In addition to having extremely poor internet connection at Seattle University, our free time at the conference was just about nil, so I had no time to write about our wonderful experiences at the ALCM conference. The conference is now over and we’ll be going home today. So now I’ll just write about some of the highlights in a series of short posts.
Tuesday’s plenary presentation was on the theme of Challenge, and Professor Christian Scharen played a video of Lady Gaga’s performance at the Grammy Awards called “Born that way.” I thought that he was going to say that because her music sold faster than any artist in history that the church has a tremendous challenge in trying to compete. However, to my surprise he said that she has been called a “Kierkegaard in fish net stockings” because of her appeal to the downtrodden, the bullied, and people who have had a hard time being accepted . . . a prophet, if you will.
What’s fascinating is where Lady Gaga came from—her real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta and she went to a private Catholic girls school, Convent of the Sacred Heart. You can read her biography here. She started playing the piano at age four. We were shown an early picture of her, and it’s clear she was born to be a performer. She in fact played lead roles in high school musicals, “Guys and Dolls,” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” She is considered one of the biggest American pop stars today, if not the biggest, and her album Born This Way, sold over a million copies in the first week of its release. A number of her songs make references to Biblical characters such as Jesus, Judas, and Mary Magdalene.
Here are some of the lyrics from “Born This Way”:
I’m beautiful in my way /’Cause God makes no mistakes / I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way / Don’t hide yourself in regret / Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby / I was born this way
Don’t be a drag, just be a queen / Whether you’re broke or evergreen / You’re black, white, beige, chola descent / You’re lebanese, you’re orient / Whether life’s disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied, or teased / Rejoice and love yourself today / ‘Cause baby you were born this way / No matter gay, straight, or bi, / Lesbian, transgendered life / I’m on the right track baby / I was born to survive / No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made /I’m on the right track baby / I was born to be brave
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/l/lady_gaga/born_this_way.html ]