This weekend, in the middle of her Las Vegas show, Lady Gaga slammed Mike Pence, calling him “wrong” and “the worst representation of what it means to be a Christian” begging the question, is bullying okay in the name of tolerance?
I both love and hate what Gaga said on Saturday. I love that Gaga exercised her right to free speech. I love that we live in a country where free speech allows the mighty, rich, meek and penniless alike to share their convictions as popular, or unpopular, as they might be. However, the day when intolerance is socially celebrated in the name of tolerance is the day freedom of speech and freedom of religion have a chainsaw taken to the very foundations of their inalienable power.
So, I’ll ask the question again: is bullying okay in the name of tolerance?
Gaga, creator of the anthem, “Born This Way” and staunch supporter of anti-bullying efforts, became a bully on Saturday when she berated a person’s religious views. Again, I celebrate that Gaga has the right to do this in our great country, but the irony of her pursuit should not be one we take lightly.
The power of life and death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). If we believe this, then our words have lasting, eternal consequences that impact—they always impact. And when Gaga says Mike Pence and his wife are “the worst representation of what it means to be a Christian,” that has a lasting impact. Her words preached, arming millions, with the message “tolerance at any cost,” even if it means intolerance, bullying and the oppression of Christians and their beliefs.
However, the day when intolerance is socially celebrated in the name of tolerance is the day freedom of speech and freedom of religion have a chainsaw taken to the very foundations of their inalienable power.
“And what I do know about Christianity, is that we bear no prejudice,” Gaga shared “and everybody is welcome.” And well that is very true, I think as a church culture, and also a national culture, Gaga’s statements reiterate the truth that we have become far too familiar with a God we hardly know. We have made Him wholly the Lamb, stripping Him of His Lion majesty. We rail against the winnowing fork of God that is determined to separate what is of Him from what is not of Him (Matthew 3:12). In an effort to create a God of complete unity, we fail to see the God that sent His Son to be nailed to a cross—a stumbling block (1 Corinthians 1:23) that by its very nature created division.
We have become too familiar with a God we hardly know
It’s a sobering thought. That we could ever become so certain of His disdain, that we use it to belittle, persecute, spew hate. After all, isn’t that what the Crusades of old were about? Conquering and converting the “heathen, misguided, little-brained thinkers” across the world in the name of a Christian God powerful people of the time were convinced they understood—understood enough to persecute, murder, enslave, pillage.
It’s a sobering thought. That we could ever become so certain of His compassion, or lack of compassion, for one race, gender, sexual identity, political view over another that we wield that certainty without care for its lasting eternal impact.
It’s a sobering thought that in the name of unity, in the name of tolerance, hate is allowed to hide—a wolve in sheep’s clothing.