Catholic League slams Lady Gaga video

RELIGIOUS imagery in Lady Gaga’s racy new Alejandro video has infuriated Bill Donohue, of the Catholic League in the US, who bashed out a press release slamming the promo.

Lady Gaga is playing Madonna copy cat, squirming around half-naked with half-naked guys, abusing Catholic symbols – they’re always Catholic symbols – while bleating out Alejandro enough times to induce vomit… She has now become the new poster girl for American decadence and Catholic bashing, sans the looks and talent of her role model.


The promo, which Gaga has called “a celebration and an admiration of gay love”, sees the saucy singer in her underwear writhing on a bed with semi-naked male dancers in a bondage-style scene. The video also shows Gaga dressed in a latex nuns’ outfit, suggestively swallowing a set of rosary beads, and appears to include references to Madonna’s famous videos for Like A Prayer and Vogue.

But according to this report Gaga has hit back, insisting she won’t let the negative comments upset her – and the video’s director Steven Klein has also spoken out following negative reaction to the footage. He’s adamant Gaga did not intend to portray the Catholic Church in a negative light.

He tells

The religious symbolism is not meant to denote anything negative, but represents the character’s battle between the dark forces of this world and the spiritual salvation of the soul. Thus at the end of the film, she chooses to be a nun (and she swallows the rosary beads to represent) the desire to take in the holy.

Which rather supports P Z Myers, over at Pharyngula, who commented:

Donohue does have a point, I hate to say. I watched the whole thing, with its muscular young men gyrating in jackboots and tight shorts and nothing else, the weird headgear, the sadomasochistic imagery, the black leather uniforms, the flaming homoeroticism, and I was thinking, yeah, all that does remind me of Catholicism.

I didn’t think it was Catholic bashing, though. I thought it was a recruiting video.

19 responses to “Catholic League slams Lady Gaga video”

  1. Buffy says:

    Lady Gaga is playing Madonna copy cat, squirming around half-naked with half-naked guys, abusing Catholic symbols

    Perhaps they would have been happier if Lady Gaga and the half-naked guys had been abusing children instead. The Catholics don’t seem to care about child abuse, but if anybody merely looks askance at one of their idols all hell breaks loose.

  2. Stonyground says:

    Years ago I used to practice martial arts. I used to take it very seriously and for about twelve years it pretty much dominated my life. Karate was sent up and misrepresented quite often in the media but I don’t recall ever feeling the need to throw a tantrum about it.

    I watched the video over at Pharyngular, I along with many others have now seen it but would probably not had Billy boy had the sense to keep his mouth shut. This seems to be a lesson that censorious people are incapable of learning.

    The song is rather too lightweight and repetative for my tastes but that still didn’t stop it from playing in my head for hours afterwards.

  3. Broadsword says:

    This is popular culture. It appeals to a far wider audience than the Catholic League could ever dream of. By criticising Gaga’s video from their religious standpoint, they expose themselves to further ridicule.
    More please.

  4. Graham says:

    What has Bill Donohue had to say about child rape by dirty old catholic priests who were entrusted to look after children? There is nothing I would like better than to see the catholic church finished off,but sadly I can’t see this happening in my life time. Does anybody know why people still claim to be catholic?

  5. Alan says:

    @ Graham Here is exactly what he had to say on Catholic rape and torture.

    Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the report today:

    “Reuters is reporting that “Irish Priests Beat, Raped Children,” yet the report does not justify this wild and irresponsible claim. Four types of abuse are noted: physical, sexual, neglect and emotional.

    “Physical abuse includes “being kicked”; neglect includes “inadequate heating”; and emotional abuse includes “lack of attachment and affection.” Not nice, to be sure, but hardly draconian, especially given the time line: fully 82 percent of the incidents took place before 1970.

    “As the New York Times noted, “many of them [are] now more than 70 years old.” And quite frankly, corporal punishment was not exactly unknown in many homes during these times, and this is doubly true when dealing with miscreants.

    Regarding sexual abuse, “kissing,” and “non-contact including voyeurism” (e.g., what it labels as “inappropriate sexual talk”) make the grade as constituting sexual abuse. Moreover, one-third of the cases involved “inappropriate fondling and contact.” None of this is defensible, but none of it qualifies as rape.

    “Rape, on the other hand, constituted 12 percent of the cases. As for the charge that “Irish Priests” were responsible, some of the abuse was carried out by lay persons, much of it was done by Brothers, and about 12 percent of the abusers were priests (most of whom were not rapists).

    “The Irish report suffers from conflating minor instances of abuse with serious ones, thus demeaning the latter. When most people hear of the term abuse, they do not think about being slapped, being chilly, being ignored or, for that matter, having someone stare at you in the shower. They think about rape.

    “By cheapening rape, the report demeans the big victims. But, of course, there is a huge market for such distortions, especially when the accused is the Catholic

  6. Ivan says:

    Rubber-clad androgynous art-house popstress with machine gun bra cavorting with semi-naked chaps in an apparent homage to Weimar Germany. What’s not to like?

  7. Stonyground says:

    Alan, reading those quotes makes you realise what a complete bastard this guy is. I have read some of the first hand accounts of the kind of things that went on in these institutions and they are truly horrific. I cannot understand how anyone with a shred of decency can remain a Catholic let alone try to defend the RCC.

  8. gsw says:

    Times was, people like Lady GAGA would have been burnt at the stake, while anyone criticising the church, such as accusing priests of a misdemeanour, would have been tortured at minimum. (come to think of it, rather like islamic countries today).

    Since the catholic church no longer has the power to do these things, at the same time looking east to countries that have – and do – they are understandably frustrated.

    Laughing at them is a very good idea. Telling children that religious practitioners deserve respect is a mistake – since it plays into their hands.

  9. heng says:

    Wow, what a great video. I (unexpectedly) really enjoyed it! Blasphemy a bonus 🙂

  10. ZombieHunter says:

    I can’t stand lady gaga but if she’s pissed off the catholic church then fair enough 😛

    maybe the catholics should give cannibal corpse a listen \m/

  11. sailor1031 says:

    …..”Thus at the end of the film, she chooses to be a nun (and she swallows the rosary beads to represent) the desire to take in the holy.”

    I didn’t particularly put that, or any interpretation on it but if the nuns had looked like that back when I was an impressionable catholic kid I might have stayed, at least for a while.

    A real stretch for world-class bigot and hatemonger Donohue to claim anything anti-catholic here. But WTF that’s what he does – it’s his job I guess.

    BTW – nobody forced me to watch this video; I could have turned it off at any time………

  12. Amir says:

    True, the upside down symbol of the cross and having it pointed to Gaga’s vagina is an offense to the Catholic church. However, since she said that the video clip was dedicated to her gay fans, the Catholic symbols merely portray the Catholic’s negative views on homosexuality.

  13. Broadsword says:

    By the look on her face in the pic and the position of bodies, looks like a double penetration to me.
    Unlike most priestly shenanigans, everyons’s a consenting adult.

  14. Buffy says:

    What has Bill Donohue had to say about child rape by dirty old catholic priests who were entrusted to look after children?

    He’s whined that people were making too much of a fuss over it, that the Catholic Church was being “targeted” much like the Jews, that the children weren’t all that abused and they were brats anyway so they actually deserved what they got, etc, etc.

  15. Broadsword says:


    Favours for boys.

    I remember as a kid losing my temper when my car wouldn’t start. Some blokes in a van were watching me and two came over to help. They used the sandpaper on a matchbox to clean up the contacts on the distributor cap and rotor arm and got me going again. Other times older men let me in places, or let me off paying when I was skint or they couldn’t bear to charge me.
    Now I’m the older man and I find I’m also doing “favours for boys”. It’s entirely altruistic and unlike religious perverts, I expect nothing in return.

  16. NeoWolfe says:

    Like every time that one religious nut or another went postal on Ozzy Osbourne, it helped him more than hurt him. Any media buzz sent people looking for first hand information on what the buzz was about.

    Lady Gaga is no different from Elton John. A new era in music, but a brilliant musician playing to the market. The “shock” ingredient is older than Black Sabbath. Big f’ing deal (yawn).


  17. Stuart W says:

    …squirming around [with] half-naked guys’

    When I’m wearing nothing but a pair of briefs tight enough to resemble a large thong after some flex ‘n grind, I feel rather more than ‘half’ naked. Song is wonderfully catchy compared to most talent show-era pop dross.

  18. sailor1031 says:

    Amir: at first I thought that was an upside down cross too, but then it looked more like an arrow to me – like I needed an arrow!!!!

  19. Patrick says:

    this is the end of the world, im not supprised by your endorsements to her devilish video!