Tag Archive | "Judas"

Why Lady Gaga is Loved and Hated

On the Lady Gaga issue, a friend of mine said: “If you’re going to a country where people are predominantly Christians and Catholics, don’t sing songs about ‘bringing down a King with no crown because you’re in love with Judas.’ Most of her songs are great and it empowers so many people, but I do hope she also respects the sanctity of other people’s religions, even if she doesn’t believe in them.”

I agree. I don’t blame people for being offended by her song Judas. But sometimes it’s hard when the party calling for respect to go both ways is the dominant body that, for the longest time, has failed at showing this respect for others, mostly due to dogma.

I will admit that these days the terms “Christian” and “Catholic” strike me as very negative whenever I hear them.  Whenever I hear those words, it’s automatic for me to picture an intrusive group of people around whom you can’t really be yourself. I picture a group of people whose capability of truly understanding you for who you really are is very limited. These are the people who discriminate my homosexual friends and shout NO to things that aren’t necessarily for them, like free condoms and reproductive rights.  They don’t believe in it, so no one can have it!

I’m reminded of my friend who, when I told her about the first time I made out with a guy, went all, “EEEEEEWWWW!!!” on me because, Holy Mother of God, it was a “dirty” thing to do.  It appears like “Christians” and “Catholics” are people you can’t be real to lest you be judged; they’re the be-on-your-best-behavior crowd. Not all of them, of course, but when you’re a human being who’s had a number of unpleasant encounters, it’s hard not to come up with generalizations even when you know they aren’t necessarily right or true, and even when you continue to meet Christians and Catholics with whom you actually like being around.

Lady Gaga is loved and hated for the very same thing, and perhaps with equal measure.  She is hated because, in my opinion, she is grossly misunderstood. She is disturbing and unsettling and that rattles people. They take her music videos, her costumes, her performances, and her lyrics and blow them all out of proportion. They take things far too personally, even if there is no such law that requires anybody to listen to her music, watch her videos, or pay thousands of pesos to see her in concert. Suddenly, she’s the demon lady, the Anti-Christ—seducing us with her music and her skin to bring us all down to Hell.

They gather all that without meeting her or even reading one of her interviews. I even read another theory from a certain priest that her mission is to advocate homosexuality so that no more babies will be produced, thus eradicating the entire human race. Said priest therefore concluded that Lady Gaga = culture of death.  (You are the culture of death, Father. Some of my brain cells just died.)

And just the same, Lady Gaga is loved fiercely by her so called “Little Monsters” because she is the epitome of being misunderstood, and she stands for all the people who, just like her, get blown out of proportion by their peers. In her concerts, she provides a space wherein they feel safe and can celebrate who they are without the risk of judgment. She reminds them that there is someone out there who truly empathizes with them—someone who neither wants to judge them nor believes that they are in need of saving.

She stands for that gay couple that lives next door that is, instead of being recognized for the love, light and commitment they share with one another, often seen as the “lie of the Devil.” She stands for that cross-dresser many like to make fun of, and that girl people call a slut just because she’s had more than the usual share of sexual encounters, as if her vagina was anybody else’s business. She stands for that transvestite, who some insist is a disgusting creature out to fool the rest of manhood. She stands for the agnostic/atheist daughter who wants to share with her family who she truly is, but won’t because they’ll just think she’s living an empty life headed for Hell.

Lady Gaga stands for this part of the world that so many Christians and Catholics refuse to acknowledge, or believe should be fixed. She stands for all the people who are condemned before they are understood. She stands for those who are never truly seen or appreciated because of how they are perceived in the Bible.

There are people who are rooting for Lady Gaga not even because they are fans, but simply because they are tired of the Church claiming to see demons and witches everywhere. But I think an even bigger chunk of those who run to her defense do so because, whether or not they realize it, they’re actually defending themselves. They’re aching for the world to realize that they’re not trying to wreak havoc, be disrespectful or even be non-conformist. This is just who they are. And they wish you could just acknowledge that and give them the freedom to fully express themselves without making it mean so many other things. Different as they are, they want the same things everyone else does, respect being one of them.

Image from oopside.blogspot.com

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Heaven On Their Minds

In Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, Judas sings Heaven On Their Minds, expressing his concern about how Jesus’ influence was getting dangerously out of hand. With a hindsight of 2000 years, let us look at how Judas’ forewarning fared over the centuries.

My mind is clearer now
At last

All too well
I can see
Where we all
Soon will be
If you strip away
The myth
From the man
You will see
Where we all
Soon will be

Over the next 2000 years we’ve seen just where Jesus’ disciples have been – all over the globe conquering entire nations. Most of their followers haven’t stripped the myth from the man, and the new leaders wanted to keep it that way.
You’ve started to believe
The things they say of you
You really do believe
This talk of God is true
And all the good you’ve done
Will soon be swept away
You’ve begun to matter more
Than the things you say
If Jesus really did exist, it would not be impossible for his fans’ delusion to also get into his head. After all, he was only human. Other humans even took after him, but while most of us readily dismiss these modern-day messiahs as frauds, we do not apply the same skepticism to someone who claimed as such 2000 years ago..

Listen Jesus
I don’t like what I see
All I ask is that you listen to me
And remember
I’ve been your right hand man all along
You have set them all on fire
They think they’ve found the new Messiah
And they’ll hurt you when they find they’re wrong

Unfortunately, most of them never found out they were wrong. And the ones they hurt were those who would not acknowledge their beliefs.

I remember when this whole thing began
No talk of God then, we called you a man
And believe me
My admiration for you hasn’t died
But every word you say today
Gets twisted ’round some other way
And they’ll hurt you if they think you’ve lied

It got twisted so badly that countless people got killed because of a lie. The problem with Jesus’ teachings is that he never wrote them down himself. It was always his disciples who wrote, “Jesus said…”. That itself is already hearsay. Compound that with the fact that there were no printing presses at that time, so stories were passed on verbally or written manually from generation to generation. If Jesus really did exist, we cannot know for sure if those red-letter passages in the Bible were really spoken by him.

Nazareth’s most famous son
Should have stayed a great unknown
Like his father carving wood
He’d have made good
Tables, chairs and oaken chests
Would have suited Jesus best
He’d have caused nobody harm
No one alarm

And instead of building churches, we would be building shelters for the homeless. No trees would have been sacrificed to house a deity believed to have created those trees.

Listen Jesus, do you care for your race?
Don’t you see we must keep in our place?
We are occupied
Have you forgotten how put down we are?
I am frightened by the crowd
For we are getting much too loud
And they’ll crush us if we go too far
If we go too far

If Judas were alive today, he would probably have said, “Listen Jesus, do you care for the world, don’t you see into war it’s been hurled? We have occupied, have you forgotten how influential we are!”

Listen Jesus to the warning I give
Please remember that I want us to live
But it’s sad to see our chances weakening with ev’ry hour
All your followers are blind
Too much heaven on their minds
It was beautiful, but now it’s sour
Yes it’s all
Gone sour


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Hang Him High

James_Tissot_Judas_Hangs_Himself_300The Judas story conflict exists because the fourth century editors who decided which writings should be part of the Bible didn’t worry about whether one author’s story conflicted with another.Those who wrote Matthew says that Judas hanged himself (Matthew 27:1-5 and Matthew 27:3-8), while
those who wrote Acts says that he fell and his guts spilled out (Acts 1:16-19).

Now let us see Michelle Arnold’s ( Apologistng Catholic Answers Forum:) answer to the problem.He said, “There are two possible ways to reconcile the verses: Luke’s
purpose in Acts may have been simply to report what Peter
said at a point in time when the apostles’ information on Judas’s
death may well have been sketchy. After some of the Temple priests
converted (cf. Acts 6:7), they may have given further details on
Judas’s death that were later incorporated into the Gospel accounts.”

Mr. Arnold continues, “It is also possible that after Judas hanged
himself the rope broke
and he fell onto rocks that disemboweled him postmortem. Matthew’s
emphasis then would have been Judas’s actions in taking his own
life, while Peter’s emphasis was on what happened to him after his

Yet other Christians concluded: No. Both accounts are true. Apparently Judas first hanged himself. Then, at some point, the rope either broke or loosened so that his body slipped from it and fell to the rocks below and burst open. (Some have suggested that Judas didn’t do a very good job of tying the noose.) Neither account alone is complete. Taken together, we have a full picture of what happened to Judas. (For similar assumptions, see: Answers to Common Questions ,Whither the Traitor? and CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS & RESEARCH MINISTRY )

Now, maybe it’s better that we use a little common sense here? It should be noted that Judas fell headlong, meaning head first. So, an explanation is needed as to why Judas’ body rotated 180 degrees upon the rope breaking. Judas could have hung himself from a tree branch that protruded over a cliff in order to all the fall sufficient distance so that his body could flip, but that seems strange, First, why hang yourself to a tree with a branch that is portruding to a cliff as it would not have contributed to the hanging unless Judas meant for the rope to break? In fact it would have made it needlessly difficult as Judas would have had to climb out onto the tree to reach the protruding branch and tie the rope on that brance.

Now, did Judas fell and hit another such as another tree branch, that caused his body to flip? This is possible, but it would make more sense for Judas to simply choose the lowest branch that he could find that was sufficiently high. A branch with a branch underneath it would have only gotten in the way.

Various assumptions can be made about the organization of Matthew and Acts in order to justify placing the hanging part of the death in Matthew and the falling part of the death in Acts. Perhaps Matthew preferred to talk things in the air whereas Acts preferred to talk about things on the ground. Such assumptions seem arbitrary and contrived unless they are vindicated by the rest of the text.

Regardless of what is assumed about the organization of Matthew and Acts Judas died only once. Either Judas died when he hung himself and then later fell, or he was still alive when he fell and died when he hit the ground. In either case either Matthew or Acts neglected to mention how Judas actually died. Appeals to the idea that the authors of Matthew and Acts each knew what the other would write and wished to not be redundant are difficult to defend in light of the amount of repeated material in the rest of the New Testament; particularly the synoptic gospels.

There are other contradictions beside those stated above:

In Matthew, Judas threw away the money to the priests before
dying, then he went to hang himself. After that, the priests bought
a field. In Acts, Judas used the money himself to buy a field.

Let me add an additional item of interest. In Matt. 27:9-10, it is asserted that the prophet Jeremy (Jeremiah) uttered a prophecy regarding Judas, but no such statement is found in the book of Jeremiah. Instead, a similar statement is found in the book of Zech. 11:12,13. So did Jesus erred?

So whether those who wrote Matthew recorded their own fiction, or Acts recorded their own fiction, we will never know.

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