Sunday, February 13, 2011

To Lady Gaga: Being "Born This Way" is Not Enough

I am told that Lady GaGa's single "Born This Way" has rocketed to the top of the iTunes charts and is supposed to be some sort of generation-defining song. What interests me, after reading the lyrics and listening to the song is that through the song, she is attempting to cause her listeners to cut loose, to accept themselves as they are, and to remember that they do have an excuse for their behavior - after all, I was born this way! A very popular sentiment in our culture, to be sure.

There are Christians out there who are going to take their stand against the message of this song by arguing, "No, you aren't born this way! It was a choice!" They will then appeal to science and the fact there has never been found a "gay gene." Such a response is not only theologically awful, but it misses the larger issue.

Lets just grant for a moment that Lady GaGa is absolutely right, and without question, every person is "born this way." Does this mean that everyone should act out on any and all of their impulses? Is the presence of an impulse or a desire enough to determine that an action is moral or immoral?

Or one might even turn the ethic around on GaGa. If someone is intolerant and hateful, might they excuse themselves by simply claiming, "Sorry, but baby, I was born this way!"

It would not be difficult to demonstrate the absurdity of this type of sentiment. All one has to do is look at human behavior that nobody is willing to say is acceptable and then move back from there. Murder? Okay, murder still isn't okay, even if the murderer does have a human impulse to commit such an act. Rape? Okay, rape still isn't okay, even though Lady GaGa keeps telling us that being "born this way" is grounds for determining our ethical standards. Sodomy? Well, that is one of our culture's grey-areas, isn't it? It's certainly debatable in the public arena, although it shouldn't be in the Church. What about adultery - breaking marriage vows? Well, I know a lot of people who believe it was fine for them to have an affair and destroy their marriage, simply because of the presence of the desire.

If you think about it in theological terms, Gaga has just given the field to Augustine. Sorry, Pelagius! Better luck next time! But who could have guessed that by granting Augustine's doctrine of posse pecar, someone would have thought they could find an ethical shelter for human misbehavior!

Don't misunderstand me; this meandering post is not about cross-dressing, or sexual orientation, as some may think the song is about. I don't even think that's all that the song is about. Rather, the point I am making is to point out the morally suicidal ethic that underlies the sentiments of "Born This Way."

The truth is, everyone is born this way, and yet we are without excuse, because we are still willing in our disobedience to God, even if we are unwilling to acknowledge Him. Simply because our desires are bent and perverted (my own included) does not excuse us (Rom. 2:1). Rather, our desires confirm that we are in inescapable need of the Savior who can free us from the guilt of sin and enable us to have a principle of love for God, so that we can honor God in our ethical decisions.


  1. Boas palavras.Parabéns!Good words! Congratulations! I'm a christian brasilian guy.

  2. It is an honor to be read by brothers from around the world. Thanks, Davi.

  3. This is a great post. You quickly broke down the "born this way" excuse with great precision.

    I hope you don't mind, but I linked to it from my blog.

    God bless.

  4. Agreed, Adam, great post. It's cool to read a few more solid arguments against this kind of world-view (instead of the classic "it was a choice"). Keep up the good work!
    Greeting from Germany.


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