In a step toward becoming, once again, “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” Lady Gaga gave a thrilling performance last night during the Super Bowl LI Halftime Show. She opened by singing a patriotic verse and reciting part of the Pledge of Allegiance from the roof of the NRG Stadium in Houston.
Only conservatives who’ve lived under a rock for three days could have missed the warnings regarding Gaga’s Super Bowl political messaging. The mainstream media did a great job of keeping the rumor mill turning – so great that they were able to convince many conservatives that Lady Gaga’s performance would be filled with statements regarding immigration and the evil President Trump, and that the famed commercials would be rife with political statements. Of course, this led to a boycott of the halftime show or even the whole game. The media did not fail in their mission to spread false information! At least they are collectively good at something.
When asked prior to the game if her performance would unify the country, Lady Gaga replied, “You’ll have to ask America when it’s over.” This writer says, “It could have, if some people would just allow us to be unified.” While watching the show, I had my hand on the remote control, ready to change at the first spew of vitriol. It never came. Instead I heard just the opposite when she spoke. Not one to be easily impressed by starlets, I was this time. Sadly, not everyone agrees.
I sat disappointed as friends on social media, who did not watch the halftime performance, posted one hateful response after another. Vomiting emojis were in no short supply. None of these conservative friends had bothered to watch the boycotted show, but they were free to express their opinions without having all the information available to them. It was the equivalent of someone writing a movie review of a show they didn’t bother to see.
One of my ultraconservative friends even posted a link to a video regarding Lady Gaga’s adherence to a satanic cult (I’ve not seen the video). This friend explained that because the artist was satanic she would not subject herself to the music or the person. Fair enough. One need not look far for evidence proving Lady Gaga’s explicit loyalty to Satanism. This friend wondered how anyone who called themselves a Christian could then watch Lady Gaga’s performance.
But this blog is not about Lady Gaga’s system of belief or theology. It’s about her performance. It would be easy to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” One could rest firmly in the belief that, because Lady Gaga chooses to worship Satan, he or she should not listen or watch her performance. Again, fair enough.
This writer, however, is taking a different approach. While I’ve watched our nation crumble into a divide during the last eight years, culminating in a very contentious election, I am willing to go into places no conservative has gone before. Another old adage, “you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar,” comes to mind. So I chose to watch the halftime show. Then I chose to assess the show based on its merits, rather than the performer’s beliefs.
While I’m certain Lady Gaga doesn’t give a flip what one conservative thought of her program, I offer my thanks to her for giving a great show free from any political agenda. I think she made a step toward reaching across the divide in our nation. The very least I can do is to take a step in that direction, too.
If we can remember that there is more that unites us than divides us, we might just be able to pull back from the abyss. This conservative chooses to unite.
PS – Like so many performers, Lady Gaga has had problems, abused drugs, fallen into pits of despair, and bounced out again to continue her career. For more information regarding Lady Gaga, including her relationship with the great Tony Bennett, read here. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/rockandpopfeatures/11075519/Lady-Gaga-on-Tony-Bennett-Ive-been-controlled-for-years.-He-liberates-me.html
While I understand that, as Christians, we are supposed to abstain from every form of evil, we can’t possibly reach those with the message of Christ who are entrenched in evil if we don’t bother to go where they are. I encourage my fellow believers to reach out to Lady Gaga, and those in her circle, with the love of Christ. Only when she sees that love will she be willing to learn more about it.