Lady Gaga speaks out against intolerance

As I eagerly waited in line with thousands of other little monsters outside the concert last Saturday, politics was the last thing I expected to be thinking about after an evening with Lady Gaga.

Despite an unforgettable night with great seats, intricate set design, insane lights, epic songs and the mother monster herself, I came away from the concert with much more than I ever expected.

In between songs, Gaga addressed the crowd, and it was then that I heard something that resonated with me far more than any of the driving beats in her chart-topping songs. Keeping with the theme of her latest hit, “Born This Way,” Gaga began a monologue about religion, bullying and how un-Christian it is to hate.

Recounting how bullying marred her own adolescence, she wove together her message of acceptance throughout the show. She boldly called out all those who discriminate, including the religious right for its persecution of the gay community. She even gave the Buffalo crowd the e-mail address of a New York State senator threatening to block equality legislation, encouraging her followers to voice their views.

In light of the recent controversy surrounding the Westboro Baptist Church and its ignorant protests at military funerals, Lady Gaga’s message to reject hate hit home more than ever before.

The Westboro Baptist Church has declared that President Obama, members of the Supreme Court and United States military are “going to hell for being part of the United States’ wicked, gay-condoning culture,” according to the congregation’s attorney.

While I feel it is within that church’s constitutionally protected rights, it is appalling to me to see the protests of the Westboro Baptist Church; their messages include signs claiming hell and damnation for those they have deemed different.

For me, I have never understood and, frankly, cannot agree with the idea that religion can be used to justify hatred of another person. Rejecting someone for their lifestyle, political views, or even who they are is wrong, and using religion to rationalize the hatred is worse.

If you believe that God is the divine creator, how can a person be discriminated against and hated for being true to how they feel?

Perhaps it is this frustration with hypocritical sentiments that have fueled the success of Gaga’s latest hit, “Born This Way.” The message throughout her work transcends traditional boundaries and is something that everyone can identify with.

As I left the arena and my first Lady Gaga experience, I still felt frustration toward the religious right movement, but it was a refreshing experience to see my political beliefs reaffirmed alongside 18,000 others in the audience. Politics juxtaposed with pop culture was never the factor I thought would be the most memorable part about my first Monster Ball, but then again, you never know what to expect with Lady Gaga.