The Prophet of Pop

The Prophet of Pop


Lady Gaga, Japan, and Prayer

posted by S. Russ

Lady Gaga is no stranger to fashion, but this time it is for agood cause. The controversial pop singer is one of the firstcelebrities to pitch in with relief effort funds for Japan and israising money by selling prayer bracelets. The bracelets are a minimum of $5 andcome with the simple phrase “we pray for Japan” in English and Japanese, along with a picture of the Lady Gaga monster claw logo (of course). All funds will go to earthquake relief and alarger sum can be paid if the customer desires.

As far as Lady Gaga and prayer, this is a huge step in the rightdirection from the bizarre Lady Gaga prayer candle that was a part of her “Alejondro” single release. In fact, it seems the she has really matured from the over the top theatrics to an artist who cares for theworld and for her fans.

Personally, though, I hope the theatrics never stop. We don’t haveenough truly interesting performers out right now, and she is certainly that.



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Tristan Harrell

posted March 15, 2011 at 6:06 pm


Forgive me– but you’re an idiot.
Lady GaGa is 100% opposed to everything relating to the Christian God- do you honestly not understand the true meaning of Alejandro?
Right.. because GaGa’s totally about praying for people.
Fools.



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The Prophet

posted March 15, 2011 at 6:51 pm


Where did I say that she supports the “Christian God”?



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Juneau Leigh

posted March 15, 2011 at 6:52 pm


Non-Profits helping in Japan need more than $5.00 Gaga’s little monsters. In fact, these kinds of small appeals are deterring donors from making needed and more substantial donations. Why not donate what you would be willing to pay for a Monster’s Ball Concert ticket ($75.00 or more based on our recent experience)and ask Gaga to give you free admission to her next concert!
This horrifying catastophe needs lots of money – Dig deep little monsters, Hawaii an California could be next. The Red Cross needs plenty of help as well as charities for children and the elderly.



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The Prophet

posted March 15, 2011 at 6:59 pm


Great points, but I do think the 5 dollar price tag is what will get teens in on the relief effort. They can’t make large donations on their own, but 5 bucks? Sure.
As for the concert tickets; that money pays for effects, a huge road crew, facility fees, and a band. It isn’t really realistic and that’s why you don’t see artists donating full ticket proceeds ever and rarely partial tickets.
There are many great relief efforts, I just found the choice of a prayer bracelet to be fascinating and worth discussing.



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Panz

posted March 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm


Tristan is right.
Lady Gaga uses occult imagery and clearly you don’t know that Alejandro is a love song to director Alejandro Inarritu. Have you ever seen 21 Grams or Babel or Buitiful, sir? Inarritu glorifies sinful people who dare to ask God why bad things are happening to them. He mocks God’s righteous judgement. To bring that up in the context of Japan is bordering on blasphemous. I’m glad at least Tristan was able to see this.
I also agree with Tristan that it’s far better say a prayer to the one true God for the Japanese people, rather than to actually do something for them in the name of paganism. Do you support works righteousness, sir?



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The Prophet

posted March 15, 2011 at 8:45 pm


Just wanting to make sure I have this right – are you saying that what happened in Japan is a part of God’s judgment?
I don’t support work’s righteousness (and I don’t know why you think I would), but I do support any benefit cause for the people hurting in Japan – whether I always agree with the source or not.



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Malachi

posted March 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm


A few comments:
I am amazingly proud of Lady Gaga for making this step. Gaga didn’t have to publicly put her name on any relief effort and it is good and valuable that she does so, regardless of the amount she is asking people to donate. While the amount is small, every little bit helps, and for many people, 5 dollars is a huge sacrifice in their lives.
Additionally, I think bringing in ideas revolving around the oneness or trueness of G…d only bring this argument into the realm of the petty and childish. People are suffering. People are hurt and starving. Regardless of what Divinity one believes in, wouldn’t that Divinity wish for the well-being of the world? Would this one true God be so impotent that He/She/It is not able to hear prayers, regardless of the name to which they are addressed? Perhaps instead of arguing over whether one should avoid Lady Gaga because of her “paganism” or “occult imagery”, one should focus on what is important — the people of Japan and how to help them in their time of need.



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Tamara

posted March 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm


It’s a false dichotomy to suggest that we have to either only pray or do something for the people suffering in Japan. It’s entirely possible to do both. In fact, I’d call it recommended: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18).



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Panz

posted March 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm


You’re saying that subduction fault just HAPPENED to slip? You’re saying that hydrogen just HAPPENED to build up in the Fukushima secondary containment buildings and explode? All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds, eh Dr. Pangloss?



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Hecq

posted March 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm


I completely concur with Malachi.
Panz, I encourage you not to forget that [assuming you are a Christian or something of the sort,] you subscribe to a belief which commands you to help those in need. Living as a servant, I believe the phrase goes. Regardless of whether or not you approve of Lady Gaga, the fact is that she is currently helping Japan by using her immense popularity to benefit them with upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars, something that you yourself will probably not be able to afford in your lifetime.
I’m not trying to justify Gaga.
I’m just very disturbed by your insensitive comment, claiming it’s better to pray for the Japanese than to actually help them, regardless of the moral background that the help comes from.
That seems contrary to the selfless creed you subscribe to.



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Hecq

posted March 15, 2011 at 9:11 pm


Don’t try to divert the issue here, Panz.
Causation is neither here nor there.
What we’re trying to focus on is why you seem so unwilling to help a group of people in need.



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The Deacon of Discs

posted March 15, 2011 at 9:12 pm


So Juneau, are you making a charity vs. justice argument? It’s as if you are saying don’t feed the hungry instead spend your energy fighting hunger. I agree that justice is the bigger and ultimate goal, but justice takes time. While you’re battling on capital hill for better social programs, Johnny Appalachia is starving of hunger. We need both. Gaga may not be asking for the largest donations, but she is asking for them. I don’t see Kutless or Tenth Avenue North or Chris Tomlin pushing campaigns for disaster relief.
Panz, what makes Japan blasphemous? Shintoism? Your argument to pray and move on takes all responsibility away from humanity. It seems contradictory to your works righteousness statement. In the words of Hunter S. Thompson, “pray to God, but row away from the rocks.” I genuinely believe that God uses humans as vehicles for Divine work, but if we resist opportunities we aren’t exactly making ourselves available. Denying relief because you are more concerned with the medium through which it is being dispensed doesn’t hurt the medium but rather those receiving the relief. Your statement doesn’t hurt Lady Gaga, but rather the people of Japan. Ex opere operato.



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Malachi

posted March 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm


Tamara — I’m not saying we shouldn’t both pray and donate. I completely believe that we should do both. What I am saying is that we should not be spending our time arguing over who we should be praying to. I firmly believe that the Divinity I pray to hears all prayers, regardless of whether they are addressed to Odin, Astarte, Jesus, or Saint Mary. Let’s move beyond disruptive and divisive arguments about who is ‘right’ and focus on what is important — prayer and support.
Panz — I’m not sure why the reference to Candide seems apropos at this moment. I’m pretty sure I didn’t just blindly embrace optimism and say we shouldn’t do anything cause it will all be ok. I have no idea why the fault slipped or the generators blew or the tsunami happened. What I do know is the the G…d I believe is is a kind and loving G…d and wreak disaster on the world like a spiteful and petulant child when angry.



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Puppy Dickens (formerly Panz)

posted March 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm


I don’t know why my comments have been deleted.
Lady Gaga is pagan. Praying for God’s will and then trying to do God’s will via a pagan emmisary is ok to everyone here? You people think God’s will can be accomplished even through somebody who does not serve him? You people think God is loving and gracious, but then when bad stuff happens to people God was just asleep or something? You people think arguing about the nature of the ONE TRUE GOD on the internet is childish and petty?



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Malachi

posted March 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm


Panz — Yes, I believe that diverting a discussion about Lady Gaga and the nature of her aid to Japan to a diatribe about punishment and the ‘one true god’ is petty and childish.
And yes. yes. yes. I believe that G…d’s will (if such a thing exists) can be accomplished through any of the children on this planet — Jew, Christian, Muslim, Neo-Pagan, Techno-Pagan, Shinto, Buddhist….. the list could go on. I believe that as long as a person is acting in compassion, kindness, justice, and love then the will of the Divine is being done.



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The Prophet

posted March 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm


Panz – No comments are being deleted, there are some bugs in the Beliefnet comment system so they aren’t appearing in the “Read All Comments” section. If you’d like me to repost anything, just let me know! Sorry about that!
A lot of people in a lot of different religions pray. I’m not really sure what your point is – this bracelet will mean different things to different people. The value is that it gives money and raises awareness.



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Puppy Dickens

posted March 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm


Malachi, you cannot even spell His name, yet you claim to understand the nature of His action. At least I have been open about my position from the beginning. I don’t put on the veil of false humility as you do, all the while claiming to understand the nature of the “Divine being.” I DO understand Him, I have confidence in Him, and will call out people who don’t. We aren’t Locke and Demosthenes here, Malachi. This is serious.
The Prophet I’m sorry I accused you of censorship.



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Puppy Dickens

posted March 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm


“A lot of people in a lot of different religions pray….this bracelet will mean different things to different people”
Blatant multiculturalism.



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Tamara

posted March 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm


(In response to Panz, as was my earlier comment):
Oh, I don’t know. Rahab was a prostitute, but she was able to recognize a time to help those in need by both lying and betraying her country. And the demon-possessed girl in Acts 16 was able to announce Paul and the disciples for days before having the demon cast out, all the while proclaiming them as messengers of the most high God.
You seem to be very caught up on what God can’t do, whom God can’t use. Are you sure you haven’t created God in your own image, there?



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Stephen Russ

posted March 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm


Multi-religious, yes, that is what Beliefnet is and this blog is on Beliefnet. I have no problem with you disagreeing with that, but it should be pretty obvious that I have little problem with the concept since I write for this website.
No worries on censorship – the only person I will ever censor on here is myself!



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Malachi

posted March 15, 2011 at 10:11 pm


Panz — Sorry to not have responded to this before. I couldn’t see it.
You said: Malachi, you cannot even spell His name, yet you claim to understand the nature of His action. At least I have been open about my position from the beginning. I don’t put on the veil of false humility as you do, all the while claiming to understand the nature of the “Divine being.” I DO understand Him, I have confidence in Him, and will call out people who don’t. We aren’t Locke and Demosthenes here, Malachi. This is serious.
I choose not to spell out the name of G…d because it is the tradition of my people and my faith. Not because we do not understand, but because we know that human understanding can only just begin to fathom the awesomeness of the Divine. I have never claimed to understand the totality of the Divine. I think anyone who does must have a very limited view of the power of the Divine. How could any human consciousness even pretend to understand the will of G…d?
If you really want to know my position, here it is: I am a Reform Jew with Orthopraxic leanings. I believe in G…d who is loving and kind, who does not punish his children, who wants us to love and care and be kind.
And Do. Not. Accuse me of not being serious. Throwing around historical names and literary references does not make this a serious discussion. I take very seriously my faith, my desire to walk in justice and compassion with G…d, and my need to be in communion and relationship with G..d through the people on this planet.



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Puppy Dickens

posted March 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm


But Tamara, when I give a prostitute 5 dollars, it is NOT to accomplish the will of God.
(Also call me Puppy Dickens. I changed it when I thought my name was banned, but now I like it better than Panz).



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Tamara

posted March 15, 2011 at 10:21 pm


Puppy Dickens,
If you can’t accomplish the will of God by giving a prostitute $5, then I suggest not doing so. However, I think it’s a bit beyond the scope to absolutely condemn anyone else who finds a way to help those in need through actions, as well as through prayers, based on one’s own inability to reconcile the disconnect.



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Puppy Dickens

posted March 15, 2011 at 10:28 pm


Stephen thank you for your honesty. If you have given yourself over to that way of thinking, I am at least glad you openly acknowledge it.
Malachi, I am sorry if mistook you’re seriousness. You must understand that often the use of the spelling “G_d” on the internet is used flippantly or by people who want to call attention to themselves rather than Him. This was the assumption I, mistakenly, made.
However, on your other point, you still want to have it both ways. Either you are incapable of understanding His nature, in which case you must dismiss yourself from the debate, or else you DO understand His nature, in which case feel free to continue this discussion. Either tear the veil of false humility OR except its weight with dignity, thus turning it into true humility.



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Malachi

posted March 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm


I am not having it both ways. I am having it the way I really see it. I read Torah and believe that from that I can discern some of the will of G…d. I read the great Rabbis and Sages; I read the Christian Theologians, and I believe that I can begin to discern some of the will of G…d through that. However, I also believe that there is so much of G…d, so much power and awesomeness that I cannot possibly, with my tiny human mind, fathom all of it. This is, to me, true humility – understanding that I am an imperfect being who cannot possibly understand the totality of something that is so much More than I am. All I can do is the best my human heart and mind can do and hope that G…d forgives me when I understand imperfectly.



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The Prophet

posted March 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm


I’m not entirely sure what is humble about claiming to understand the nature of God, but I am sensing that is a large hurdle in this discussion.



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LoriR

posted March 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm


I’m currently having a fascinating discussion with my AP students about “goodness” in a philosophical/ethical/biblical sense. We read an excerpt from Kant today, who limited true goodness only to those who do right acts from pure motives but not just out of duty.
Thank goodness Kant was wrong. *ahem*
Props to Lady Gaga. I have no idea what she means by “pray,” and I don’t care. Japan needs our prayers, our help, and our dollars (which I waste on Starbucks anyway, so I might as well get a cool bracelet out of the deal).
I’d love to check out the heavy comment stream, but Beliefnet’s server appears to be down. May I reiterate my hatred of your blogging software? Thank you.



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Puppy Dickens

posted March 16, 2011 at 12:11 am


If Kant is so wrong then every one of you (except that guy at the beginning) need to stop operating in the synthetic a priori. Everyone one of you has taken your own experiences and substituted them as a justification for you views. You can’t just invent some notion of how you think God operates, say you are humble about your lack of knowledge about how God operates, and then go on to inform me about how I am wrong about how God operates.
Make no mistake, I operate under no false humility (most of you would say no humility at all). BUT I DON’T NEED TO. I have a confidence that originates not from my own understanding. Why should I be humble when I have God’s knowledge?



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Puppy Dickens

posted March 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm


Now that I see all the replies I will try again.
First, I AM FOR HELPING THE JAPANESE. This was never an issue and “say a prayer and move on” was never my position. However, I am NOT for helping the Japanese under the banner of “Lady Gaga Prayer Warrior.” Why are all of you stretching you theology so far to defend her? It is as if you approach to Godliness as a matter of “what can I get away with” or “how far can I push the envelope.”
God has used sinful people to accomplish his will. On this I agree. But are you guys really saying that seeking out prostitution, demon possession, or licentious music videos is the best way to do His will? That is pure madness.
You all suffer from a Ben Bernanke theology. By saying anything can be God, you dilute His message until it becomes worthless. A God who is anything is nothing.
I realize that this is probably an annoyingly paradoxical conversation to have with me. I get the impression you all do not like my viewpoints at all. But in order to debate my viewpoints, you must become like me in a certain sense. I will try to keep this in mind and be more patient with you in the future.



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Carter

posted March 16, 2011 at 7:35 pm


Hey Puppy – Let me clue you into something….Don’t pick a fight with Malachi. I guarantee that you will loose, painfully. I can also promise that Malachi is smarter, better read, and more serious about faith than you can ever hope to be.
As far as the substance of the post and the main gist of the fallowing argument:
I have little to no appreciation for Lady Gaga. It has a whole lot more to do with her “music” and her style than anything else. It just isn’t my scene. That being said, I think that she is doing more than almost any other celebrity right now on encouraging young people (the majority of her fan base) to get involved in the public good.
As far as her personal beliefs I don’t really know, nor do I really care. I am a whole lot more concerned about the glorification of the commodification of sex, sexual relations, and women in particular and its increasing effect on the global human trafficking market. Charlie Sheen has done more in the last month to damage the rights of women and the exploited than just about anything else I could imagine.
To claim that the earthquake and resulting devastation and nuclear crisis is the active will of God at best makesGod out the be a petulant child at best and a capricious jerk at worst. Neither of these views fit with my understanding of God as presented in the scriptures.



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Puppy Dickens

posted March 16, 2011 at 8:39 pm


Carter, you present to us a God who is impotent and/or apathetic. I hope for all our sakes that “your understanding” is wrong.
I am not picking fights with your frind Malachi. Calling it such is like saying “Oh dude, Plato’s cave is like taking the red pill in the matrix.” It’s crass, simplistic, and demeans the whole conversation. This isn’t about losing or threats of pain, at least not in the ultimate sense.



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Malachi

posted March 17, 2011 at 6:51 pm


Thank you Carter.
Puppy — Thank you so much for your paternalistic patience with us. I know that I, for one, appreciate being treated like a child.
To clarify a point that you made — I do not believe that G…d is anything. I believe that G…d is everything. It’s a common theological stance in both Jewish and Christian faith communities, with variations that include not only radical immanence, but also Christian/Jewish pantheism, or Christian/Jewish panentheism. This is not the idea that G…d can be anything, but that G…d is so powerful, so all-encompassing that there is no way to conceive of a world which is not in G…d, and a G…d which is not in the world. Feel free to look at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy if you would like more precise definitions of these terms.
Additionally, I am pretty sure that I never said you were wrong about the ways in which G..d operates. Whatever I might personally believe, I wouldn’t say you were wrong because the truth is, I can only make educated guesses at how G…d works in the world.



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Puppy Dickens

posted March 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm


“Feel free to look at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy…”
THIS is mocking paternalism, Malachi.
You still fully admit that you use YOU OWN MIND to try to understand GOD’S MIND. Can’t you even start to see how foolish this is? “Educated guesses” are nothing compared to DIVINE REVELATION. You try to understand GOD by reading the works of other MEN?????



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Tiffany Antonius

posted April 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm


A very great gesture of Lady Gaga, I hope a lot of other celebrities will follow in her footsteps and start some sort of charity for the disaster struck people in Japan.

A Big thumbs up! Lets hope she raises a lot off money for Japan. I have ordered several of these bracelets.

Regards,
Tiffany @ Religious Bracelets



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The Prophet

posted April 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm


I agree!!



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Tiffany Antonius

posted April 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm


A great gesture by Lady Gaga, Japan really needs our help. They keep on getting hit by aftershocks and the nuclear reactor is heading towards a meltdown.

May all our prayers be with these disaster struck people. May god help them.

I purchased several of these LadyGaga Bracelets, you all should do the same.

Regards,
Tiffany @ Religious Bracelets



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Sharion C.

posted April 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm


Lady Gaga is just like any one else in the world we are looking for peace love and the truth.Some people will believe in God and some will not, the truth of it all is that know one is perfect we all want to be right, some people find it hard to believe in one true God but he is real and when it’s all said and done every knee shall bow and every tong shall confess.



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