Not Quite Born This Way

March 21, 2011

Have any of you parents had to answer your kids when they ask you what is a “disco stick?”

Even if you haven’t been in that somewhat…sticky situation, chances are you’ve heard at least one of Lady Gaga’s songs in passing.  Whatever you think of the lyrics, they are infectiously dance worthy.

You’ve probably also seen her on TV.  She’s the one either wearing cuts of beef or emerging from a giant egg.

And her latest song, Born This Way, has been getting a lot of Christians’ attention.  It’s an anthem of self acceptance, especially for gays, transgendered persons and other “alternative” lifestyles.  She even says “God makes no mistakes.”  However you were born, go with it, becuase it’s good.  Some praise the song for singing Jesus’ gospel of love and acceptance.  Other Christians criticize the song, mostly because of it’s pro-gay message.

What no Christians are saying (or anyone else for that matter), is that no matter how much you love or hate the message of accepting how you were born, Lady Gaga is the most ironic, even ridiculous choice to be the preacher of the message.

Not Quite Born This Way

The reason the song is an almost laughably ironic message is that Lady Gaga herself was certainly not “born this way.”  She was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta to a family of Italian Catholics in New York. 

Lady Gaga came into this world as everyone else: as a baby; a crying, screaming poop machine.  And by all accounts from the time she was a teenager, she has been carefully concieving and molding her eccentric image.  Even her longest-standing friends call her by her artificial stage name.  She’s been at work creating “Lady Gaga” for years.

Even if you don’t know Andy Warhol, you probably know his art from the 1960s, like Marilyn here.  The point of Warhol’s art was to observe how real people like Marilyn Monroe became less “people” and more cheap, disposable “commodities” for the public to consume, like Campbell’s soup.  Warhol became his own best work of art, building his fame on his eccentricity.  He loved to be consumed by the public.  He even coined the phrase “fifteen minutes of fame.”

Lady Gaga is this generation’s Andy Warhol.  Every day of her life is spent calculating and engineering her greatest creation: herself.  She’s no genetic accident.  “Lady Gaga” is a custom made test tube baby.  Even her music is meticulously made for mass consumption.  Catchy music has DNA, just like an organism, and it is easily replicated.  She’s actually a very conservative musician, wrapped in a very deliberately crafted package.  But of all the things she is, she is not born this way. 

I Love Kids…When They’re Adults

Even more than the irony of the messenger is the underlying weirdness of the message.  Why do you think we live almost twenty years with parents who raise us?  Because people are born…well, kind of bad.  It takes two decades or longer to turn into functional adults.  How much of child you is still alive?  Most of us spent our childhoods acting in some way we’d be ashamed of now. 

I’d say no one likes how they were born.  That’s why we grew out of it.  Becoming an adult means supressing how we were born.

And I’m not commenting on whether being gay is a “choice,” or people are “born that way.”  But the battle cry of loving yourself and self esteem and all that stuff is way overblown.  It will easily become a catch-all excuse for annoying the snot out of everyone and not caring. 

I Don’t Care How You Were Born.  Be Something Else.

For that matter, people are born with a lot of crap that goes beyond childhood phases.  Everything that used to be called “vice” is now called a “disease,” and every “disease” is being assigned to some genetic trait we were born with.  Are you tempted to gamble too much?  You were born that way.  Are you prone to alcoholism?  You were born that way.  Are you a sexual predator?  You were born that way.  Are you cranky and unsociable and no one wants to be your friend?  You were born that way.  Do any of those deserve a big self-hug?

We may like the phrase “God makes no mistakes,” and it’s true, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t born with a lot of baggage. 

Not only do I find the message that I was “born this way” incredibly ironic, but hopelessly depressing.  If all I have is what I was born with, then I guess I’m not going to make it much further than being a crying, screaming poop machine.  That doesn’t do much for my self esteem.

Have I missed the mark?  Is the secret to happiness just to give ourselves a big hug and accept ourselves, or is it in the hope of becoming something better?

77 responses to Not Quite Born This Way

  1. Hey Matt,

    This is quite a challenging and interesting post. I also think that the truth is we are all born into sin and it is only through a lifelong relationship with Christ that we can begin to overcome it.

    So to me there is always the tension and dichotomy of believing that I can be more and struggling to constantly grow and the realisation that ultimately I’m a failure in need of a saviour.

    In the end I think that joy comes from when we learn who we are and grow into our potential. Sure we’ll stuff up along the way and sure we need help getting there, but that’s what Jesus is for.

    So to answer your last question: yes. Both self acceptance and self improvement are needed to have truly sustained happiness.

  2. Hi Matt,
    Your post reminds me of a quote attributed to John Wesley, founder of Methodism:

    It’s hard to live a goat and die a lamb.

    John

  3. Good points Matt. Well except for becoming an adult after 20 years. In fact that is the problem, immaturity.

    Interestingly I wrote a post on KingdomBloggers.com today which is really about God’s plan to use all that we are for his good, sin included – well if we love Him. (Romans 8:28) Saying that God doesn’t make mistakes is not the veiled sovereignty that it appears to be, allowing us to do whatever we please. God does not make mistakes, however; His desire is for us to live without sin (he wrote the rules not me) and gave us the perfect gift in order to make that happen. The truth is that for those that receive salvation by faith, God will make the very best use of who we are, and give us unspeakable joy! I know that I don’t always like gravity, but it sure does assist in various aspects of digestion.

    I like what you said about carefully crafted images; it’s so true. God of course has carefully crafted who we are, and if we are willing to engage the process of sanctification, and grow up, the very thing that he knit together in our mother’s womb will live a godly destiny – an eternal one.
    David recently posted..You Might Be Religious If

  4. I Don’t Care How You Were Born. Be Something Else.
    …sums it up very nicely! Excellent post, Matt.
    vanilla recently posted..The Queen and the Archbishop

  5. You’ve got me thinking, Matt. And that could be a dangerous thing.

    This post has me fascinated. Much to ponder. Glad I stopped by today :)

  6. Wow. Brilliant post. “If all I have is what I was born with, then I guess I’m not going to make it much further than being a crying, screaming poop machine.” Love the way you untwist things around here, Matt. So true that God makes no mistakes, but the rest of us are famous for them. Perhaps it’s time for a bit of potty training?

    Carry on.
    Jeanne
    Jeanne Damoff recently posted..The Presence of Greatness

  7. I think you’re on the mark, Matt.
    Jason recently posted..Day 79- God’s gift unwrapped

  8. Hello, first-time commenter here. I have been enjoying reading your blog ever since I ran across it a few weeks ago. I heard “Born this Way” on the radio again today and it annoyed me, as it always does. I wanted to respond, “God makes no mistakes, but humans make lots of them!”

    Any opinions about Lady Gaga aside, I’m not sure I fully understand your statement that “people are born…well, kind of bad.” Certainly children need to be taught, disciplined, and guided as they learn and grow. Physically and mentally, they do need to develop into fully functioning humans. But I’m not sure I agree with your implication that children are morally inferior to adults. I do hope that I and my brothers and sisters in Christ each become more morally upright every day; but this is not always the case. Some people behave better as children than as adults. A lot of people fall off the bandwagon repeatedly throughout life. In fact, a basic part of being human — the very reason Jesus Christ died for us — is that we err over and over again. I agree that we’re born “kind of bad,” but I don’t necessarily agree that we’re born *worse* than what we end up being as adults.

    Probably this boils down to basic theological interpretation, and I don’t claim to be a theologian. Meanwhile, I hope never to have to define “disco stick” to anyone, young or old!

  9. Great point, Matt! Lady Gaga truly is the icon for irony. Only recently have I realized that just because I have something I have struggled with for a long time doesn’t mean that I should just throw up my hands and say, “I guess I was just born this way,” and call it a day. If there are things in our lives that keep us from Jesus, then we need to treat them like sin and get rid of them; not coddle them and let them identify us. I will not let myself get stagnant by the thought that I was just born broken and therefore cling to that excuse as a way to not push myself past fear.
    Katie M recently posted..Breaking News

  10. It’s an excuse for explaining away people’s behavior, because that is how society has become. All blame must be assigned rather than accept accountability. And if it gets too bad, there are plenty of pills your doctor can prescribe to make it all go away.
    Annie K recently posted..Why Did I Not Know About This Sooner

  11. I think this is why I both love and hate Lady Gaga at the same time. One one hand, she sparks conversation by exposing truths about society and common thought. On the other hand, the culture of America is such that people actually listen to what she says as truth (or at least a good idea), when art is more useful for starting the controversial discussion than proclaiming truth.
    Bobby_k recently posted..Out with the old

  12. as a drug and alcohol counselor from what I understand the research shows many alcoholics/addicts are born “that way” – but that doesn’t mean they are destined to become one. That trait, that propensity, needs a certain set of situations/circumstances to happen in order to trigger that part of their personality.
    Charlie’s Church of Christ recently posted..Rethinking How We Treat The Poor- Or Power Differentials Are Only Fun When You’re Up

  13. This is really deep, Matt!

    You were born to say this.
    Jeff Holton recently posted..Responding to Rob Bells heresy

  14. Lady Ga Ga is nothing more than shock pop-culture at its most refined. The problem develops when Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta can no longer separate the character she created from the real her. Andrew Dice Clay, Howard Stern, Madonna, Prince, Dennis Rodman and even Eddie Murphy are just a past generation being replaced by the likes of Lady Ga Ga, Charlie Sheen, and even Glenn Beck (gasp).

    For some odd reason, our society is drawn to the freak show…God help us.
    Tony C recently posted..Apples nor tomatoes fall far from the treeI mean vine

  15. This is almost exactly what I have been telling people.

    Great minds? … maybe the Holy Spirit, if anything.

    A friend and I have said that “Sure, people can be born gay. If homosexuality is a sin, and we are born into sin, then does that not mean that a person can be born gay?” In truth, we are all born with the desire to please ourselves, and we make choices that help shape our outlook and direction in life.

    Also, my next post is going to be on a very similar issue, including the possibility of believers living “alternative lifestyles” (sometimes, PC terms are fun to say).
    Daniel M. Klem recently posted..I Love Temptation!

  16. I enjoyed this post. While I agree that I have changed in many positive ways since childhood (such as being potty trained and developing some measure of self-control over tantrums), I also know that as adults our hearts often become harder, more cynical, less trusting and less joyful. I’m also remembering Jesus’ statement that we should aspire to having faith like a little child. Just a few more ideas to consider.

  17. I think you really hit some one some good points. People have turned born this way into just another crutch for their apathy.

  18. Just for the sake of argument…

    How many who think this is a terrible argument for behavior they consider bad use it just as enthusiastically as an excuse for the fact that they are larger than they should be – they just have a slow metabolism, or a healthy appetite, or a gland condition, or…something besides too many trips to the Covered Dish Supper?

    How many men think that because they were born male they should be allowed to make the weighty decisions in marriage, decide who drives the car, name the children, choose where the family lives and when they relocate….even though the model of Christ is not one of using power for one’s own benefit?

    How many times have we heard that women should be neurotically modest and subdued because men “can’t help themselves” and are just made to react, it’s not their fault? Even though they are given no such pass in the bible?

    I think I would be much more convinced of our own collective sincerety if we started with our own pet sins instead of saying that how other people apply “they’re born that way” is an excuse. Splinter…mote…

  19. Really, it’s just an excuse to be accountable for our actions/choices, isn’t it? It “I’m born that way” then I am not responsible for my actions.

    Personally, I’d rather be accountable and follow Christ’s teachings and allow Him to change me, ’cause I sure as heck can’t change myself to any lasting degree.

  20. If we rationalize, “God made me this way and this is how was I born” we can essentially blame God for our sin and immorality. We can blame God on virtually anything we do that is sinful or morally inappropriate. We were all born sinners (Psalm 51:5). That is the only “way” we were born. But that obviously does not mean that the sin nature we were born with is acceptable before a Holy God.
    Liam Moran recently posted..Disillusioned With Grace- A Response and Commentary to Jay Bakker

  21. If you’re going to understand today’s youth, I think it’s really important to understand Gaga and her message. Far from being Madonna Lite as many Gen Xers dismiss her, she’s a whole new package with a lot of extra frills on the Madonna era.

    Sorry about the self promotion, but here’s the first article in a 5 part series I wrote on Gaga, her message and sexuality.

    http://andrewgrant.me/2010/08/02/gaga-the-phenomenon/
    Andrew recently posted..The problem with Fitzy’s world view

  22. I agree with your post – it is very well formed and the message is clear. But, Lady Gaga is obviously, and blatantly talking about something different than you are. Born This Way is an anthem for people who are lesbian, bisexual, gay, transexual, straight, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, disabled… etc. You CAN’T change these aspects about yourself and you need to learn to love them. It is about accepting yourself for these characteristics. I think you’re trying to use her lyrics to give evidence that supports YOUR point instead of letting her lyrics speak for itself.

  23. This really annoys me. The song is obviously not telling people to go be sexual predators. It saying to love yourself, the way you were born. Whatever race, sexuality, etc. Of course people are born crying, screaming poop machines – but that’s not what the song is about. It doesn’t say “we’re all born poop machines”; it says “we’re all born super stars”. As Gaga said it herself, “I want to give that freedom to all my fans: you have the power to pull the super star out of yourself that were born to be. We are all born superstars”.

    You probably already know this. In fact, it seems the only reason you wrote this article is to spread hate – about Lady Gaga, or about gay people. Either way, you’re spreading hate. Go do something more useful with your time, like reading the Bible. Have a great day!

    • Yeah, I’m really spreading hate. Let me count all the times I used the word “hate” here. Let me ask you something “CircusTour,” how have you let out your inner superstar today? I let out my inner superstar today by writing coherant thoughts that other people care about reading. What an ironic name and comment from an anonymous person.

    • Ok, I’ve seen a lot of comments talking about spreading hate and how Christianity is not tolerant. For those you who learn their vocabulary from the the talking heads on TV perhaps it’s time for a little vocabulary lesson. Tolerance, does not mean you agree with everyone else’s opinions or beliefs. Today tolerance is preached in a way where we are all supposed to say, “I’m ok, you’re ok, we can all be right!” But the truth is, if I believe Jesus is Lord, I don’t believe it very strongly if I also agree that Allah is lord or Gaga is the new messiah. I can respect your beliefs and allow you to beleive them without harassing you- that’s tolerance, but I don’t have to agree with them. Tolerance does not mean that I have to embrace your beliefs, it also doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to write a blog that disagrees with your beliefs. Tolerance means that I can disagree with your beliefs and write a thoughtful post about them without insulting anyone, as Matt has done here. This brings us to the word hate.

      Webster’s defines hate in the following way:To have a great aversion to, with a strong desire that evil should befall the person toward whom the feeling is directed; to dislike intensely.

      Hate is not synonymous with disagreement. In fact one of the greatest things a person can do is love someone they disagree with. Jesus disagreed with a lot things that were going on in humanity and would continue to go on, but He still loves all people and chose to die for them. You can love someone or something and disagree with them. Or you can feel nothing and still disagree and not be considered hateful. The problem in today’s rhetoric is that there is no room for discussion. You either agree or you are wrong and hateful. If you don’t like President Obama, you must be a racist. If you don’t believe in gay marriage, you must be a bigot. But what if you don’t agree with Christianity, what then? Funny how those people aren’t pigeon holed into a label.

      Everyone needs to do more research, all you Gaga fans are right. Do more research. Find out what hate really is. Learn what tolerance really is. And if you open yourself up to finding out more about Christianity you’ll find out what love really is.

      One more thing, someone also stated that the message of self love is important because we have too many teenage suicides. We do have too many suicides. But I challenge you to look at the numbers. We’ve been teaching self esteem/self-love in schools now for about 20 years, and the suicide rates have increased. The funny things is when you feel different and alone but you learn to love yourself, you’re still alone, with yourself. But if you learn to love others and see the world from their view you’ll not only learn something about yourself, you also won’t be alone. And if you get to know Jesus, you will never be alone, and not matter how much you hate yourself, He always loves you.
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  24. Nathannathannathan March 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    LOL wow, what a fail article..

  25. Wow Matt, looks like Gaga’s Monsters are out to get you.

    I just read an interesting biography about a guy called Ian Roberts, the first high profile sportsman in Australia to declare his homsexuality, and one of my favourite rugby league players – a really tough guy.

    The chapter of when he came out to his parents I found fascinating and gave me a huge appreciation for the courage it takes to declare one’s sexuality in a world that is generally violently opposed. The biography made it pretty clear that he had zero attraction to women, despite models throwing themselves at him he couldn’t perform (if you get my drift).

    So who’s to say he wasn’t “born that way”? Yet he lived in torment for many years before he finally came out – and his life was no easy road afterwards, he became a massive target for vilification.
    Andrew recently posted..The problem with Fitzy’s world view

  26. Hi Matt,

    Although you made some valid points in your article, it seems a bit unfair to be nitpicking Lady Gaga for standing positive on such an enormous social issue.

    The song is clearly marketed towards the late-teens who all of their life have felt ‘different’ – whether that be simply in their own school, at home, or even just within themselves. You are right in that children have to grow up eventually. But how do you expect a child to truly become themselves and who they want to be deep down inside (from the earliest stages they can remember) without a positive message around them that it’s okay to be who you are?

    Lady Gaga is that beacon of light for so many people. After I attended her concert, I was amazed at the sheer love shared between herself and her fans for this exact reason. You are looking at this song much too literally. It goes so further beyond than the gay argument. This is about loving all parts of who you are – as she has come to do over the years.

    In a society filled with hate, prejudice and racism – only increased by the cyber world, especially for teens – someone needs to give that message to children. We’ve had enough teen suicide. It’s not as easy as it was when you were growing up. And if you are really reprimanding Lady Gaga for doing that, I truly doubt your faith to Christianity as a religion.

    Before you love thy neighbour, you must love yourself. Peace.

    • Are children going without the message that it’s okay to be who you are? We’ve been inundating with “self esteem” messages for generations! I’m really sure Lady Gaga “loves” you. Oh, and the idea that you have to love yourself before you love thy neighbor is complete garbage (though I like how you made yourself sound extra holy by using “thy” instead of “your” right after you “doubt my faith to Christianity as a religion.”) It’s amazing how much more you come to love yourself when you stop being a selfish louse and start loving other people for a change.

      • Wow dude, way to attack me. That’s so Christian of you.

        You don’t know Lady Gaga any better than I do, but I wasn’t saying she loves me. I’m saying she teaches children to love themselves. In fact, she has said on multiple occasions that is all she wants from her fans, even before Born This Way was released.

        Thank you for assuming, but I am not Christian. I’m not anything, my parents didn’t register my religion at birth as they wanted me to grow up and decide for myself.

        Why is there a huge problem with messages to accept yourself? I would say personally that the messages to hate yourself are much more prevalent than those that say, “love yourself.” All you are doing by bringing one of those positive messages down – from the most relevant entertainer today – is spreading hate.

        Whether you like it or not, Lady Gaga has become the new messiah for many people. And as such, your opinions on your online blog site about it are not going to mean anything after she sells recording breaking numbers of records and concert tickets all because her music promotes self-love.

        The only thing sadder about your hatred is the fact that Lady Gaga can accept the importance of your religion, but you can’t do the same for her. Who is the Christian again?

        • Really, I’m sorry if you felt attacked. I thought that by you coming onto my site and doubting a stranger’s faith convictions, you were in attack mode.

          When I said I’m sure that Lady Gaga loves “you,” I meant “you” collectively (the fans.) The little problem with that “love” is that it’s a bit one sided. All her fans have made her incredibly wealthy, while it would be impossible for her to know them at all. I know we say we “love” some musician, or we “love” tacos, but most things we say we “love” don’t really meet the threshold of real love – like the relationship between a musician and the fans.

          I never assumed that you were a Christian or not a Christian, just to put your mind at ease, but thanks for implying that my parents brainwashed me into my religion, as if I wasn’t able to decide for myself. Sorry, there I go “attacking” you again.

          Wait, if Lady Gaga’s millions of records make my opinions mean nothing, doesn’t that contradict the idea that we’re all born superstars? If we’re all born superstars, how can she cancel out my innate awesomeness?

          Again, I am not spreading hate. People choose to come read my opinions, I do not force it on them, and I’ve never used the word “hate.” You came onto my site and attacked my opinions. I love people. I love people, so much in fact, that I attempt, as my Christian faith dictates, to love others above myself. That trumps self-love any day.

          • You are missing the point (again, lol). You ARE spreading hate. By telling people that Gaga is wrong on such a valid and necessary point to today’s society, which is a POSITIVE message, then you are opposing that message. And the opposite to that message is self-hate. You can’t say “Lady Gaga can’t promote self-acceptance” but then say “self-acceptance is good.” I think many people realise Lady Gaga is all about self-acceptance/love. She is not artificial, but just art. She lives and breathes self-expression through her clothing, music videos, and stage performances.

            Nobody has limited amounts of love. If we love ourselves a bit, it doesn’t mean that we have to love others any less. As far as I am concerned, that spreading of love shouldn’t be limited whether its for ourselves or for others. At the end of the day, it’s love. I also believe that love breeds more love.

            But here you stand, telling people that Lady Gaga is wrong, and that she is promoting the wrong message. How about you get off your high horse, stop being too literal and realise that this message is so important today. A 2009 study, “Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes” led by Dr. Caitlin Ryan and conducted as part of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, shows that adolescence who were rejected by their families for being LGBT were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide. These people need the message to love themselves too. First, Christianity denies them the right to be loved, and now here is you speaking for everyone in saying that they can’t be told to love themselves either?

            You are now contradicting yourself. Also, you can’t say you disapprove of Gaga’s message and then use it to consolidate your argument. (in RE: we are all born superstars). I never attacked your opinions, I argued them.

            I also love people. I love people, so much in fact, to ensure that people like you can’t take away that love by the spreading of hatred. Because I love myself, and I have a right to, and so does everyone else. To me, that is just as important.

          • I’m going to resign to the fact that you think I’m missing the point, though I am not. I was not using Gaga’s message to “consolidate my argument.” I was using it ironically. You are taking me way too literally in saying that I am denying people’s right to be loved, and you are making a complete exaggeration in saying that Christianity denies peoples’ right to be loved. The mainstream Christian community deals very seriously with questions of how to love people, yes even the LGBT crowd. It’s just the haters that make the news and inform your stereotype of Christianity.

        • “The Monster Ball is by nature a protest: A youth church experience to speak out and celebrate against all forms of discrimination + prejudice”.

          That’s a tweet from Lady Gaga, posted in response to protests out the front of a concert from the rabidly notorious church Westboro ‘Baptist’ Church. In the face of such unhelpful fundamentalism Gaga was able to fire back her message of tolerance and inclusion to a fan base of many millions, the majority of whom are on her side.

          Unfortunately many of them won’t draw the distinction between the committed follower of Christ from hate groups masquerading as Christians from the bigot fringe.

          So we have Lady Gaga painting herself as the new “youth church”. In some respects she’s right if we’re to consider the origins of the word church as “ecclesia”, meaning community. But it’s an ecclesia far removed from the traditionally understood forms of the word. When Lady Gaga toured Australia recently with her Monster Ball tour the shows served up a smorgasbord of blood, sex, gore, profanity and eating disorders – pity the parents who took under-twelves to the show.

          It’s pretty clear that celebrities like Gaga are increasingly becoming an influencing, and at times contrasting voice, in people’s world view. I wonders how accountable they feel for the consequences of their views when they’re being directly broadcast to tens of millions?
          Andrew recently posted..The problem with Fitzy’s world view

          • Lady Gaga isn’t for 12 year olds, because the majority of the time, you don’t see 12 year olds dealing with these issues. I pity the parents who took their children too, they obviously have no idea and need to do their research. They should take more care about what their kids are watching/listening to.

            I actually attended two Australian shows. There was no “gore” or “eating disorders” – blood (yes, she bleeds for her fans), sex (yes, a common theme among her music and a part of self expression used by many great artists), and profanity (fuck yes, more self expression).

            I am sorry, but there is no distinction. If Christianity is truly about inclusion, then yes, they are included. You don’t see Lady Gaga’s fans making a distinction between “fundamentalist” Gaga fans and the regular committed follower. That’s because Gaga includes everyone in her message. Perhaps Christianity could learn a thing or two from that.

          • So you’re saying there’s only one kind of Christian, and one kind of Gaga fan? There’s no distinction between the fringe hate groups and all the rest of the Christians? That’s pure hyperbole, but it’s not surprising coming from someone who thinks that all Christians are brainwashed. You said earlier that I was “attacking” you, which wasn’t very “Christian” of me. By saying that, you assumed that there are ideals that Christians are supposed to live up to, and some of us don’t do a very good job of it, thus we are “not very Christian.” Guess what? Christians can call each other “not very Christian” too.

          • Again, way too literal. I never said there is ONE KIND. I said there is no distinction – whether they are fundamentalist or not, they are still Christian as that is how they identify. You can’t just discount them from your chosen group because you dislike their views. Because that goes against the actual nature of Christianity.

            I never said all Christians were brainwashed actually, but thanks again for putting words in my mouth and assuming. I know some truly amazing Christian people and I hold nothing against it. It’s when it is used to put a person like yourself up on a pedestal and people are expected to believe you because “you’re Christian” is when I cringe. You are no better than a homosexual. You are just different.

          • I’m done. But thanks for enlightening me on the actual nature of Christianity.

  27. Hi, yes i agree with some of the article, but i disagree in the way you talk about gaga, you haven’t researched enough about her and this song in particular, yeah, the literal meaning of the song may look like it’s about thinking that it’s ok to be a killer, you were born that way, but no, that’s not what she meant, here she clearly says it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIXYYTO135M, at 7:45
    “It’s about being able to know that when you were born you just weren’t born in that moment, you have your entire life to realize the person that you’re potentially going to become and whoever you chose to be was part of your destiny” “I’m encouraging people to know that if in this moment you don’t feel entirely happy or secure in who you are or you fell bullied, disenfranchised, it’s never too late to harness your confidence and your inner superstar”
    To me that’s a beautiful message, and even in harmony with a Christian life.

    • Nothing you just said supports your initial comment. You are saying that the message of the song is “be confident in who you are.” I’m not disputing you on the message of the song. I get the song’s meaning. The irony lies in the artificially constructed artifice that Gaga has created around herself while espousing the message “just be yourself.”

      • I don’t see the contradiction, and i don’t know why you use the word “artificially”, she’s not a robot, or a mutated animal, she has a different vision about art, and different is not the same as artificial, explain please.

        • The persona she has created is what I mean by “artificial.” It’s not a bad word. It just means she has created it for show. She’s not a robot or an animal – she’s a very talented and creative person.

          • Yes, but if that’s who she wants to be, then it’s not artificial, and yes she is an entertainer, an artist, it’s the way artists express themselves, through their music, even through the way she dresses. I see nothing artificial or wrong with that.
            If i want to be a happier person and i become one then I’m artificial? i don’t think so, and again i agree in many points you made in the article, but I’ve followed her career for a long time, I’ve watched many interviews, and i think i’ve got know her a little and i don’t think she’s artificial or fake or manufactured, and the way she has helped so many young people to be more confident in a world so full of hate is admirable, yes she is a person she’s not perfect, but who is?

  28. No offense, but I really think you missed the point. She says, in the music video for this song, that “birth” is a continual process. There is a balance. We are all “born this way” in a sense, but we also have it in us to be who we want to be, to change. And this continues the “birth.” I suppose she is trying to relate being “born” to live in general. That all of our strange personality quirks are beautiful, and they make us who we are – beautiful people.

    It really is freedom when you think about it.

    • No offense taken at all! I really do appreciate contrary opinions when they’re offered respectfully and coherantly.

    • There was another historical figure who gained a lot of popularity, albeit for a short time, some 2000 years ago. Seemed to teach the same message about tolerance and respect with ways that had great cut-through, and it galvanised a generation to change the world.

      The one difference was that this fellow suggested we were born one way, but the redemptive process required we also be ‘born again’. Perhaps this is the continued birthing you speak of?
      Andrew recently posted..The problem with Fitzy’s world view

      • What a coincidence, that’s exactly what Gaga has been saying about the song and the message,

  29. I just wanted to state my opinion.

    Like others said, no offense to you at all, I completely understand where you are coming from.

    But, I think it’s completely subjective. I, for one, believe people are born the way they were. Now, the lyrics of the song may be a bit contradictory; nobody was born super glamorous, nobody was born with 12-inch platforms or high fashion latex condom clothing.

    Though, what she is trying to state is actually a bit of two things; one that people are in fact born the way they were (gay, straight, bisexual, lesbian), but more on the inside. That you were born, not to be a transgender, but to be the gender you feel that you really are. The way you were born doesn’t have to present itself aesthetically, but moreso what is internal.

    And for the disco stick comment: she’s not for kids. Her messages are great for kids, yeah, but in context of lyrics she’s not exactly the greatest in terms of that. Though, she’s not going to sugarcoat herself if she wants to lyricize reverse female objectification; of course it’s going to be filthy.

    :)

  30. Note to self: Don’t write bad stuff about Lady Gaga.
    katdish recently posted..Permission to laugh

  31. I am a Christian. Us Christians have the luxury of 2000+ years to reflect on the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    However, back when he was alive, many who were considered upstanding citizens in their communities despised him, and he was considered a screwball by many.

    So you’re telling me that someone like Lady Gaga is not fit to deliver this sort of positive message to people when someone like Jesus did so 2000 years ago?

    By your reasoning, maybe we should just nail her up, and then someone would take her seriously!

  32. I really could not agree with you more. Thank you so much for writing this.

  33. Interesting.

    Honestly, I think you are taking the claim of “born this way” a bit too seriously. It doesn’t literally mean embrace “being a baby” with “baggage” and be that for the rest of your life!

    It means that the things that you are born with biologically and cannot change should be embraced because there is nothing inherently bad about them. Even though someone may be put down due to their race or sexuality, they still should embrace who they are and realize that they can still be a “superstar”. And superstar doesn’t mean literally the next Lady Gaga or pop sensation. It means that this person can still make a difference in the world in their own way.

    Sure, her language is often superfluous and a tad extreme, but I honestly believe that the message is a good one. Too many people in this world live in shame because of how they think they are viewed by the outside world. An uplifting pop song about embracing and loving yourself is not exactly something that anyone should be up in arms about.

  34. Hello Matt,
    Lady GaGa is a performance artist.She is incredibly creative and has the goods to put her wildest imaginations on public display. I think her popularity stems from the fact that she’s fearless and she’s unapologetic. It reminds me of all those guys with their bellys lobbing over their belts watching sports; there never going to play again, but they wish they could. Many wish they could be as outrageous as Lady G, but they’re too self-counscious. So they watch her and support her.
    You’re right. The song doesn’t fit her at all. The self is built by time, experience and choice. We are always evolving. Sometimes I wish I could lay around, eat and sleep all day, but I sure don’t wanna be poopin’ my pants anymore. Growth and change are good! If I had been born this way, I should be much further ahead than I am, wouldn’t you think?

    Have a Happy Day!

    Lazy Silly Girl
    http://www.lazysillygirl.com

  35. Nice post. I recently posted a little bit about her song, too, from a different angle.
    Brooklyn Cravens recently posted..Are You Simply ‘Born This Way’

  36. Bravo. You’ve hit the nail on the head. What more do I say?

    I do however prefer Weird Al’s version called Perform This Way.
    Mike recently posted..Not-So Deep Thoughts

  37. Lazy Silly Girl you are totally misinterpreting what she meant with “born this way”. Yes it’s true that the self is built by time, experience and choice but there are traits that we can’t choose like being black, white, oriental, gay, straight, bi, etc. I didn’t suddenly choose to be attracted to women or to be black. Those traits came with the package and although I don’t believe in god, I think lady gaga is sending an important message. We were born with those traits, why should we be ashamed of them. Now when it comes to drinking, gambling, etc. please don’t use stupid excuses like i was born to drink. Those are personal choices and the ones who make them should deal with the consequences. If a person is cranky and unsocial, well born this way isn’t an excuse too, but they can continue to be that way if they don’t want any friends. When it comes to pedophiles well it is possible that they were born that way but that doesn’t validate hurting children who are innocent and helpless. In that case they should control themselves. Now if I like women why should I keep myself from having pleasure, because god and the bible say its wrong. Well god would be a very twisted individual if he “made us this way and with this urges” and then says on a book it’s wrong to follow them. The message Lady Gaga tries to transmit isn’t depressing at all, it is empowering.

  38. Why is there a huge problem with messages to accept yourself? It means that this person can still make a difference in the world in their own way.

  39. Long time reader, first time commenter 😉 I agree that we are born dysfunctional. It was evident from the first family. Even a murderer came from the first offspring.

    But, I may have took the message here wrong, I think there is a lot that people are dealing with today and it isn’t just a matter of “maturity”. You must take into account traumatic events while developing. And I agree too many people are “excusing” sin as a genetic disposition, it is only because science is showing there is “some” genetic dispositions to certain things. So there is truth to it, just people are abusing that truth.

    Lastly, in the article and the comments, there was references to the fact that loving yourself was over emphasized and not needed to love others. If you don’t have love for yourself, how can you love others? Even scripture calls us “to love our neighbor as we love ourselves”. If we treat ourselves like crap, then we are only called to treat our neighbors that way….lol. I am the most important person in my life. If I don’t take care of me spiritually, emotionally, financially, physically,…..then I won’t have the ability to care properly for my wife and kids.

    Just another perspective on a couple of the ideas. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading. Great blog!

  40. Lmao someone took the song way too seriously. It’s saying to just simply yourself you are who you are, not always stay a baby as in the exact moment you were born. It’s called critical thinking. Use it please. :)

  41. THIS LADY HERE May 14, 2013 at 7:56 am

    So much love for this post. SO MUCH OF IT. This is genius and yet it should be common sense. Sad how far we’ve fallen, isn’t it?

  42. Spot on!
    Something I’ve that has always been bothering me!
    Good stuff. I’ll be reading you more often =)