By Gel Santos Relos
She may be at number four on Billboard's list of top moneymakers of 2011, five Grammy Awards and 13 MTV Video Awards as testaments to her talent, but Lady Gaga was met with protests when she came to Manila for performances last Monday and Tuesday.
Lady Gaga’s outrageous costumes and provocative lyrics have previously caused her problems in other Asian countries. Conservative Muslims in Indonesia have called for the cancellation of her June 3 concert. “She had better not dare spread her satanic faith in this country”, said the leader of a hard-line Islamist group.
In the Philippines, Reuben Abante--the bishop of Lighthouse Bible Baptist Church and secretary-general of Biblemode Youth was quoted by CNN saying, "This protest is not against Lady Gaga as a person but on her music and on how she declares distorted views about the Lord Jesus Christ”.
"We are Christian Filipinos. She comes to our land. For us, this is something that should not be shown to the youth we have," added Abante.
Protesters were particularly offended by the lyrics of "Judas," which has lines that say, "Whoa whoa I'm in love with Juda-as, Jud-as...Jesus is my virtue and Judas is the demon I cling to I cli..ng to."
As we reported on Balitang America, Lady Gaga defied these protests and threats against her and still sang her allegedly blasphemous song “Judas” and gay anthem “Born this Way”.
Catholic Archbishop Ramon Arguelles warned that Lady Gaga’s fans are in danger of “falling into the clutches of Satan”.
Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing reportedly referred Lady Gaga as “the epitome of everything that a decent society declares as wrong” and as a “dangerous source of corruption to the youth”. He called on Congress to formulate a national policy against “vulgar and shocking shows”, that will make sure this kind of shows will not be permitted in the Philippines.
Despite protests, Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto allowed the Tuesday night show to proceed because Lady Gaga did not exhibit nudity or abuse religion in the first night of performance.
Meanwhile, supporters of Lady Gaga explained that the controversial lyrics in “Judas” was a metaphor to refer to her ex-boyfriend. Likewise, “Judas” in the song also refer to vices and sins that separate man from God.
Gays and lesbians appreciate Lady Gaga's song "Born This Way" which sends the message to people to embrace and accept who they really are.
Human Rights Commission Chairwoman Etta Rosales emailed CNN stating, "The Philippines is proud of the fact that we do indeed have one of the best Bill of Rights in our Constitution that has the widest latitude as all other Constitutional democracies in protecting freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of religion."
What do you think?
Do you agree with the protesters that the Lady Gaga concert should have been banned in Manila to protect the moral values of the Filipino youth? And as we asked in our daily opinion poll on “Balitang America”, should Lady Gaga be given artistic freedom, or must she be censored based on religious and moral beliefs of the predominantly Christian people of the Philippines?
(Photo credit: Washington Post)