When pop culture icon, Lady GaGa, decided to keep a diary, she chose to make a very public chronicle of her of her life and career. Weekly posts on YouTube called “GagaVision” (each boasting more than a million views) provide video peeks into her private, backstage, and on stage exploits. GagaVision #41, posted to YouTube in early April 2011, documented her recent encounter with an “evangelical” protester. (Note: we are not posting a direct link to the video. Viewer discretion is advised).
Upon arrival at her concert venue, GaGa had her driver pull up beside a group of protesters so she could introduce herself to them. She was quite civil and friendly, but was (sadly) greeted in return with disrespect and disparaging comments. One protester reached into her window and handed her a card which read, “Get out of hell free!”
The protester then condescendingly snarled, “That’s going to happen one day darlin’,” (ostensibly because of what he then labelled as her “pervert ways” and “homo stuff”).
GaGa countered by saying, “Don’t you think it’s hurtful…,” but before she could finish her sentence he interrupted saying, “It’s in a black book, with gold edges, and a little ribbon.”
Recounting the story in her video journal, GaGa sighed, “It just makes me sad that my fans have to see that.”
For those of us who have personally experienced the loving and gracious way God reached out to us with His message of salvation, “while we were yet sinners,” this is an unsettling story. But as unsettling as it is, it is a newly revealed backstory that really puts the encounter in context.
Two years ago, a man by the name of Tom Hudson came across a picture of Lady GaGa on the cover of a magazine. “When I saw Gaga’s picture, the Lord just said ‘Pray for her... pray that she gets to know Me,” Hudson told THE CHRISTIAN POST.
Tom is an evangelist who has who founded an outreach organization called TollFreeMinistries.com, which produces outreach materials (books, fliers, tracts, etc.). One of the resources he created was the same “Get out of jail free!” card that was handed to Lady GaGa by the insolent protester! He describes the card as a knock-off of the "Get Out of Jail Free" card used in the famed Monopoly™ game. The back simply reads, “Lord Jesus please forgive my sin. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. Please come into my life right now. Be my Lord and Savior. Amen.”
One hundred cards are shipped to anyone who requests them. Donations are requested, but not required. Hudson says he received a particularly large order from the Anaheim, CA, area not long ago. He presumes is was one of the cards from that order that made its way into the hands of Lady GaGa.
The CHRISTIAN POST reports, “We asked the 65-year-old what he thought about the controversy surrounding the encounter between Gaga and the protester, with many angered by the man’s cold and abrupt manner towards the singer. Hudson replied, ‘When I read about Christians being argumentative and judgmental, that’s their flawed response, their bigotry, their prejudice coming out.’ He had four words of advice for those handing out his ‘Get Out of Hell Free Cards’: ‘What would Jesus do?’”
Mr. Hudson was saddened by the contemptuous way the card, created to express God’s love and grace, was misused by the judgmental and disrespectful protester. Such a contra-biblical spirit prompted christiantoday.com editors to question, “So is Lady Gaga’s 'love all, accept all' mantra – which her new album promotes – more closely related to the core message of the Gospel than that of the hateful protester’s?”
While Mr. Hudson created the card, it was Jesus Himself Who created the message. All too often, we misuse the way we hand it out. I must admit, I echo Lady GaGa's sentiment, "I'm just sad her fans had to see that."
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).