A Christian Parent's Reaction
So, now I find myself in the uncomfortable position of liking the music of an artist who’s music and lifestyle go against everything I believe is morally right. This is an all too familiar dilemma for me or anyone whose been around long enough to see the long list of moral boundary pushers before Gaga showed up. That list includes notable names like Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osborne, Madonna, Marilyn Manson, Britany Speers and many more. The comparison that I hear the most about Lady Gaga is to Madonna, and for good reason. Both, in their day, have or had catchy, well-produced music that’s the hottest thing on the charts. Both embrace their sexuality as a tool to sell their music and gain superstardom. Both, also use religious symbolism and controversy to their benefit, again as a means of propelling themselves to the top.
The question I’m dealing with here is how should we parents handle Lady Gaga’s music and the artist herself when it involves our kids. There is no easy solution and ultimately each parent will have to approach their own children based on the maturity of their child and the relationship the parent and child have together. I do have a few suggestions, however, that might help.
Keep The Proper Perspective
Remember, Lady Gaga is not a sign that the world is coming to an end. Her star will rise a little longer and then it will begin to fall. Her decline could be fast like Brittany Speers or Lindsay Lohan, or it could be a slow, steady decline like Madonna’s. Either way, somebody will come along eventually that will replace her as the king of shock and she won't be such a big deal anymore.
Set Ground Rules For Your Kids
If you don’t want Lady Gaga in your home, then set a rule for your kids like No Buying Lady Gaga Songs or Albums, and No Copying Them From Your Friend’s Ipod. It's hard to control what happens at school, but your house is your domain. We don’t have cable tv so watching Lady Gaga videos is not a problem for us. But if we had cable it still wouldn't be a problem because MTV would be banned from my home from day one. You are the parent. You have a right to set rules. You say what’s allowed, not your kids.
Pray for Lady Gaga...No Seriously. I'm Not Joking
Pray with your kids for Lady Gaga. She is, after all, just a human being who was once a little girl too. Somewhere along the way, she got confused about what’s right and what’s wrong. She’s only seeking acceptance and love like the rest of us. Somehow, she’s believed the lie that the only way she can get these things is to be sexy and weird and to oppose Christianity. If she ever grabs hold of the truth, she could do amazing things for God. Teach your kids that no one is out of the reach of the Holy Spirit. The classic example is the Apostle Paul. Read on for a more relevant example.
Remember Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper was the original king of shock art. His lyrics, makeup, and stage show shocked everyone in the 70's and early 80's. I was just a kid but I knew there were was quite a fuss over him and his music from parents and Christian leaders at the time. In fact, it's safe to say the complaints against Alice were louder and more in unison from all directions than anything that we're hearing today about Lady Gaga. Alice was the first and he upset everyone but the kids. Eventually, Alice's popularity faded and along the way, he had a couple of nervous breakdowns. God used all of that to get Alice's attention and sometime in the mid 80’s Alice Cooper had a true conversion and became a born again Christian. He’s still singing his brand of pop metal today, but now his lyrics and stage show are cleaner and purpose driven. Today, he has a heart for reaching out to kids and having a positive influence on them. You can read it all in Alice Cooper’s autobiography Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: A Rock 'n' Roller's Life and 12 Steps To Becoming a Golf Addict. It’s fascinating if you can get through the boring stuff about golf.
I have to confess, I was a big Alice Cooper fan in the late 70's. In fact, I liked his music so much that I remember praying for him to be saved. I swear I'm not making this up. I can't remember praying for any other artist as a teenager. Only Alice. It must have been because everyone around me was saying how evil he was, while I knew his music was so good. Since the bowling alley, I've heard more of Lady Gaga's music on the internet. Everything I hear of her music tells me very little has changed. She is very talented and very controversial. She needs the Lord just as much as Alice Cooper did. Not that she and Alice Cooper need the Lord any more than the rest of us. Sin is sin. Just because some people put their sin on display for everyone to see doesn't make their sin any worse than everyone elses.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
First, let's look at the positive side. If the Farrelly brothers give us a true salute to the Stooges that respects and captures their comedic genius, and they avoid the kind of over-the-top sexual humor they're known for, then I'll become their biggest fan. If they do this thing right I'll go see the movie and tell all my friends to see it.
It's just that I'm a little nervous about any movie made by the Farrelly brothers. Do they have some funny movies? Yes. Dumb and Dumber is a favorite of mine. However, their list also includes There's Something About Mary, Me Myself & Irene, Shallow Hal, Stuck On You, and their most recent Hall Pass. The common thread in all of their movies is sexualized humor meant to be shocking and funny at the same time. My point is not to put down the Farrelly brothers, but to question whether or not they can produce a movie that honors it's subject matter without sinking into the well of sick and depraved humor that they've visited time and time again. There is no need to go there with the Three Stooges. They were funny on their own. They don't need to be modernized for today's audiences, as is the excuse given for many modern remakes of old classics. This should be a movie that is funny simply because it showcases funny people.
Let's hope that Bobby & Peter Ferrelly are approaching the new Three Stooges movie as a way of redeeming themselves in the movie industry. Maybe they'll produce a respectful, clean, honest look at the Stooges that's also incredibly funny. Doing that would be great for their careers, making them accessible to lots of folks who currently avoid their movies. It would also introduce the original Three Stooges to a legion of new fans.
I don't know how much of their history, if any, will be on display in the new movie. I'm just hoping and praying the Ferrelly brothers do it right. You can do it guys. Do it for Howard, Howard, Howard, and Fine. They deserve it.