The Roman Catholic Lady Gaga On Religion And The Church

Intuitively it makes a lot of sense to me that Lady Gaga embraces Roman Catholicism: She’s Italian. She has a lavish, theatrical aesthetic inevitably inherited in part from the most tangible, sensuous, and theatric form of Western Christianity. She’s a self-conscious transgressor who needs, to some extent, to think in terms of traditional binary logics and push to one of those logics extreme poles as her act of rebellion. Finally, and most simply, she’s a young, hip, mainstream woman at heart, which is why her sensibility has such mainstream power among young people.  She’s, at heart, fundamentally just like her audience and so in “spiritual” matters is, to no surprise, just like most of them.

She likely takes the side of all of us which feels wonder, exhilaration, hope, meditation, intuitiveness, sense for ritual and tradition, etc. to be “being religious” and separates this from full embrace of “organized religion”. This is probably the average way of thinking among young people which she manifests, amplifies, and reflects back, as a high profile cultural mirror.

But the most encouraging thing about her embrace of religion as an ideal, distinguishable from “organized religion”, is that she holds religion to the standard of morality rather than vice versa.  And if people insist on associating all the “spiritual” sides of their personality with indulgence of what is also superstitious and irrationalistic, we can at least hope that they not be irrationalistic and authoritarian about morality but subject religious institutions and ideas to high moral tests.  And on this point she also shares mainstream youth values—which fundamentally and uncompromisingly idealize inclusiveness —and in these ways she’s wholly praiseworthy and secularist.

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