In her new song and music video “I’m in Love with Judas” Lady Gaga says, “Jesus is my virtue, Judas is the demon I cling to.” Basically this is a song about how girls always lust after the bad boy on a motorbike in a leather jacket rather than the nice guy momma will like. There’s nothing new here. Girls are (the relevant stereotype suggests) pretty much idiots who get turned on by assholes and can’t control their lust enough to make smart relationship choices: hence they keep getting burned over and over again in a repeated pattern of self-destruction.
What’s a little interesting is the biblical language: Gaga is comparing herself to Mary Magdalene: “Fame hooker, prostitute wench, vomits her mind”. So rather than a standard romance between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, which has become rather common in contemporary culture, Gaga is positing a love triangle between Mary, Jesus and Judas. Here’s the video – be warned, it’s full of bad singing and bad dancing, and the music’s not great either.
Which is not totally crazy if you think about it. Mary followed and loved Jesus but he was probably too busy with his career, or too fiercely independent, or holy, to have any kind of normal relationship with her. After repeated scorn Mary would have been looking around for someone else to comfort her. Which of the apostles would be the most likely to take advantage or her rebound-mindset and exploit her vulnerability? Judas, for sure. Judas was the bad-boy of the gospels. He was out to make a quick buck and didn’t give a damn when he sold out his boys.
But Gaga continues into some strange territory:
Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas GaGa
When he comes to me, I am ready.
I’ll wash his feet with my hair if he needs.
Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain.
Even after three times, he betrays me.
I’ll bring him down, bring him down, down.
A king with no crown, king with no crown.
I couldn’t love a man so purely[Chorus] But I’m still in love with Judas, baby
Even darkness forgave his crooked way
I’ve learned love is like a brick, you can
Build a house or sink a dead body
I’ll bring him down, bring him down, down
A king with no crown, king with no crown
I’m just a Holy fool, oh baby he’s so cruel
Mary washes Jesus’ feet with her hair, but Gaga gets in the tub with Jesus and Judas, and it appears she chooses Jesus (as in, Judas might have had a shot at being Messiah if Mary had chosen him). But later, Mary puts the lipstick onto the mouth of Judas so that he can kiss and betray Jesus. Could Mary and Judas have conspired to get rid of Jesus so Judas could take his place? Maybe Mary wanted to be the Queen/Bride of the Messiah, and decided to take matters into her own hands after she was spurned? At the end of the video, Gaga gets stoned – signifying Mary is really the guilty party in this affair, rather than Judas?
There’s also the line about “A king with no crown”. In the video, Jesus HAS a crown – so is Judas the uncrowned king?
I’m not suggesting that Lady Gaga really knows shit about religion; still these are interesting questions. If Jesus, and his followers were historical, and his movement included both men and women, romantic liaisons, jealousies and back-stabbing were bound to occur (just check out ANY religious movement and try to find a community where personal hurt feelings, jealousies, envy and sexual attraction and consummation are not rampant).