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Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
February 8, 2011

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Youth Culture Window: Behind Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" – The Theological, Moral, and Scientific Revelations of Lady Gaga's New Song



Lady Gaga's Lady Gaga's a bit mysterious: wearing dresses made of meat, hanging herself during live performances, and leaving her eyelashes on the pillows of her lovers.

But "mystery" has left the building with her brand new song, Born This Way. When it comes to Gaga's views on homosexuality, the only way to describe her is "crystal clear."

The Mother Monster
Lady Gaga is an international superstar, but she doesn't have a single fan. Instead, she has "monsters" (fans) and refers to herself as "The Mother Monster." If you don't know who Lady Gaga is, our archived Youth Culture Window article is a must read. It tells the story of Stefani Germanotta and her metamorphosis into Lady Gaga, helping you understand why (and how) she puts herself at the center of entertainment, culture, and controversy in America today.

Lady Gaga is no stranger to debate or the political scene; she tried to rally her fans and voters against the "don't ask, don't tell" policy during last year's midterm vote. Her speech hinged on the idea that "equality is the prime rib of America." At the 2010 VMAs on MTV, Lady Gaga donned a dress made out of (real) meat during one segment of the show. (She's known for her many, strange costume changes during the annual show.) Though it confused most people – and even angered PETA – it was Gaga's attempt at a jab at the U.S. military for not allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in uniform.

The latest news surrounding Lady Gaga is her work on a perfume that smells like semen and blood. (Just in time for Valentine's Day....) Wow. Our wives just would love a bottle of that!

Born This Way
That's actually the title of her upcoming (and eagerly awaited) song. (A side note-it will be interesting to see which album cover releases with the song and her new album. Most of the images we've seen so far have nudity- including the original image of the one we edited/cropped above-truly the cleanest one in the bunch. She doesn't seem to like wearing pants very much.) On the night she won a record-setting 8 awards at the 2010 VMAs – including the top prize of Best Video – a tearful Lady Gaga burst into previously unheard lyrics from the chorus of her yet-to-be-released song, Born This Way. Since that moment, millions – on both sides of the fence – have waited for the release of the song so they could buy it...or bash it.

I, Jonathan, have been following Gaga on her Twitter page every since I wrote the original article about her on our web site. On January 27, 2011, Gaga tweeted from her BlackBerry, "Maybe I should leak the lyrics to Born This Way today, whatdya say." She followed through on her offer, much to the delight of millions of her "monsters." Here is the song's complete...


Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee, president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of numerous youth ministry books including the brand new Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the award winning book Do They Run When They See You Coming? He speaks and trains at camps, conferences, and events across North America, and provides free resources for youth workers internationally on his website, TheSource4YM.com.


David R. Smith David R. Smith is a 15-year youth ministry veteran who helps youth workers and parents through his writing, training, and speaking. David specializes in sharing the gospel, and equipping others do the same. He co-authored his first book this year, Ministry By Teenagers. David provides free resources to anyone who works with teenagers on his website, DavidRSmith.org. David resides with his wife and son in Tampa, Florida.




Featured Article: Out of the Closet and into the Church-What Should the Church Do about Homosexuality?


BEFORE YOU READ THIS ARTICLE: We humbly ask that you read this entire article if you are going to comment or form opinions about what we say below. Our intent of this article is to call Christians to respond in Christ-like love for all sinners (we, being sinners ourselves), while at the same time, not straying from the truth of God's unchanging Word.

Out of the Closet and Into the Church
What Should the Church Do about Homosexuality
An article from Jonathan McKee and David R. Smith at TheSource4YM.com

The Majority
Teens and tweens filled the living room, Bibles in hand. The after school Bible-study had attracted students both churched and unchurched. The format was simple. We opened the Word, read, and I explained.

The passage this week was I Corinthians chapter 6. It wasn't long before we reached verse 9:

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders..." (NIV)

"What?"

The question was raised by Kelly. She was a brand new Christian, the only believer in her entire house. Until now, she had been raised on the theology of MTV and FOX. The truth she was now hearing from God's Word didn't mesh. I responded, knowing her objection.

"Are you wondering about the reference to homosexuals?"

"Yeah!" she said, almost disgusted. "Why does it say that it's wrong? It's not wrong."

"Well..." I began to answer, but Kelly wasn't done.

"They can't help it, you know!"

Kelly's not alone. For the first time in America's history, Kelly is in the majority. In May 2010, Gallup reported:

"Americans' support for the moral acceptability of gay and lesbian relations crossed the symbolic 50% threshold in 2010. At the same time, the percentage calling these relations "morally wrong" dropped to 43%, the lowest in Gallup's decade-long trend." (Saad)


Is It Everywhere?
Just a casual stroll through today's primetime TV shows, or even a brief excursion into today's top music, might lead you to think that homosexuality is everywhere.Media Over TimeEntire TV shows center their plots on homosexual characters, and music videos seem to demand a girl-on-girl scene somewhere in the mix.

So, is media what's behind homosexuality's prevalence? It certainly has influence.

Young people today are saturating themselves in media. Kaiser's report earlier this year revealed that 8 to 18-year-olds average 7 hours and 38 minutes a day absorbing entertainment media, 10 hours and 45 minutes if you include multitasking-i.e. listening to music while browsing the internet (Rideout). But how much of this media presents homosexuality as a normal and healthy lifestyle choice?

Support for the homosexual lifestyle really shouldn't be surprising to anyone in America who owns a TV. Almost every sitcom and teen show has central gay characters. In recent years, the most popular shows our young people watch not only have homosexual leads, but pro-LGBT (an acronym referring collectively to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people) storylines. American Idol brought on Ellen DeGeneres, often making light of her sexuality. Fox's hit program Glee, strongly supported by the LGBT community and featuring the talent of several homosexual actors, regularly deals with the subject of same sex relationships. Kurt, a sympathetic lead character on Glee constantly battles the struggles of ‘coming out' as he tries to just ‘be himself.'

Film is no different. From Brokeback Mountain to preachy cartoons like Happy Feet, today's generation is hearing the message loud and clear-homosexuals are born this way, and there is nothing wrong with a LGBT lifestyle.

Of course, there are also a number of highly-motivated pro-homosexual organizations who work to keep their cause at the forefront of people's attention. For example, GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) held their annual "Media Awards" show in April, and Glee, picked up a prize for "best comedy" because of the show's positive and prolific use of homosexual characters and storylines. At the same event, Drew Barrymore and Wanda Sykes also received awards and were outspoken concerning their support of the gay community and overall homosexual agenda.

It seems Hollywood has spoken. And the majority is now listening.

But don't think for a second that homosexuality is limited to the famed icons and outlets in our media. At a recent college fair hosted at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in Greenwich Village, homosexual students were specifically targeted for school enrollment. Scott A. McIntyre, associate director of admissions at The University of Indiana said, "The more I can help my institution be open to diversity of all different kinds, it's just going to make us a stronger university, and it's going to make our student body be more robust."

And everyone is aware of the ongoing firestorm homosexuality has caused in the US military, with even more heat coming in the wake of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. In fact, the fight over homosexuality's acceptableness in the military may be even more vicious these days, almost 20 years after the controversial bill was signed into law by former President Clinton. According to a poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, a vast majority of American civilians are supportive of gays in the armed forces (Huffington Post), but that sentiment is not shared by all the uniformed men and women currently serving in the military.

It seems that every organization from Congress to the Boy Scouts has had to deal with the issue of homosexuality amongst its members. And with 52% of the American population now claiming homosexuality "morally acceptable" in the latest Gallup Poll on values and beliefs (mentioned above), it's little wonder that some think roughly 10% of the American population is gay. But there are good reasons to believe this figure is exaggerated and biased; The Center for Disease Control estimates the percentage of homosexuals in America at only 4% of the total population of those 13 and older (CDC Fact Sheet). That differential translates into millions fewer homosexuals than previously thought.

Regardless of the actual number of homosexuals in America (or the world for that matter), the gay community's presence is felt in just about every sector of life, both personal and public.

For some, this ubiquitous "coming out" is celebrated. For others, this creates tension.

Homosexuality has always been one of the greatest debates in political, theological, and moral discussions; it's possible that the conversation – or more accurately, the argument – rages even hotter today than it has in the last few decades.

So how is the church to respond to this mainstream teaching?...

Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee, president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of numerous youth ministry books including the brand new Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the award winning book Do They Run When They See You Coming? He speaks and trains at camps, conferences, and events across North America, and provides free resources for youth workers internationally on his website, TheSource4YM.com.


David R. Smith David R. Smith is a 15-year youth ministry veteran who helps youth workers and parents through his writing, training, and speaking. David specializes in sharing the gospel, and equipping others do the same. He co-authored his first book this year, Ministry By Teenagers. David provides free resources to anyone who works with teenagers on his website, DavidRSmith.org. David resides with his wife and son in Tampa, Florida.





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