December 15, 2017

Judas Video and Religious Symbolism

By now you’ve probably seen the Lady Gaga Judas video a few dozen times and have heard just as many different remarks on its meaning and significance. Lady Gaga may say that her Judas video is not meant to be a “biblical lesson,” but if you’ve seen the Lady Gaga Judas video uncut then you know that much of the symbolism used still inevitably has meaning to millions of Christians around the world. If you’re curious about the meaning of Lady Gaga’s Judas video and its imagery, then here’s a brief overview of some of the more overt references.

In the latest Lady Gaga video, she clings to a baby-faced Jesus played by Rick Gonzalez. There can be no question that Gonzalez is portraying Christ because of the actor’s gaudy spiritual bling – aka the thorny crown. The crown of thorns has long been synonymous with Jesus, as the Bible states that Pilate and his soldiers used it to mock his title as “King of the Jews.” Let’s hope the crown of thorns isn’t the next big craze in accessories. Not only is its use likely to offend every Christian you encounter, it takes suffering for fashion to a whole new level.

While most people watching the Lady Gaga Judas video pick up on the Mary Magdalene references – particularly when Gaga is bathing both Jesus and Judas’ feet – what many fail to realize is that her blue veil is more indicative of Mary, the mother of Jesus, than of Mary Magdalene. In Jesus’ time, that color of blue was used to designate royalty, so early Christian iconography borrowed it to designate Mary’s title as “Queen of Heaven.”

Does Lady Gaga borrowing it designate her as the new Queen of Pop? That’s for you to decide.

The costume designers once again borrow on the significance of royal blue around the 2:17 mark in the the Lady Gaga Judas video uncut version. This time, though, the heart at the center of Gaga’s shirt is far more noteworthy than even her blue veil. The Sacred Heart symbol is one of the Catholic church’s most revered representations of Jesus’ love for humanity. Though the heart has been crucified in the same manner as Jesus himself, the light it emits is a sign of the transformative power of Jesus’ forgiveness and unconditional love. Needless to say, it’s a strong statement for a woman that likes to ride around in eggs to make.

Though the Lady Gaga video abounds with obvious Christian symbolism – like a glut of crosses (including pasties!) – some of the symbolism used is far more subtle. For example, at 2:41 in the Lady Gaga Judas video, thelady gaga necklace singer is briefly seen clutching a golden rope. Some critics of the video believe this is an allusion to the silver cord. The silver cord is referenced only briefly in the Bible, but it is at the core of the concept of astral projection. People that believe in astral projection believe that the “silver cord” is a metaphor for the connection between our physical body and our immortal soul. If that’s too deep for you, we recommend fast forwarding to the next dance sequence.

Finally, we’d be remiss to ignore one of the most obvious but simultaneously controversial religious references in the Lady Gaga Judas video. At 3:19, Lady Gaga makes her first appearance in her infamous black catsuit. While it goes without saying that you won’t find a real Catholic Bishop draped in head-to-toe, body-hugging velvet, many Catholics feel that Lady Gaga’s seemingly over-the-top hat is an obvious shot at some of the religion’s traditional, towering headpieces.