
JUST LOVE YOURSELF AND YOU'RE SET
I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

DON'T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
IN THE RELIGION OF THE INSECURE
I MUST BE MYSELF, RESPECT MY YOUTH

A DIFFERENT LOVER IS NOT A SIN
BELIEVE CAPITAL H-I-M (HEY HEY HEY)
I LOVE MY LIFE I LOVE THIS RECORD AND
MI AMORE VOLE FE YAH (LOVE NEEDS FAITH)

NO MATTER GAY, STRAIGHT, OR BI,
LESBIAN, TRANSGENDERED LIFE
I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN TO SURVIVE
NO MATTER BLACK, WHITE OR BEIGE
CHOLA OR ORIENT MADE
I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN TO BE BRAVE
So, was she "born this way"? Here is what we can know for certain.

  1. She was made by God and she has a fallen nature which leads to sin (as we all do).
  2. Lady Gaga was born as God's beloved child in her baptism (as all the baptized are).
  3. Lady Gaga has a wounded sexuality (as we all do in our fallen world).

But, these truths aren't what she is talking about. She is saying that her sexual tendencies define her, that these sexual tendencies are what God intended, and that if she acts on them she is acting as God created her to. Is this true?

First of all, God doesn't make mistakes. But, we do. Our actions are not caused by our creation, but by our own free will. So, we can't blame God for what we do wrong, even if we can credit Him for what we do right (because He helps us with His grace).

Second, we all have sinful tendencies. No person is above them.

Third, it doesn't matter if we are born with a certain tendency or not, we all must choose to act in accordance with what is true, beautiful, and good. Thus, even if someone is born with a tendency to be attracted to the same sex, this is not in-and-of-itself sinful. It is what we do with the tendency that matters. No one is forced to act on a tendency or desire. We are free to choose.

No person is above lusting after others, but all of us are called to rise above lust to love others. When we don't see the entire value of another person and merely regard them for what pleasure they bring us, then we are lusting after them. No matter what kind or degree of lust we have for someone, we are called to reject it in favor of choosing to love the other, not use them.

Fourth, when God created the world, he gave it order and goodness. He created men and women to compliment each other sexually. Our humanity is incomplete with only one sex, but needs both male and female to make sexual sense. Our sins have messed this all up. We now live in a world that is full of disorder and sin, but not fully corrupt or depraved. There is still goodness.

Answers to the lyrics can now be given:

-"GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES"
You are correct, but we do. In this fallen world we still sin - all of us. Because of sin we cannot trust that all of our desires are perfect or pure, but must rely on a power higher than us.

-"I WAS BORN THIS WAY"
Maybe you were born with a tendency to be attracted to persons of the same sex. This does not mean there is license to act on the desires any which way we choose, as if they are all morally valid. Some have a tendency to view pornography. Some have a desire to rape. The tendency or desire alone does not equate to a moral or good act in following the tendency/desire.

-"A DIFFERENT LOVER IS NOT A SIN"
What is she defining a sin as? Who gets to choose? The original sin was when Adam and Eve decided for themselves what was sinful and what was not. We all still do this and it seems that is happening here. We cannot rely on ourselves to be the bearers of all truth. None of us can.

I define true love as "choosing what is best for the other despite the cost to myself". If this is the case, then it is never a loving act to have ANY kind of sexual act outside of the bonds of marriage between one woman and one man. This is because love would never take a risk with another. Yet, sex outside of marriage risks a person's heart, future, health, spirituality, etc. Thus, it cannot be love, no matter how good our intentions and affection may be for the other person.

A proper response to those who struggle with same sex attraction is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It calls us to love each other with a real love:
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

7 comments:

David said...

As much as I like this blog and I think all your comments are excellent,

When I heard this song my first time I felt like I heard a great wall crashing down in our civilization. She is accelerating our shift to barbarism and I'm afraid no amount of logic and reasoning will surpass the subtle brainwashing created by the mass media, which is the Priesthood of the Post-Christian age.

Nevermind what recent studies say about the development of homosexuality, and that it's not genetically determined. It's not the fashion of the age.

Buckle down because I believe that all Christians are in for a very difficult few decades - we may be branded in the same "camp" as those who fired water and set dogs upon civil rights protestors in the 60s and 70s...we are "denying love."

..and the antipathy of 90% of Christians cannot be more deafening.

James said...

Good article. This sort of behavior that appeals to a popular sort of 'love' is dangerous. It equates love with just letting everyone do what they want, as opposed to any kind of real concern for the well being of another person for the sake of that person.

David, what studies are you referring to? I'd really like to see them. Thanks

Philoso said...

This song, as with many other things in our society, push ideas of 'love' and 'respect' that are stripped of any real concern for the well being of another person (spiritually or otherwise). It's much much fluffier and 'kinder' sounding, but it lacks any real depth or merit. Unfortunately, when you try to point it out, you get called intolerant and a bigot.

David, what studies are you seeing that say it's not genetically determined? For my own knowledge and reference, I'd really like to see them. Thanks.

Great post!

shamshir said...

Who is Lady Gaga?

David said...

Philoso and James:

Now this is from NARTH, which is a association of psychologists dedicated to the therapy and research of homosexuality.

Here's a youtube video;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq9A40F_P10

Here is a study from Dec. 2010:
http://narth.com/2010/12/latest-twin-study-confirms-genetic-contribution-to-ssa-is-minor-2/

Now granted something being "genetic" does not necessarily determine its morality, but I believe there are very strong environmental and intrauterine influences that could lead toward the development of homosexuality. Take, for instance, the high number of homosexuals who report that they themselves were abused by another homosexual. The literature on the "initiation" process of new homosexuals is quite extensive.

Hope this helps.

a85b4ef6-390f-11e0-bf2e-000bcdca4d7a said...

For articles on studies debunking the born that way theory, got to the Narth website( search on google)

James said...

Thanks David. James & philoso are the same, I just messed up logging in w/ my email.