Why You Should be Offended by Lady Gaga’s “Judas” Lyrics

Lady Gaga Judas

I think we can all agree that Lady Gaga is no T.S. Eliot. She’s more like the 21st century love child of Madonna and a 70’s-era Elton John. And just as those previous artists used shock and controversy to further their careers, Lady Gaga is doing the same with her outlandish costumes, faux-artistic philosophy, and questionably offensive lyrics. And she’s done it again with her new single, “Judas.” However, although this song appears to be some sort of God-hating, anti-Christian rant, it is nothing of the sort. It’s just another way for Lady Gaga to appear controversial without really being offensive.

Exhibit 1:

Lady Gaga is certainly not the first artist to appropriate images and themes from religious tradition and mythology for her own purposes. Artists, songwriters, and poets have been using Christian imagery for millennia–and not always for the most Christian purposes. And politicians exploit Christianity all the time to garner votes and support from people who wouldn’t otherwise vote for them. In other words, Lady Gaga’s not doing anything new or even inventive with the song “Judas.” She’s just jumping on the bandwagon.

Exhibit 2:

The song is more self-serving than it is offensive pontification. It’s clear from the lyrics that Lady Gaga knows the story of Judas—who was the apostle that betrayed Jesus and handed him over to the Jewish authorities, culminating in his Christ’s death. However, the song as a whole isn’t about Judas at all–it’s about Lady Gaga. Although the first verse clearly establishes that Gaga (Can you call someone by their last name if that last name is made up?) is in love with a Judas-type person–perhaps a former lover or backstabbing friend. But the rest of the lyrics seem to focus on Gaga’s lame obsession with a person who lies to her and treats her badly:

Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain

Even after three times, he betrays me


I’m just a holy fool, oh baby he’s so cruel

But I’m still in love with Judas, baby

The song is not a celebration of Judas, but rather a lament that Gaga cannot overcome her love for a person who clearly treats her like dirt. Honestly, it’s kind of repulsive and stupid.

Not only do the lyrics paint Gaga as the psycho in the relationship, but they outright focus on her pseudo-edgy persona:

In the most Biblical sense,

I am beyond repentance

Fame hooker, prostitute wench, vomits her mind

But in the cultural sense

I just speak in future tense

Judas kiss me if offensed,

Or wear ear condom next time

I don’t know about you, but when someone has to point out to me how sad, confused, and offensive they are, they’re usually not very sad, confused, or offensive. Again, this song isn’t about Judas or Jesus–or religion at all. It’s just about self-promoting the Gaga.

Exhibit 3:

Lastly, if there was any doubt that the song wasn’t some type of anti-Christian rant, why does she throw in this lyric at the end of the bridge?:

Jesus is my virtue

Judas is the demon I cling to

Clearly, the song isn’t about loving Judas more than God. In fact, in this lyric, she affirms her Christian belief, acknowledging Christ as her redeemer and calling Judas a demon. She’s just complaining that she can’t rip herself away from an obviously destructive relationship. *sheds an ironic tear*

Is Lady Gaga’s new single, “Judas,” offensive? Sure, but it’s offensive in the stupidest way. Not to make a point or to create a discussion about the existence of God or our repetitive sinful natures. She has simply appropriated emotionally charged imagery to appear offensive on the surface without really saying anything offensive, thus creating controversy and furthering her career. If you don’t like it, just plug your ears.

This guest post is by Edwin Daniels who blogs at USdish. You can also follow him on Twitter: @Edandish.

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  • Obviously, you’ve never been in an abusive relationship; they’re not so easy to get out of. If this song is about a woman lamenting about being abused, you shouldn’t think of her as stupid – such people need help and support.

  • Anonymous

    I would just like to point out that there is really no point in commenting about how bad you think Lady GaGa is. Pointless.

  • Gabriel Forgie

    “If you don’t like it, just plug your ears.”
    If you don’t like the article and are a stupid GaGa supporter, don’t read and comment.

  • Jeremy

    i love how many people comment and say you are an idiot that doesn’t get the song at all and then proceed to say the song is exactly what you said it is. apparently they didn’t get past the headline before they were blinded by their obsession with the lady.

    • That seems to be exactly whats happening. I can’t really complain though because I know lots of people are finding it as amusing as I am.

  • Moonstar8614

    No one cares about your rant on how stupid you think her lyrics are.

  • David_sonnen2000

    This guy is an idiot

  • Katherineeh25

    If you’re going write as a profession, you should know what a metaphor is….or did you skip your 101 college course to attend a pointless faith rally. Stop spewing bandwagon filth. By the way, another term you should review is hypocritical….let me use it in a sentence for you. “The writer is hypocritical for writing an awful opinions puff piece that attacks an artists right to their opinion.”

  • Gaga fan w/ a brain

    I honestly don’t understand why the analysis in this article is so difficult for so many people to understand. The author does not hate Gaga, he is simply pointing out her use of shock value to gain media attention. We all know that this is what Gaga is best at.

  • Disappointed With Society

    This song makes me sick. How can she just spit into the face of Christianity like this? Who CARES if it’s a metaphor? She could have chosen ANYTHING else to portray the same meaning of “girl likes bad boy” or whatEVER. But can’t all of you Lady Gaga fans see how this could be offensive to someone who believes that Jesus was the Savior of this world and that Judas was the one who betrayed him?

    It just makes me sad. You guys don’t understand. You really don’t. And your predictable malicious comments to my post will just further prove it.

  • Beatfreakem

    Dude u basically just said… “don’t put too much controversy in this, it’s just a song” Ur long ass essay was not worth the time it took u to type it… The song and video are great… With music u get to express it any way u like… What about those rappers that talk about drugs, murder, sex?? Should they get arrested for doing such thing?

  • the song got its own meaning…. the surface of the lyric could be confusing,,,,, she taking the sensitive metaphor…

  • Zubrilina

    It’s clear from the lyrics that Lady Gaga knows the story of Judas”…no kidding? Seriously man, who doesnt…you dont sing about who won in the WWII or who is the current president of the united states priding yourself on this – as if you sang about greco-persian wars or the fall of Constantinople…

  • Nickittycole

    Ugh. I can’t believe I am getting sucked into even commenting here. Shame on me for not being able to stop myself…

    For the record, I’m not a Gaga fan. I’m not a hater, either. I can respect her vocal talent and her total devotion to be a performance artist who is always in character-at least in public, anyway.

    While I see
    ‘s point when he states that she “has simply appropriated emotionally charged imagery to appear offensive
    on the surface without really saying anything offensive, thus creating
    controversy and furthering her career”, I don’t agree that we should be offended by that. I also don’t think that someone who can still love a person who betrays them should be considered “stupid”. While you and I are in a better emotional/mental state to not allow ourselves to be treated that way, it’s obscene, judgmental, “repulsive and stupid” to not have compassion for people who aren’t able to free themselves from bad habits/decisions/influences.

    Of course she is trying to further her career. ANYTHING she puts out there for public consumption will ultimately serve that purpose. I think what bothers a lot of people about Gaga is the fact that, as an artist, she is USING the media as her medium. She definitely wants there to be talk about her (the adage that even “bad publicity is ‘good’ publicity” holds true), and Gaga and her people have been able to tap into that and use it to their advantage. I don’t see what is wrong with that-it’s actually brilliant and clearly effective. I also don’t believe that artists want their work to be purposely misinterpreted just for controversy’s sake. The audience is going to interpret art however they see it, because art is subjective, regardless of the artist’s intent.

    -I’m curious if you could provide examples of how ”

    all of her ‘music’ links back to the devil and about
    worshiping him and giving him her soul”. I’m admittedly not really a fan, so I’m not that familiar with all of her work, but since you seem to be, please elaborate.

    Also, maybe I can help clear up the confusion about what a metaphor is. Taken from wikipedia:

    is the concept of understanding one thing in terms of another. Metaphors are comparisons that show how two things that are not alike in most ways are similar in one important way”.

    So when you (@charlottechin:disqus ) say “If shes really just making a comparison to judas then i just
    think its irrelevant to include so many biblical references and saying things
    like ‘I’ll bring him down, bring him down, down, A king with no crown”, it is completely relevant for her to do so. She is deliberately using the name and characteristics of the biblical Judas in order to describe the type of person that she is talking about. With just a name and a few anecdotes that she alludes to, it is easy for anyone who is familiar with the story to understand that this person isn’t good to her or for her. If she used any other name, it wouldn’t have been as effective at describing the pain, hurt and betrayal that she feels towards this person that she obviously loves.

    I think the author did a good job of describing why we shouldn’t be offended by the lyrics since it is not an anti-Christian or pro-Judas song. I do disagree that we should be offended at all, though.

    • Nickittycole

      Sorry for the crappy formatting…

  • Debolisa

    totally agree with you, for me is like she is screaming for help, she need the strength to get away from the bad thing, …

    but still if we only sing the chorus “I’m still in Love with Judas baby” again and again in the dance floor for me it’s still a little bit scary, I’m afraid it could affect me that in the end I’m in love with Judas kind of thing, so I prefer not to listen to this song