Office Depot’s Lady Gaga Initiative Insults True Bravery and Traditional Values

On a recent trip to buy a printer at Office Depot in Brentwood, Tennessee, the kids and I noticed a sign on the checkout which read “Be Brave,” with this tagline: “We Supply Bravery.”  As the wife of an Iraq vet, I found it interesting that a major office supply store would extol back-to-school shoppers to be courageous.  After all, America could use more bravery.

But I read on, and realized the initiative was a partnership with a person who best represents “bravery” in our modern world: Lady Gaga.

Apparently, the singer, in an attempt to promote her song of the same title make the world a better place, has created the Born This Way Foundation which has this stated mission:

“…to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world. We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe, to be empowered and to make a difference in the world. Together, we will move towards acceptance, bravery and love.”

Office Depot pledges to donate 25% of the sales of limited edition “Born This Way” products directly to the foundation, with a guaranteed donation of $1 million. So how does Lady Gaga want you to create a better, braver world?

Thankfully, there are many great historical and literary admonitions on which Lady Gaga’s new foundation could rely.  For example, Madeleine L’Engle wrote, “We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are.” J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Living by faith includes the call to something greater than cowardly self-preservation.”  And, of course, Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Traditionally, bravery means having the courage and the moral fortitude to push forward in spite of fear.  It calls us to something greater than ourselves.

Not so with Lady Gaga.  On the “Do Your Part” section of her website, I was happy to discover that by simply clicking on the “Do Your Part” icon on her website, I had “already taken the first step toward creating an accepting, loving, and inclusive world.”

Easy enough.  Secondly, I was asked to “Review Our Plan.”  Did this plan include soaring to greater heights and looking to a cause bigger than ourselves?  No, the website assures us that their plan, is “all about you!” Lastly, I was asked to “submit my story of bravery” with the assurance that there is no wrong story.

The blog portion of the website is rich with stories of bravery.  One “brave” person was Barack Obama for being brave enough to support gay marriage, a student who was brave enough to come out as a transgender, and Chaz Bono for undergoing gender transformation.  Also, the blog announced the winning poster made by a student showing two guys kissing, with a helpful Gaga-approved definition of bravery:

“Bravery is knowing that you can’t change who you are, and that you’re worth it.”

In other words, they’ve redefined bravery to include people like me, who have finally accepted the fact that I’ll never remember to cancel HBO after my free 6 month trial membership, never lose those last ten pounds, and probably will miss all of the PTA meetings at my kids’ school this upcoming year.  Thankfully, I don’t have to change, because – after all – it would be cowardly of me to try!  I’m worth it!  I was born this way!

In fact, The Born This Way Foundation encourages people to wear “bravery bracelets” that look like this:

But real “bravery bracelets” look more like these memorial bracelets:

When I saw this Lady Gaga display at my local store, I snapped a photo and sent it to my friend. She only responded: “an incredible insult to actual bravery.”  Apparently, Office Depot needs to use one of the dictionaries on the shelves of their stores to look up the word.  They’re right past the gigantic Lady Gaga posters.

Actually, after I post this article, I’m going to submit it to the “stories” of bravery page for my willingness to stand up to the silliness of Lady Gaga.  After all, I hear there are no “wrong stories” of courage.

FOLLOW UP:
Office Depot Responded to Me, Here is the Ongoing Conversation

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About Nancy French

Nancy French is a New York Times Best Selling Author. She's written Home and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of War, Red State of Mind: How a Catfish Queen Reject Became a Liberty Belle, and has co-written Bristol Palin's memoir, Not Afraid of Life.

  • Jack

    Actually, the foundation is empowering people to be brave in the journey of self awareness and acceptance, and in that, develop a more confident personality in which can change the world. Lady Gaga has a beautiful message and is very active in the world we live in. To write this article is kind of inconsiderate and hurtful in my opinion. Yes, bravery is giving up your life and everything back home to support and fight for your country, but bravery can also be conquering your fears within yourself. Anything to help lead us into a world where you can get help and be embraced with open arms is an amazing cause. Because of Gaga, I have developed a group in my school that empowers youth to reach self actualization and get them involved in the community, as well develop a support group for each other. Lady Gaga is an AMAZING person. Talented, beautiful, creative, artistic, and very caring. The Born Brave Foundation is more than just a blog, if you read into it you’ll see all about the born brave bus, other peoples stories about struggle and self awareness and the support group that is being developed. Watch the launching of the organization online that took place at Harvard and was lead by Oprah. This organization is very important, and it alarms me that you would attack it like this.

    • Jason

      So you’ve started to feed our children the militant gay agenda, wonderful…. :/ This campaign is to push this agenda, even to our children; and to promote Lady GaGa’s merchandise, that’s all. It alarms me that instead of encouraging a child to really identify themselves with what it means to be truly human, what it means to truly sacrifice, you just feed them propaganda that says it is okay for men to have sex with men, and women to have sex with women; and suggesting that this may be why they feel “different”. What debauchery! All of us go through the feeling awkward and “different” in our pubescent years and this propaganda is troubling, especially when it involves our children. Anyone who would encourage a child to have sex before marriage is disgusting and anyone who would encourage a child to have homosexual sex are criminal. The truth about homosexual sex is that it is extremely promiscuous, debased, and promotes the spread of many STD’s especially AIDS and HIV; it is worse for men because of the nature of male homosexual acts; it bears no fruit. It is only mutual masturbation of the two participants who, together, do not share the faculties to bear children, which is the sole purpose of human sexuality. It can never be defined as marriage because of this. I think psychology owes the homosexual community a better examination of this disordered sexuality, and better therapy. Being brave requires sacrifice, a total giving of yourself, and this can never be done within a homosexual relationship because, within its very nature, it can never promote the family.

      • Object 1

        I agree with you, but let’s not forget that there are male-female couples who cannot, or do not want children. There are also people who give away their ‘fruit’ and they become the sole property of the state. Also, a sexual act cannot be “highly promiscuous”, because that makes no sense and we should know by now that HIV and AIDS can spread through any form of sexual contact and even through other types of transference. The being brave part and the total giving of yourself and the family part also doesn’t make any clear connection to sense since a family has never been defined in just one way; a soldier isn’t always at home. Even today implying that a family is strictly about a man a woman and their biological kids is irrational. Also, sexuality isn’t solely about procreation, it also helps to balance the bodys psychological and physiological needs and is as fundamental to the sustenance of human life as eating.

      • Cap’n

        So I guess since I physically cannot have children, then what I have with my wife can never be defined as marriage either. It has to therefore be “…only mutual masturbation of the two participants who, together, do not share the faculties to bear children, which is the sole purpose of human sexuality.” I’ll repent and go live a celibate life in a monastery right now so I’ll never have to be offensive to you again. I didn’t realize you felt so strongly against people like me.

      • X

        The Born This Way Foundation doesn’t encourage kids to be homosexuals but it encourages them to discover who they really are and what their sexuality really is. It also helps them accept their sexuality cause it is something that is in your DNA and it can’t be changed. If a person is not gay, no matter what you say to him you can’t turn him into a gay, so obviously the foundation doesn’t do that.

    • Jersey Boy

      Nicely said Jack, I agree completely

    • Cromulent

      Jack, you are hateful and intolerant.
      There, I stood up to a fascist bully. Now I’ll write this story of bravery up and send it in!

  • http://www.examiner.com/article/lady-gaga-launches-born-this-way-foundation-school-supply-line Cheryl

    I’d say you’re not comparing apples to apples here. A soldier is brave when he fights in a war, a child is brave when they stand up for what they believe in. A firefighter is brave when he enters a burning building and a teen is brave when they admit to their friends and family that they are gay. Bravery comes in all forms….not just the form of a soldier.

  • Jack
  • Zach

    Oh, and I am so glad that you are the absolute epitome of bravery. How about you learn the difference between blogging and bullying. This is so sad. When you have a platform, and when you have a way to change the world for the better, how about you get back to us.

  • David

    Don’t hate. You are so out of touch… She has inspired many people to take pride in one’s self, and has constantly perch tolerance. Climb out from under the rock you live… It’s a different world today.

  • Reed van Galen

    Excuse me while I slam my head against my desk – the amount of contradictions within this article are too much too handle…..

  • http://Yahoo Thea

    I was truly shocked to see an agenda in this article to denigrate Lady Gaga’s foundation. Most pop stars sing and rake in the dollars. She wanted to highlight the true toll on teens of the epidemic of bullying that goes on in our schools, on the Internet. Her mother is director of this effort, the foundation being based at Harvard. To call this effort silly by comparing apples and oranges does a disservice to all the people out there that are doing their small part to make this a better, more tolerant, kinder world. All of us are called upon to be brave, to face our fears. We can not all be soldiers but we can contribute in a small way. I corinthians 13 says it all.

  • Garrett

    This article became increasingly rude and narrow minded as it progressed. I understand that you feel your husband is exhibiting bravery but by no way is that the only form. Like previous posters have commented it seems that you’ve looked past what all of this foundation is about. I apologize we don’t all fit in to your standards of bravery or the world but this is exactly what this charity does. It helps people like us realize that we do matter no matter how many people try to change our opinions in person or by an article like you just posted. I’m sorry but this is terribly singleminded and just rude, perhaps you should do a bit more research before you attempt to knock somebody.

  • Vernon

    You clearly an ignorant person if you do not comprehend what Bravery means in our society. This is just another dig at Gaga from what sounds to be a very sad person.

  • http://Yahoo Thea

    I just realized that this is not an open faith site. You have some kind of agenda so my remarks would not fit in. I will not return to this site. This is why I was moderated. How sad. May the words of Jesus truly touch your hearts.

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  • John Doe

    Why is it when someone tries to do good, there’s always someone else that tries to mess it up? I agree bravery is shown by our troops (thank your husband, by the way), but there are other forms of bravery. For example, you writing this article. Lady Gaga’s trying to help the youth by telling them they have power. Power to change the world by accepting one another regardless of race, sex, or sexual orientation, etc. So youth can learn now to embrace each other. That one day there won’t be need for wars. This is a different kind of bravery. That’s what the BTWFoundation is about! She’s just trying to use her celebrity influence for good! Why is it a big deal? It’s people like you that are cause for war.

    • http://www.NancyFrench.com Nancy French

      John Doe, I wasn’t “brave” when I wrote this article. All I had to do is sit down at my laptop in my air conditioned house, watching tv, and drinking coffee. It required “spunk” not “bravery.”

      • Lisa Zhang

        And this arguement is supporting…what exactly? That you don’t need to be brave to write an article that some might find hurtful and judgemental? If I’m going to see an article that fervently views one side of the equation, I’d rather know that you had the courage and bravery to stick up for your point of view (albeit one that I do not think is the most open-minded, but it is your view not mine) and were willing to take the backlash from that opinion. However, from the looks of it I now see this article as a result of a rash and spontaneous reaction to something that you have not given much thought of to both sides, and for that I feel truly saddened.

        • http://coswiccamom.wordpress.com Cos Wicca Mom

          Bravo! Well said!

      • John Doe

        Lisa Zhang sums up everything I was going to say.

  • David

    U all rock!!!! It makes me so happy to see such a responce to this freaky crazy persons post! Pawls up!

  • Elliott

    Lady Gaga is no ordinary singer/songwriter, and excuse the fact that I’m a big Lady Gaga fan s this comment will be somewhat biased, but Gaga’s message of empowerment, Born This Way and Bravery as has become so much bigger than the music itself as she explained in a show which I attended in Auckland, New Zealand. And I understand that you may be upset that the charity isn’t focused on soldiers bravery in the US Militairy but Lady Gaga’s message is universal. That everyone should be accepted for who the are no matter where they come from. As a parent you should be looking at Lady Gaga because her goal is not to fight the bullies, but to tell them that they can be brave too, to accept others and obliterate negativity within schools and youthful environments. So to tell children of the world that when they fit for acceptance and love in the playground no matter where somebody comes from or who they are is an insult itself. It is of course important to recognize the bravery that military soldiers show everyday, but to say it comes second to that of young people who fight for world peace without guns and in school is nonsense.
    But then again, this blogger is somebody just wanting to make money by spreading negativity in hope people will read it. Which some (like me) have succumbed to.

  • emmy

    I support,BTWF,Office Depot and Lady Gaga … this article is from a narrow minded jerk who will always be a jerk… but as Gaga says we have to understand the bully,the jerk and help them,also!

  • Jeremy

    Bravery doesn’t just mean go to Iraq and start shooting Al-Qaeda men. Bravery means to stand up for what you believe in. US Army belives to fight for our freedom and thats really brave, lady gaga accepts people who they are regardless of sexual orientation,gender, race and etc. bravery means to step out of your comfort zone and face your fears. We all have them! You should be ashamed because I think the Born this way Foundation could truly save lives and make this country bit better to live in.

  • Jersey Boy

    We need to encourage people not tear them down. Excuse me, but you don’t have a clue.

  • http://Facebook Charles

    I agree with the people coming to Gaga’s defense. The writer needs to look a little
    deeper into what Gaga is all about. She
    is not putting down the soldiers of the US Military.

  • Jack

    I can only assume the writer here is an anti-gay nut, because surely only an anti-gay nut has the temerity, delusion, and audacity to lambast young people, sorely bullied, who have had the bravery to accept who they are and face the wrath of said anti-gay nuts. Surely only an anti-gay nut would have bile to attack a charity solely for the fact that it wants people to feel brave, particularly depressed teenagers prone to suicidal tendencies. Surely, if there is any decency left in this world, the writer of this piece is just another of the ever decreasing ranks of anti-gay nuts.

  • Larry

    Well Nancy, it would appear that you’re an ogre. By insinuating that sexual deviancy is hardly grounds for bravery, you’ve awakened an army of “courageous souls” who are “building a better world” by shouting down others. How inspiring.

    After more than two decades of careful indoctrination through classroom texts and popular entertainment we’ve a generation for whom critical thought is simply out of reach. They are an audience utterly captivated by demagogues.

    You have, however, planted a seed. Over time who knows what may come of it. Perhaps this season of madness is nearly passed. Keep up the good work.

    • Sharon

      Thank you Larry, well-said; I was starting to wonder about the caliber of the audience.

  • Michael O

    I read your article and read the people who responded to it and was shocked that you were getting so much negativity and push back. Let’s turn the lights on people and deal with the reality of this “Bravery” program. Here is an excerpt of the lyrics from the song “Born this way” by Lady Gaga!

    There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are
    She said, ’cause He made you perfect, babe
    So hold your head up, girl and you you’ll go far
    Listen to me when I say

    I’m beautiful in my way
    ‘Cause God makes no mistakes
    I’m on the right track, baby
    I was born this way

    For those of us who would call themselves Christians, which may be none of the people who have responded, we know that the word of God says that we were born sinful. Everyone of us. Like it or not. And trust me on this. I have 4 kids. And they are little sinners. And now some of them are grown ups. And now they are just like their parents, big sinners. And quite frankly, we are all in need of a Savior. When reading this one lyric above, we as believers should be able to see the lies in it. And let me add this. The message of this song alone is a very poignant song for our times. It sends a strong message to those who oppose living the gay lifestyle or redefining marriage. It’s the, “whatever works for you” mentality. As for me, No thanks.

    Now , lets address Lady Gaga as a role model. Are you kidding me? I have seen very little of her performances, and quite frankly, I know I haven’t missed much. She is no role model for my children. Quite honestly, she represents everything I don’t want for my kids. Just because someone is nice, doesn’t make what they say true.

    The video link below is to the song “Born this way”. I am in no way endorsing it. As a matter of fact, it is offensive on so many levels that I do not recommend anyone looking at it. It is posted for those who support her to prove that I am not making this stuff up. I actually just saw 10 seconds of it in the middle and felt like I needed to take a shower. If you like Lady Gaga and are a Christian, then shame on you. If you are not, then you don’t know any better and this rebuke is not for you. The only reason I posted it is because I read someone’s comment on what a wonderful person she is. In my strong opinion, she is leading many people astray. Creativity is a dangerous thing to make an idol out of.

    Finally, anyone could read between the lines of the Office Depot slogan and come to the same conclusions that Nancy did. By the way…. This is one of the definitions of brave that I found. (Ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage) When I read that, I most certainly think of a soldier first. No doubt, there are other things that it conjures up, but a soldier would be the first. The fact that Nancy has a husband who served in the military who faced death on a daily basis makes it easy to understand her gravitation towards a soldier. I certainly don’t see a man standing up telling the world he is attracted to other men as a brave act. Please people! Are we going to have to redefine the definition of words in the dictionary to help people be more tolerable.

    I heard it once said, Tolerance is a virtue to a man without conviction. I believe that. So Nancy, I may be the only person out of your 22 comments who whole heartedly agrees with your article. Speak the truth girl. There are those of us who are with you, but more importantly with the Lord on this hidden agenda at Office Depot.

    For lady Gaga fans:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV1FrqwZyKw

    • http://www.NancyFrench.com Nancy French

      Thanks!!

    • Jersey Boy

      see my post at July 14, 2012 at 8:23 am

    • John Doe

      Gaga may be inappropriate most of the time, but I really believe in the BTWFoundation! It’s all about acceptance and empowerment! The ability for the bully and the victim to ACCEPT one another so that we can have a society that LOVES one another. Jesus wants us to love each other! I don’t care if you like Gaga or not, but what she’s doing here is great. A society that loves each other will be a world with out wars! Forget about her music and image and hear what she has to say about this foundation. You’ll see there’s nothing wrong with it. And when Michael O says that some of us aren’t Christian because we believe in this foundation, I’m offended.

    • http://coswiccamom.wordpress.com Cos Wicca Mom

      “If you are not (Christian), then you don’t know any better” Really? Could you be anymore condescending?

      “I certainly don’t see a man standing up telling the world he is attracted to other men as a brave act.” Considering the wrath of people like you who unfortunately infiltrate almost every family and friend group, admitting something that will bring hate and derision from people you care about is VERY brave. Being brave means standing up and fighting for what is right, whether it is fighting for your country or fighting for equality.

      “Tolerance is a virtue to a man without conviction” Tolerance is a virtue for anyone who doesn’t feel the need to control the entire population. If it isn’t hurting anyone it isn’t anyone else’s business.

      • John Doe

        Tolerance is something the world will never learn :(

      • John Doe

        Tolerance is something man will never learn. ):

    • Sharon

      Thanks Michael, great post!!

  • Michelle

    Im so glad the majority of the people here are putting this article down. Tells you something doesnt it? People like you Nancy are what is wrong with this world. And while you preach your bullshit Gaga will continue her charitable work.

  • Melissa

    I am not surprised by the negative comments you’ve received on your post – those who have little better to support their arguments use bullying tactics of their own to make the “point.” But so many of your commenters seem “surprised” by the tone of your post. Really?? The banner at the top of your page reads “I’m a Mormon.” You’re hardly known for ultra-do-whatever-you-like values, you Mormons! To the right on the blog are all kinds of links to Christian products, companies and world-views. How can anyone, as a Christian, support something, anything, that L. Gaga puts out??

    Here is the thing, I have appreciated some of the songs she has written for *other* people to sing in years past, but the videos and songs that she makes for herself are disturbing and gross. The Born This Way video (linked above) starts out talking about a goddess being born by some fluke mishap and starting a new race that way. Another video (Pokerface?) shows her in trashy clothes being bought as a sex slave by mobsters or a high-powered “somebody”. And society wonders why our men are abusive? We WONDER WHY our women allow themselves to be abused and remain in bad relationships? I don’t wonder at all.

    TO BE SURE, we should NOT put up with bullying or obnoxious behaviour towards anyone with regard to their decision on who to link themselves to for life. I have people in my life who have professed to be gay for a long time. I do not agree with their lifestyles, but it is not my cross to bear nor is it my sin to face God with later – it is theirs. The question *I* face God with will be how I treated those individuals. As to the thing with Lady Gaga, Office Depot, etc. I totally agree. It is not – NOT – bravery simply to stand up for “yourself” in your own choices WRT whether you are gay in high school. Take more time to get to know yourself because no matter what you think, you don’t really have a CLUE at that age. But it CAN BE brave to stand up for the safety and security of another person who is being taunted, ridiculed, abused by someone else who disagrees with that person’s lifestyle. Be a Christian, but also behave like a Christian should.

    Bravo to your post. Perhaps it was not “brave” in the surest sense of the word (my husband has also deployed and it took more courage to let him go willingly than many things I’ve done in life, but still more for him to face down those who would do us harm!), but your post was put out there and has (and will continue, I’m sure!) drawn arrows and painted YOU as a target of opportunity. Standing true to THOSE values CAN also be a form of bravery (even if you’re having coffee at the same time.)

  • Jeremy

    I’m dissapointed to read the other comments bashing the Born this way Foundation. I am christian myself and I truly believe that god makes no mistakes. Trust me, If I could have chosen to be straight I would have. I would like to be married and have 6 kids so that I can fit with what society has determined to be “normal”. But I won’t do that. The men who choose to live straight lives are hypocrites. No way in hell I would ever put a family thru lies and the pain of them finding put I was gay later in life. If you don’t agree thats fine, we are all humans and have different opinions. The foundation was created by gaga and her mother. Cynthia is the president of Born this way foundation.

    Go to the foundation site and you will see all the different things it focuses on. I’m comfortable in my own skin, I do not owe an explanation to no one. I will face the man upstairs one day until then, I plan to live,laugh and enjoy the cruel world we live in.

    I also have to comment on Gaga’s work. It is true, the bitch is crazy when it comes to some of her music videos and lyrics, and I also understand that people will judge based on that, but is an artistic vision. What is Adele doing to change the world? She had the biggest sellimg album of the year and is probably sitting in her couch countig her money. Unlike these other artists, gaga is trying to make a contribution to the world, and its makes me sad that you people are mocking her work. I know I won’t make you change your idea and your judging style but think about the change we can all make if we work together. Peace out

    • Wendy

      Jeremy, you make some very good statements here. You echo the sentiments of a book I have read recently called Love is An Orientation. The author, Andrew Marrin, indicates that all gay men he has worked with, when they discoverd they were gay, were horrifed and didn’t like it. They cretainly didn’t choose it, and I believe this author. He is a straight man who chose to raise his family in Boys Town Chicago. He leads a Bible Study in his community (mostly GLBT persons) and pulls no punches in his book. He is balanced between the Bible/Truth of God’s word and love and compassion for all people. Very intriguing. He is able to not compromise and be genuinely loving at the same time. I hope you read this book. Before anyone else starts bashing any comment here, read the book first. : ) Here is the address to his foundation: http://www.themarinfoundation.org/

  • Jersey Boy

    Please Michael O give me a BREAK!

    I went to 12 years of Catholic school in the 60’s and 99% of my teachers were Priests and Nuns. They drilled into you how the Priests were guided by the Holy Ghost, near infallible. The same cockroaches that raped and abused many, many innocent children. The same cockroaches that the higher ups, also guided by the Holy Ghost, shifted around to different parishes to protect them from punishment. Is that what the Holy Ghost told them? They should have been arrested and put in jail like any other common pedophile or rapist.

    There are hundreds upon hundreds of admonitions in the “WORD” to all kinds of sinners who can be forgiven. Why are homosexuals any different? Why are their sins worse than any other? I didn’t realize there were levels of mortal sin. I was taught there were 3 types Venial, mortal and original.

    I’m a 60 year old straight Great Grandpa with 7 grandchildren. I’ve seen hundreds upon hundreds of concerts since the mid 60’s. Seen just about all except the Beatles. I’ve also seen GaGa 7 times and can’t wait till she comes around again. I’ve never witnessed a performer reach their fans like GaGa. Would I bring a 10 year old to see her? Of course not. But my 14 year old Granddaughter hears more bad language on the streets then she would ever hear at a GaGa concert. GaGa preaches Love and Acceptance.

    Jesus would be proud

  • Hurt

    How can you go around a tell others to be “brave” and to “love themselves” when you’re a manufactured act?

  • Julie

    I understand how some people want to defend Lady Gaga bc she’s trying to make the world a better place but you guys aren’t fully thinking anything through. How is buying various merchandise going to make the world a better place? Making people “braver” is pretty obscure since bravery comes from within and from facing trials and tribulations. How would buying a bracelet make the world a better place? Can someone explain what this foundation actually does? I mean the actions-not the talk. Honestly if you need Lady Gaga to make you feel brave, you’re not a brave person. She connects with people who have good intentions but are very gullible.

  • Kimberly Knight

    Nancy,

    Your post really struck a dissonent chord with me so I had to write a whole post in response… actually two but the other is still a week or more away.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/comingoutchristian/2012/07/maybe-lady-gaga-does-what-the-church-wont/

    Kimberly

    • Ruby

      *dissonant

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  • Amy

    Nancy French, Shame on you. This article really makes you sound like a narrow minded bigot. You really should write an apology quickly

  • Jesse

    We do not choose life, life chooses us. Don’t you think there are people, kids even, who are out there wishing and praying that they weren’t gay or bisexual or lesbian? Of course! But what can they do? Pray it away?
    YOU CAN’T HELP WHO YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH.
    If God wanted all of us to be straight then why aren’t we? Are you then suggesting this is all His fault? It’s unfortunate to read such an article. Bravery comes in all colors, forms, shapes, and sizes. I do hope that your husband is safe, but what about the LGBT men and women fighting along side him? Do you pray for everyone but them?
    Love is the most cherished thing in the bible and it obviously is something that does not give a DAMN if it’s between two men or two women or a man and a woman. It does take Bravery to come out to the world, especially in places like Afghanistan and the middle east where people get KILLED for being able to finally accept themselves, and if you try to denounce that then you know NOTHING about being Brave.
    What Lady Gaga is trying to do is just create a world where EVERYONE can be themselves, not for her or for the money or for the glory, but for that feeling that she was able to help people embrace themselves in whatever way that may be.
    And if you still don’t believe me, do you think people like Tyler Clementti wanted to take their own lives? That’s the kind of thing Lady Gaga is trying to abolish; the very thing your child may one day be faced with. You should think about that. Put yourself in the shoes of Tyler’s mother.

  • Ridge Welch

    As a Christian, I think what Lady Gaga is doing is great! The fact that someone so popular, is helping people is great. And to be quite honest, I have no idea what is wrong with her creating a foundation in honor of that. Did you know a friend of mine went to a Born This Way Foundation event, and it saved her life? Please, do your reasearch before writing an article. You embarrased yourself, and Christians.

  • Jeremy

    Thanks Jesse, what a lovely response, I love how we can all come together and have a respectful comment section

  • Jeremy

    BTW Kimberly, you have a new reader! Can not wait for next week article!

    • Kimberly Knight

      Hooray Jeremy!

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  • Jessie

    Tell that to the fifteen year old kid getting the tar beat out of him every day because he is attracted to men….not a fan of gaga but you can’t help who you are…and people are STILL LITERALLY fighting for their lives over differences everyday…respect our troops, but show some support to every day bravery too…

    • Ruby

      That’s a strawman argument. No one, including Mrs. French, thinks that anyone should get “the tar beat out of him every day” for any reason.

  • Dan

    What is “actual bravery”? You and your “friend” are imposing your definition of bravery on the rest of the world, just like how religion is constantly trying to impose their beliefs and values onto the rest of the world. Her foundation was founded in collaboration with top researchers from Harvard to explore ways to empower the youth of this generation, especially those who are bullied or discriminated against for their differences. Not surprisingly, highly conservative or religious people are often the ones who aren’t inclusive towards people of different beliefs, backgrounds, sexual orientation, creed, etc. Lady Gaga founded her foundation in response to the bullying problems her fans tell her about and the high number of teen suicides. You may not agree with the views of Lady Gaga, but there is no doubt that she has been a charitable person. She has done what she could to, in her opinion, help make the world a better place, constantly ranked as one of the top most charitable celebrities in the world. What have you done lately besides fostering prejudice towards someone you’ve never met, accusing someone of insulting what you perceive to be “true bravery”? To me, true bravery is standing up to what you think is wrong and to relay and promote what you think is right. You are entitled to your opinion but to cast judgements on others is something that should never be done by people with religious and moral values. People with religious values in particular, know very well that there’s only ONE ENTITY out there who has the right to judge.

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  • Conner Reed

    It’s so sad that people will lett political pretenses and aversions to a celebrity get in the way of a foundation that is, at its core, about nothing but good. What harm can come from treating everybody well? Maybe people don’t go out and risk their lives on a battlefield, but they are brave enough to stand by what they feel and who they are in the face of adversity and people trying to change them.
    HBO is not encoded within you. You know that’s way more trivial than the aim of the foundation. Come on.

  • Matt

    Lady gaga? Wasn’t she called Madona a few years ago?

  • jak3uff

    Nancy said, “….the sole purpose of sexuality is procreation….” Then why do catholic priests have to remain virgin. Forget about their SIN against children, these SINNERS contradict their teachings and actions. #satanic. What have you done nUncy to promote love acceptance?

  • Steve

    Holy Crap, the world’s gone mad!

    It is now “brave” to follow to whatever sexual urges or attractions you may feel at any given time? We want everyone to celebrate (unhealthy and unnatural) homosexuality and even transgender behavior as normative and even empowering? Your sexual inclinations constitute your identity, must be followed and respected regardless of what they may be?

    This kind of thinking makes moral reasoning impossible. You are your urges, and they cannot be wrong. Now the very ideal of pursuing virtue is viewed as “bigoted” and it’s “narrow minded” to oppose indoctrinating kids into celebrating sexual and gender confusion. WOW. Just WOW.

    • http://coswiccamom.wordpress.com Cos Wicca Mom

      Just because you get confused doesn’t mean the rest of us are. If more people were willing to accept homosexuality as the natural trait that it is even less people would be confused. And don’t confuse virtue and hate.

  • Anon

    I sure hope none of your kids come out as homosexual, for their own sake. But thankfully, if they do, there are more and more organizations like the Born This Way Foundation to empower and help kids who have judgmental and unsupportive parents.

  • Carlos

    Everyone be brave.. wear stupid clothing and contribute nothing other than encouraging the feeble minded to express themselves any way they care to. The bar has been lowered from Lauren Bacall all the way down to Lady Gaga. Elegance and style replaced by crass and “in your face”. She made her fortune and I applaud her for giving some away to educate her followers. I doubt many historians will study the deep lyrical content of “Pokerface”.

  • Rose

    If people really can’t help being gay, then “bravery” doesn’t come into it. And Lady FagHag is a pitiful embarrasment, fawning over homosexual men who despise her.

    • http://coswiccamom.wordpress.com Cos Wicca Mom

      Being gay can’t be helped but admitting you are gay to friends and family is very hard for many people and requires a large amount of bravery.

      • David French

        Just because something is difficult doesn’t make it brave or courageous: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frenchrevolution/2012/07/17/is-sexual-immorality-brave-or-courageous/

        • http://coswiccamom.wordpress.com Cos Wicca Mom

          When its standing up for who you are in spite of the threat of violence and hate then it is brave. If it doesn’t hurt anyone then I don’t consider it to be immoral. It is not our job to control the world. They are not hurting anyone, they are not hurting you, so leave them alone. However, they do get hurt for being true to themselves and that’s a hard thing for anyone to face and sometimes they need someone telling them “It’s OK to be you” because there are so many hateful voices like yours telling them that who they are is bad or wrong. Even if I don’t like Lady Gaga I can appreciate her message and the inner strength she is trying to help people find. Even if I liked you I can loathe your message of shame and fear and hate.

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  • Annie

    Madeleine L’Engle would be ashamed for you to quote her to promote your intolerance. She was an affirming woman who did not see the world the way you do.

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  • Tyler

    I love how bravery is only defined by what the writer see’s as bravery. Bravery is much more than your husband fighting in Iraq, and as an army wife you should know that. You are brave for being strong and raising your kid while your husband so unselfishly defends this country with honor and valor. Also, Gaga is no longer promoting that song, but the message of that song, and to say that she is disingenuously supporting the gay community by creating the born this way foundation just to promote her song is bad reporting at best. I now see the type of site I’m on so I understand that trying to defend the gay community here is a lost cause, just remember my spiritual people, your bible carries no weight, and no water, and no power next to the constitution of this great United States. There will come a time when gay men and women will one day get married and enjoy the same federal benefits that straight people enjoy, and that opponents of gay marriage selfishly enjoy. Remember what generations are going to follow and their overwhelming acceptance of gay people and the rights they so deserve, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

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  • Sharon

    Thanks Nancy, you may not have put on a soldier’s uniform, but I think you are brave. Today, it takes courage to stand up for morality. Fifty years ago, it would not have been brave, but today it certainly is. And it takes a lot of tolerance to allow posted to your own website such caustic rebukes.

    • John Doe

      @Sharon That’s what I told her but she says it isn’t

  • Sharon

    I must admit, I do find it both troubling and puzzling that some who wave the banner of Christendom denounce other Christians for principles clearly at odds with Biblical teachings.

    Christ is both the God of the Old Testament and Jesus of the New Testament. He preached against sin, particularly sexual sin, in both books. In Leviticus 18, He lists a whole host of sexual sins which the Israelites were not to commit as the previous inhabitants of the land had committed. He was quite clear about his expectations. It was Christ who told a man and a woman, Adam and Eve, to be fruitful and multiply. Genesis 1 states in verses 27-28,

    “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth….”

    In the New Testament when the woman taken in adultery was sentenced by her adversaries to be stoned Christ spoke on her behalf. He knew the hypocrisy that was in the hearts of her accusers and his words allowed them to convict themselves and walk away from the woman. Now it would be one thing if that was the end of the story, but it wasn’t. Christ then said to the woman basically where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you? Neither do I, go your way and sin no more. Jesus did not condemn her to physical death for her sin; however, He admonished her to stop the sin she had previously participated in.

    It seems to me, Christ was separating the act of sin from the worth of the individual’s life. Clearly this woman was doing what came natural to her so far as having sex with someone; however, what felt natural does not give license to committing sin.

    The accusations of Christians against other Christians that they are not “being Christian” because they would speak out against a behavior as a sin is without scriptural merit since clearly, Christ spoke out against sin.

    Christians I’ve heard understand that difference, they are not calling for the death or harassment of those with same sex attraction. Although, when they speak out, they are usually painted as calling for such an action or being complicit with violence.

    I agree with those who argue that the government does not have the authority to “grant rights,” because surely history has shown that rights at government discretion are not rights at all. However, what is ignored is the fact that principles set forth for freedom enshrined in the Constitution were written and ratified by many of the same individuals who also agreed in the Declaration of Independence that our rights come from God, or, our Creator. Given that, it also implies that God ultimately sets the standards for behavior.

    Ultimately, each of us has to choose our behavior; whether the challenge presented to us is an inclination to rage which leads to assault upon another, sexual temptations, or any other host of sins we can commit. However, for Christians, I think the difference in lies in questions such as do we avoid moral judgment because we are afraid to offend someone? Do we redefine morality because people are human and sin, so therefore, there shouldn’t be any standards for behavior? Does the answer lie in moral relativity as society would have us believe?

    What messages do we want to send the rising generations? Certainly it is not one of hatred or malice toward people who are different or struggle differently than we do. An individual’s worth is not based on his perfection or imperfection because worth is intrinsic to our being the off-spring of God and created in His image.

    I don’t believe we can claim to be Christians who are basing our lives on Christian Biblical principles if we ignore the impact of how answering those questions will influence society and the morals or lack of morals that will be transmitted to the rising generations.

  • concerned

    So here’s the choice, opponents of OD+BTWF can just stop going to the store,still have 20 bucks in your pocket and if you do need an ink-jet cartridge, there are plenty of stores that will gladly provide you with one , and want try to persuade your kids that they should consider homosexuality to be just like being born black, white, hispanic, by the way from where is the Gay Homeland, surely they must have a Country somewhere like all other civilizations give rise too. They must of made some poor choices, they don’t seeem to have to much to show for there 6000 years on this earth.

    And yes, my children will always have a choice to become gay if they wish, they seem to understand that is a choice and not innate from birth.

    The other choice is you can go to OD spend 20 bucks on colored bands,Post-it notes and Sharpees, which their bright colors are meant to imitate the brightly colored symbols of Gay pride, anyway 5 bucks to Lady Gaga also to help her and her buddies prey on your kids and grandchildren with your full support, and I guess the other 15 goes to help pay for all those freebies OD will be giving away at youth empowerment events all over the Country. The bottom line is the LGBT community is counting on these youth growing up and voting in politicians that will support their way of life. That’s very selfish and uncaring about the down side of gay lifestyles.

  • concerned

    The other choice is you can go to OD spend 20 bucks on colored bands,Post-it notes and Sharpees, which their bright colors are meant to imitate the brightly colored symbols of Gay pride, anyway 5 bucks to Lady Gaga also to help her and her buddies prey on your kids and grandchildren with your full support, and I guess the other 15 goes to help pay for all those freebies OD will be giving away at youth empowerment events all over the Country. The bottom line is the LGBT community is counting on these youth growing up and voting in politicians that will support their way of life. That’s very selfish and uncaring about the down side of gay lifestyles.

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  • Chuck Jones

    I give credit to Lady Gaga and Office Depot for this initiative. It’s all about fostering love and standing up to hate. Lady Gaga is a Christian who is promoting love. As a Christian, I fully support what she is doing and have put my money where my mouth is by attending her concerts (2) and donating money to her causes. Go Girl!

  • concerned

    Kevin Jennings was Obama’s pick to lead his Office of Safe Schools, You only have to read a few lines about the man and the list of his books to realize this is about forcing with the help of safe school laws every aspect of LGBT beliefs onto children and dissaproving parents , the entire idea of safe schools is great, but this is just another example of how the public is being mislead , and all the while just following along willy nilly in the name of love and acceptance.

    This National leader of this cause has only written books about the Gay lifestyles. He is the leader of GLSEN , a favorite charity among the Hollywood elite, A lot of the money we spend on consumer goods and entertainment eventually aids in the support of Gay Pride.

    Below is another example of who is the driving force behind this along with Lady Gaga and Noble Savage along with Bill Jennings, there the new brave and courageous leaders. It also appears that LGBT has already marched through the Corporate World under the safety net of Anti Discrimination Laws, you would of thought somebody would of stood up but I guess they were afraid of getting into trouble with the Federal Government , So now a man giving sex to a man , and a Woman giving sex to another woman somehow has become a federally protected with a multitude of perks, this sex act provides opportunities and freedoms I doubt any other group will ever realize. So now there poised to march through the schools. What will be next? You need to check out the war Gays are currently waging on the Boy Scouts and look at a list of all the National Youth programs that didn’t put up much of a fight and are now no more that tools in the Gaying of America. Office Depot and Lady Gaga encouraging bravery and courage among Gay youth is lauded, but bravery and courage in the Boy Scouts is despised.

    Below is another example of who is the driving force behind Safe Schools along with Lady Gaga and Noble Savage,
    Kevin Jennings, their the new brave and courageous leaders.

    Kevin Jennings
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education
    In office
    July 6, 2009 – June, 2011
    Personal details
    Born May 8, 1963 (age 49)
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Domestic partner Jeff Davis[1]
    Alma mater Harvard University
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    Stern School of Business, New York University
    Occupation Teacher, author, human rights activist, administrator
    Website KevinJennings.com
    Military service
    Awards National Education Association (NEA)’s Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights.
    Kevin Brett Jennings (born May 8, 1963) is an American educator, author, and administrator. He was the Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education from 2009-11. In July 2011, he became the president and CEO of nonprofit organization Be The Change.[2]
    Jennings holds degrees from Harvard University, Columbia University’s Teachers College, and the Stern School of Business at New York University. He became a teacher and was named one of fifty “Terrific Teachers Making a Difference” by the Edward Calesa Foundation, he also came out as gay to his students.[3] In 1990 he founded the Gay and Lesbian Independent School Teachers Education Network (later changed to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), which became a leading group seeking to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In 1992 he was named co-chair of the Education Committee of the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth in Massachusetts. Jennings has authored six books on gay rights and education, including one which won the Lambda Literary

    JENNINGS WRITTEN WORKS!

    Jennings, Kevin (editor) (1994). Becoming visible : a reader in gay & lesbian history for high school & college students. Boston: Alyson Publications. ISBN 1-55583-254-7.
    Jennings, Kevin (editor) (1994). One teacher in 10 : gay and lesbian educators tell their stories (1st ed.). Boston: Alyson Publications. ISBN 1-55583-263-6.
    Jennings, Kevin (editor) (1998). Telling tales out of school : gays, lesbians, and bisexuals revisit their school days. Los Angeles: Alyson Books. ISBN 1-55583-418-3.
    Jennings, Kevin; Shapiro, Patricia Gottlieb (2003). Always my child : a parent’s guide to understanding your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning son or daughter. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-2649-6.
    Jennings, Kevin (editor) (2005). One teacher in 10 : LGBT educators share their stories (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: Alyson Books. ISBN 1-55583-869-3.
    Jennings, Kevin (2006). Mama’s boy, preacher’s son : a memoir. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 0-8070-7146-3.
    [edit]References

    • Jersey Boy

      No one is trying to teach children to be gay, more like teaching not to bully, harass and ridicule others not like themselves.

      Why are you so afraid of the truth? Gay is here to stay whether you like it or not. The days of bullying Gays are almost over.

      Get with the program.
      Military marchers wear uniforms in gay pride parade

      “With the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” last year, “it was (about) civil rights. This year, the fact that people could come in uniform, it’s about personal empowerment,” said Sean Sala, an activist and former Navy operations specialist second-class petty officer. “It’s a landmark day.”
      While the massive crowds were supportive, a small anti-gay religious group stood along the parade route bearing signs proclaiming “Repent” and “Homo Sex is a Sin.” They largely were muffled by the surrounding crowds that seemed to get louder as each marching group drove by.”

      http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-07-22/military-gay-pride-parade/56419032/1?csp=34news