Lady Gaga’s “Judas” Music Video Premiere Gets Biblical: OPEN THREAD

“I don’t view the video as a religious statement. I view it as social statement. I view it as a cultural statement.” – Lady Gaga

“It went through several changes and late-night debates because at one point, there were two completely different views and I was like, ‘Listen, I don’t want lightning to strike me! I believe in the gospel and I’m not going there.’ And it was amazing because to have that conversation about salvation, peace and the search for the truth in a room of non-believers and believers, to me, that was saying God is active in a big way. And the place that it came to is surreal. We don’t touch on things that we have no right touching upon, but the inspiration and the soul and idea that out of your oppression, your darkness, your Judas, you can come into the marvelous light. So it’s about the inspiration and to never give up… We’ve created a new Jerusalem.” – Laurieann Gibson, Gaga’s co-director/choreographer

Thoughts/feelings? Have you started practicing the “Judas” dance yet?


[If you would like our resident Lady Gaga music video expert to recap “Judas,” I suggest harassing her via formspring.]

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Jess is a pop culture junkie living in New York City. She enjoys endless debates about The L Word, Howard Stern, new techy gadgets, DVR, exploring the labyrinth of the Lesbian Internet, memoirs, working out, sushi, making lists, artsy things, anything Lady Gaga touches, traveling, puppies, and nyc in the fall. Find her on Twitter @jessxnyc or via email.

Jess has written 240 articles for us.


  1. Okay Lady Gaga has officially lost me. And this is coming from a person who got into graduate school with an academic paper on her “Telephone” music video.

    • i like that it’s challenging to figure out. it’s like a puzzle. i like puzzles. time to put this music video on my coffee table and flip all the pieces right side up.

      • I can see it almost as a commentary on religion in Latin American communities…

        You can borrow my coffee table. It’s in the garage. Someone might as well get use out of it.

        • Dena, I am totally underwhelmed by the video but would love love to hear more about your theory of it being a possible commentary on religion in Latin American communities. Mostly because I’m curious where the Latin American part comes in.

          So, tell me, I’m dying to find some substance in this video.

          • Erh, I reread my comment and I’m getting self-conscious. Just in case, my comment was not meant to be snarky, I’m just sleepy… And confused by this video. :)

          • Nah, I totally didn’t get snarky from your comment. :)

            I’m not an academic in Ethnic Studies, so I’m going to disclaim that right there. Also I was raised in a secular household and have had limited experiences regarding Christianity, especially Catholicism, so I do not have the depth of knowledge to formulate a working theory. But here are my thoughts anyway.

            Maybe Latin American is a bit of a stretch, but that’s immediately where my mind went to when I saw this. I myself am not Latin American (Persian if you’d like to know) and religion is a huge part in those communities. Perhaps I’m stereotyping but from my own personal experiences, the imagery that is present in this music video with the blending of Catholic religious icons (Gaga in blue and red, colors traditionally associated with Mary, especially in her depiction of Our Lady of Guadelupe) and the urban street fashion (Gaga using a red bandanna and a blue hoodie to depict Mary) makes me think of Latin American communities. Her make-up as well leads me to this line of thought, as she has a base aesthetic of Latina urbanites, with the thin penciled eyerbrows and red lips. Gaga has also used this look before, albeight not as fashion editorial in this, in her Telephone music video in the beginning, when she was in the jail cell. The leather jacket she wore with the coke can rollers in her hair seemed to be a precursor to the larger look of this music video.

            The aesthetics of the environment also lead me to believe in its reference to Latin American communities; the lights strung in the background, terracotta tiling along the roof harkens back to missions in the Southwest. There is also a heavy Spanish (referring to Spain, as they were a colonial power/influence in countries in Central and South America) influence in regards to the wardrobe and make-up. Gaga’s matador inspired outfit at 3:25 further supports this interpretation, as well as her dress and hair on the close-up shots with her crazy nails suggest the fashion of Spanish royalty, with the long ruffled cuffs and piled hair.

            At 2:20, when Gaga is singing the lyrics “I couldn’t love a man so purely / Even darkness forgave his crooked way,” her mannerisms and for lack of a better word, swagger, immediately reminds of me how some people carry themselves in a (Oh God, I really hate to say this but I cannot think of a better word atm) thug/gangsta context. Following this, a fight on the dance floor breaks out at 2:49, leading to a stand-off between the Judas figure and the opposing man with Gaga in the matador (bull-fighting) inspired ensemble at 3:25. This reminds of my personal experience with rivals of Mexican gangs in Northern California, as Gaga is wearing a red bandanna which is emblematic of a certain Mexican gang and the black bandanna that Gaga and the people in the background are wearing later in the video. As this violence breaks out, Gaga is the peacekeeper and she defers to the Judas figure, leading to the crowd reaching out for him as he goes on stage.

            Also, I would like to point out how Christ was an advocate for non-violence (as I understand it) and that is one of Lady Gaga’s public stances, understanding between different peoples and uniting them under her cause of LOVE.

            Plus the significance of this music video being released on Cinco de Mayo (being a day of celebration of Mexican heritage and culture in the United States) should not be ignored.



            I’m going to be sipping a margarita over here while I try not to talk seriously about Lady Gaga’s music videos anymore. *sits on hands*

          • Interesting! I’m going to have to rewatch the video and see how I feel about it relating to Latin America considering I am from/grew up Chile and have lived in Mexico.

            On a side note (to everyone!): Cinco de Mayo is barely celebrated in Mexico! I think if it is even celebrated, it’s limited to the state of Puebla. I just find it funny how so many people confuse it for Mexico’s independence day which is actually on September 16.

          • It’s true, May 5th is not the Mexican independence day, it’s the day the battle of puebla was won against the french – and I only ever heard it celebrated when I moved to NY, and even then it wasn’t till I was in high school that I heard anything about it. Now that I’m back living in Mexico though, I hear a lot of kids got the day off at school – but I wonder if they even know why. According to my twitterfeed Cinco de Mayo is basically everyone drink tequila day.

            Side note: Lady Gaga played last night in Mexico City (and tonight again as her final show of the Monster Ball tour) and it was 17 different levels of amazing. She said “muchos grassy-ass, and happy cincow de mayoh” which was lovely and I have to say, Born this Way makes a HELL of a lot more sense as an anthem when it is sung by 55,000 fans

  2. I gave up halfway through and watched the ‘Like A Prayer’ video instead.

  3. i do adore the sharp difference in dance styles between the chorus and the verses that basically directly corresponds with the change in the vocal style. smart choreography. don’t have any other thoughts yet. have to watch a few million more times.

  4. I got super outraged when Judas poured beer into the gigantic stone tub. This happened to me (except with margaritas and a hot tub), and it was gross.

  5. So love her make-up, nails, wardrobe. I just…I don’t know enough about Judas & Catholicism to understand what the symbolism of a lot of this probably means.

    • I’d like to defend the video from the attacks of many insane people I know, but this applies to me, too. I’m simply not knowledgeable enough.

      I called her video “sacridelicious” though.

  6. People need to chill cause this song is a metaphor, she said so herself. She still loves someone who betrayed or done wrong to her. Besides, she’s catholic and believes in God so she’s not mocking anything.

  7. If I had something as awesome as Lady Gaga’s golden lipstick pistol, I might actually wear make-up.

  8. I liked Black Jesus.
    I also liked Black Jesus in the ‘Like A Prayer’ video.
    This is my way of saying I found the video surprisingly uncontroversial but I still liked it.
    I dunno, I am a slave to the Gaga, so I really did like the video, mainly from an art perspective; the camera angles were new to Gaga’s usual style, the colours were really interesting to me, totally different to how they usually are in her videos, and it kinda showed a departure stylistically from the Fame Monster era. Born This Way was kind of the go-between.
    And the badass blue-leather fringey contraption? I need myself one of those.
    Still kinda torn on the song though. The chorus always feels like a cop-out to me after how tubthumping the verses and bridge are.

    • “Rock me, rock me sexy (black) Jesus”

      Ditto to the rest of your comment :D

    • Girrrrrrllll that guy was like puerto rican or dominican haha. maybe both. def hispanic, tho. ;D

      I laavvvvvvvvvvvhhhhveeedd the video. I’d go more into why but i just realized I’m hungry.

      • Oh shiiit, my bad, my brain saw parallels where there weren’t any. D:
        Ignorant White Girl is Ignorant.

        *I liked sexy Hispanic Jesus.

  9. The fake nails were totally distracting. Or maybe I’m just sensitive to long nails after that Effing Dykes article. *Shudders*

  10. I’m madly in love with it from an artistic perspective. I think this is my favourite Gaga video yet.

  11. So. This happened.

    I dunno, you guys. Gaga undeniably makes insanely catchy music and this video is visually beautiful and clearly a lot of thought and work went into it. But anymore Gaga just makes me tired. She takes herself so DEADLY SERIOUS (I mean, the co-direcor’s comment “We’ve created a new Jerusalem”? Dude, come on) and there’s not a glimmer of humor or fun anywhere. So, I wish her all the best, but I just can’t make myself care anymore.

    • I kind of feel the same way, honestly. I thought Telephone had just the right amount of self-mockery, but every video since has left me feel like she’s trying to hard.

  12. I’m a bit confused to say the least, I dont know any of the religious backstory about Judas at all so that might be why.

  13. the more i hear this song, the more it grows on me. plus, that lipstick gun is hot.

  14. i liked it? i did. its aesthetically pleasing. the song is damn catchy. i don’t understand it because art (yes i think of this as art, shut up) intimidates me but i find that its worth noting that she is the only one that gets stoned in the end. hmm.

  15. So I got really distracted at like 2:54ish because I’m not wearing my glasses and can’t tell if the extremely hot blonde butch backup dancer is a girl or a guy. Blonde and butch = my Judas.
    Other than that is the hip thrust thing going to be a popular dance move soon? Because she did it a lot in this video. It’s a cool video artistically, and I do love Gaga, but she’s sorta lost me with her newer stuff. Though I concede I’ll probably end up dancing like a fool and screaming the lyrics to this song at some point in the future, so it is what it is. She always wins me over.

  16. I didn’t like the song at first but now it’s growing on me, the video is better than Born this way.
    But I still wished she took some time off after the end of the Monster Ball tour. I fear major overexposure and backlash is coming her way with the promotion of the new album now.

  17. um the divine conflation in this business is rampant: the disciples’ names on the leather jackets, the crown of thorns, the people partying in the temple(?), the purple cloak, the reading of mary magdalene as jesus’s wife, the washing of the feet…the costume she’s wearing at 3:25 reminds me of pontius pilate, although i’m sure i’m just projecting. also, at the end, that overly elaborate costume she’s wearing as she falls to the ground? totes the veil that was ripped when jesus died.

    i also find it interesting that she chose to release the song (or, at least, i first heard it) right before easter.
    (a little more religious background for those of us who are not christian/religious: judas was the disciple who betrayed jesus, pointing him out to the authorities by kissing him on the cheek.)

    all in all, i think it’s an interesting, if somewhat hyperactive, look at the roles of virtue and gender. that threesome was new. i wonder if, instead of mary magdalene, she was supposed to be the holy spirit or something…

    but anyway, i’ve had this song stuck in my head for at least a week, so.

  18. this struck me as a commentary on her relationship with christianity. she’s a super non-normatively sexual person, is really down with it, and also is catholic, and has gotten some hate from super religious folks who think she’s like, evil. I read this as her being like, look at how sexy religion can be! there’s a lot of stuff about jesus in traditional christianity that sounds pretty romantic, and i think this is a nod to that as well as to her own feelings about how holy sexuality can be, even if other people think its trashy or impure. i mean, she’s blessing some dude with a lipstick gun. this video has made my transformation into a gaga fan complete.

    thoughts? am i being crazy here?

    • No I don’t think you’re being crazy at all. I actually first thought that, especially when the lyrics were first released. The bridge with:

      In the most Biblical sense,
      I am beyond repentance
      Fame hooker, prostitute wench, vomits her mind
      But in the cultural sense
      I just speak in future tense
      Judas kiss me if offensed,
      Or wear ear condom next time

      I wanna love you,
      But something’s pulling me away from you
      Jesus is my virtue,
      Judas is the demon I cling to
      I cling to

      I read Jesus as being her religion and Judas as her sexuality?? Maybe that’s too much of a stretch.

      • Leah and Dean,
        FINALLY I can understand this song the way you explained it!

        As a Jewish girl, who went Christian and is no agnostic – I’ve run the gamut of religiousness (is that a word) and so I now understand the Gaga a bit better.

        I do – also – agree with Raksha – I miss the FUN Gaga too. this video was great, the song is growing on me – but can we have a LITTLE bit of the fun Gaga back? Just 1 or 2 songs on an album would be great!

  19. even with pretty much knowing the bible like the back of my hand (atheist, but i had a religious childhood, and reading the book 6 or 7 times in its entirety was considered par for the course), i don’t know if i entirely understood this music video. but i don’t think i was supposed to entirely understand it? and while judas sounds like a few of her other songs, i like it well enough & the video’s pretty enough that i really don’t mind.

    as a side feeling, whoever does her nails/makeup deserves some sort of award.

  20. love. it. all. nails. makeup. dance. (but really judas, is it necessary to waste beer on gaga’s ass? c’mon man!)

    i adore ms. gaga. she takes everything to a whole new level. yes, i’ve seen ‘like a prayer’ and i *love love love* madonna like its my job and sure there are plenty of connections/comparisons of both of them, but gaga has a new level all to herself. 20 years ago this video would have been banned/only showed on mtv after 9m/etc. now, its art. and jesus & the disciples are a gang. seriously. cool.

    i’m not an academic by any stretch of anyones imagination, but i’m sure there is a dissertation/women’s, gender, queer studies class on madonna vs. gaga. that’s a celebrity death match i’d love to see.

    and i would pay serious money for that lipstick gun. and i dont even wear makeup.

  21. Judas, juda-ah-ah, judas, juda-ah-ah
    best part of song
    the video really reminded me of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo+Juliet. Jesus looked just like dudethatplays Tybalt.

    • This.
      Both Baz and Gaga link golden guns and catholicism in a very latino-chicano real way. Gaga oomphted it up with the lipstick so very nicely.

  22. It’s growing on me the more times I watch it. And I can’t stop watching it, which is a good sign.

    Plus it was so nice to see Gaga smiling at the beginning! It was a breath of fresh air.

  23. I liked this video. Not being a Catholic and having only watched the video once, I can attempt to kind of break down why.

    Gaga has basically brought the idea of Jesus and his apostles into a modern context. I can see the Latin American feel, especially with Jesus being a big name for the Latin American gentlemen of today and with all of the set design, dance styles, etc.

    So, let’s start with the motorcycle gang. I wouldn’t normally equate Jesus and his apostles with a gang style setting, but if you think about it, they traveled around the country in their tight pack and followed their own hierarchy and rule of law.

    Lady Gaga is clearly Mary Magdalene. She’s arguable the “ex-prostitute wench” who left her wicked ways to join Jesus, but, as she keeps looking back at Judas in the beginning, you realize that it isn’t easy for her to leave the life she knew and the sinful ways that she found so pleasing. As she dances in the bar and the others join her, you realize that it could be a symbol of the fact that everywhere Jesus went, people always claimed they wanted to be his followers and “join his dance” so to speak, but as GaGa sings, there is more to it than just appearing to follow along. Jesus said it was easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to give up his possession and greed. Gaga: I want to love you, but something’s pulling me away from you. She’s clinging to her earthly possessions. To her denial and rejection of Jesus because of her humanity.

    When they arrive at the bar, they have, in a sense, created a new Jerusalem. In the Bible, Jesus makes a triumphant entrance into town. Here, it’s on the bikes. The Apostles disperse and start doing their own thing. Jesus is staying out of all the action, but the humanity of his followers is visible. The apostles get into fights with the crowd as if trying to defend Jesus and what they believe. Gaga even pats Peter on the back to make it perfectly clear that you know he is the rock on which Jesus plans to build his house, i.e., the foundation of the church. But his back is also to her, and he doesn’t turn when she taps him. I think she taps him three times, not sure, but in the Bible, he denies knowing Jesus three times, and, like I said, here, he doesn’t turn around. Within her “Jerusalem” Jesus is also clearly shown blessing people, etc.

    When she goes to Judas dressed as the nun, it is a lead up to the scene in the Bible where Judas kisses Jesus to identify him as the one the Romans should arrest. That is, his moment of betrayal. She is dressed as a nun and has her gun as if she is ready to defend Jesus from Judas and his accusations. In the Bible, I think it’s Peter who cut off one of the guard’s ears before Jesus said he would go peacefully. The point is, she is ready to kill Judas to defend Jesus, but Jesus is ready to accept his fate. So, when the gun reveals it is lipstick, it is a symbol of the deadliness of Judas’ kiss.

    Then there’s the weird water scene. Except, if you think about it in terms of Baptism, it’s not that weird. The night of the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of his followers to show that he was their leader but also their servant, and that, as his followers, they must never rise above serving the people. Jesus was also baptized in a river, and as Gaga seems to be swept away by the waters, this sin she clings to is kind of swept away as well. After all, Jesus supposedly saved man from his sin during his Crucifixion, so, it would make sense that Gaga is not just wading in a river, but that the flood of water rushes over her.

    Though she was always one of his biggest followers, Mary Magdalene became even more extremely dedicated after his death. She became a hermit living in the woods in order to keep her complete dedication. You can see them in the tub in what looks like it could be hell. She has turned her back to Judas, but he keeps tempting her with his own mini “baptism” of her ass. Classy. She throws the water back in his face, signaling her transformation and new ability to resist. After his Crucifixion, Jesus died and supposedly went to Hell to free the damned. Judas also killed himself and probably went to Hell for betraying Jesus. Basically, it would make sense that Gaga would see them there in her symbolic portrayal. The dark side of Magdalene, Gaga, has died. What we see at the end, then, the white washed Gaga is the Mary Magdalene that has found her virtue.

    If that was long or doesn’t make sense, I’m sorry. It’s Cinco de Mayo, if you know what I mean!

    • No no no, this totally makes sense! This is the analysis I’ve been looking for because I don’t have the Biblical knowledge to connect the dots as you have. I completely overlooked the connection of Gaga to Mary Madgalene and OMG YES BAPTISM. WHY DIDN’T I SEE THAT?

      Basically RT

    • this makes so much sense! Ok, so I was raised Lutheran (my dad’s a pastor), but… it’s been a while since I’ve read the bible, lol, so I’m still a bit confused.
      So: a question to you (and everyone else, heathen or no). In the chorus, all the lyric websites say it’s ‘Judas, Judas’, BUT I think it sounds more like Judas, JUDAH.

      Old Testament reference? Or… idk. I’m like 70% sure that Judah was used in reference to the entire Jewish population. any ideas?

      • Hahaha, It’s been a while since I’ve read any of the Bible too so, like I said, I’m no expert, but …

        I’m pretty sure the lyrics are Judas, Juda-a-a. She definitely cuts off the word. Whether she meant to make reference to Judah or not, that’s debatable (unless she tells you, and then it’s not). Though, as someone who can make meaning out of nothing, I would say that it could, indeed, be a reference to Judah and here’s why.

        If you remember / know the story of Judah, he was one of the twelve sons of Jacob (Twelve tribes of Israel). He was often considered the leader of them, etc. When his brothers wanted to kill their other brother Joseph for being their father’s favorite, Judah suggested they sell him into slavery, saving his life and ultimately kicking off a long string of Biblical incidents that would end up saving their family in the future. At the same time, however, by not standing up to his brothers and stopping them, and then later fabricating a deceptive story to make their father think Joseph were dead, Judah was also seen as a betrayer and responsible for what happened to Joseph.

        There are many parallels between this and the betrayal of Jesus (They even had a sister, you know, to attract the female audience). The betrayal of the most loved Son, which would lead ultimately lead to the son returning to the father and saving the family from certain doom, etc, etc.

        Judah later became the name of the Tribe of Judah (Judah’s descendants) and then the land they occupied. It was one of the only lands that remained faithful to the single god “Yahweh” of their belief. Though, it too was later plagued by idolatry and other such problems of which Lady G sings. It was conquered by the Romans, so you may know it better as Judea, but, that’s where Bethlehem was, and you know who was born in Bethlehem? Jesus! (Who apparently staked Edward Cullen with his crown of thorns before appearing in this video).

        So, yes, it would be relevant to the song because of all the meaning that one can draw from the above summary. Judah, home of Jesus, last remaining faithful to their god, but still plagued by problems. Betrayal that leads to salvation, etc, etc.

        I have never been succinct. Sorry.

      • I don’t know if it’s relevant, but the pronunciation JUDAH it’s closer to the italian pronunciation, so it’s even how it’s pronunciated in latin.

    • Nice analysis. I saw a lot of Romans 7:17 going on in this video too, because even though she clearly loves the “Jesus”, she’s very hot and cold with him, sometimes facing toward him and sometimes away. It’s as if even though she desires to do what is right, she finds that her human nature, her Judas, has been sown to and now she finds she must reap of it as well.

    • Brilliant!

      My only addition was that I think the washing of the feet is more related to the Passion washing of feet where (one of the potential sources for Mary) the prostitute washes Jesus’s feet with her hair. i.e. I didn’t associate it with the Baptism, but yes, the washing of feet at Last Supper, and then after he’s been whipped when his feet are washed by the “anonymous” woman.

      Still. You get top points for your well-detailed explanation!

      I just love Gaga’s eye make-up.

        – they need a sarcasm font.

        The Passion! I had completely forgotten about that. Yes, I’m sure there are many interpretations and many symbols I missed. Like I said, not an expert, but thanks for adding your insight! It is much appreciated. :D

        Ooooh, don’t get me started on her eyes. Painted on tears? Real emotion? I think I’ll have to watch the video a few more times to …. uh … figure out the … biblical relevance …

        • It was a treat to read your first summary, so I had to jump in =P If we combine forces, we will TAKE. OVER. THE. WORLD!!! Or something.

    • L. Valentine I loved this! My only comment/criticism is on this statement:

      “Gaga even pats Peter on the back to make it perfectly clear that you know he is the rock on which Jesus plans to build his house, i.e., the foundation of the church.”

      The thing is – I don’t believe Jesus planned on building churches and the like. I believe he said something like (and I forget the actual words) don’t worship brick, stone and mortar. You know, it’s one of those things lost in time I think. think his point was: God is everywhere. Worshipping towers, churches, buildings etc is like worshipping a false idol.

      Just wanted to add that point to your incredible explanation/insight! I do think it was cool/interesting that Peter was pointed out in that way, considering the role he had later on. Thanks for bringing up all these interesting points!

      • just a few words about churches and false idols, and please excuse me if it sounds too much like a lecture:
        the word “church” is much less problematic the moment you realize its original meaning. in describing peter being the rock upon which jesus builds his church, the greek word in use is “ekklesia”. while usually being translated as “church”, the word also means “assembly” or “congregation”. so back to churches being buildings, it might be helpful to think of them as essentially a location where the faithful assembles for worship… the “living” congregation of believers are what sanctifies the place, not “dead” wood, brick and mortar.

  24. just gonna say ” rock me rock me rock me sexy jesus” may have been my favorite mention (above) ( i love hamlet 2) haha

    -I hate to admit it ( im not really on this band wagon as much as the others, but thats just me)
    – I still love everything Gaga is doing sooo this song didnt ruin it for me, i think now she should take a few months for a vacation :D because she deserves it and everyone needs a break, creative break :)

    – also how hot can she get omg!! minus the nails.. but yeah i want one of those sweet bikes and gaga on the back looking like ( priscilla queen of the desert but instead on the back of my motor bike) dykes on bikes yess!!! :D

    yupp im just suckered again into the catchy riffs and hotness… ( sorry for the cheap comments gaga) im not analyzing this right now haha

  25. I don’t know enough about religion to get the story or symbolism, but I loved the aesthetics and choreography. Also, her smile in the beginning when she was on the choreography was possibly my favourite part.

  26. I think for me the most confusing part of this video is why, as a lesbian atheist, am I so attracted to the dude playing Jesus?

  27. same… haha i love gaga and im a lesbian haha but the judas is hot hot…

  28. Not really into the song, but the cinematography is awesome. I love the overall tone of the video. I get some of the religious references but I don’t understand what she’s trying to say since I’m not really into following any religion. Or maybe this song isn’t religious? I don’t know. Point is cinematography= awesome.

  29. Is anyone else wondering how Glee is going to manipulate their plot in order to perform this song? I mean, they’ve already got people’s panties in a bunch for being “too gay” (not gay enough, if you ask me) so why not mess around with religious images too?

  30. At the end of the video, it looks like Gaga (Mary Magdalene) is being stoned to death.

    There is a famous scene in the bible where a bunch of men have gathered to stone an adulterous woman to death. Jesus stops them and says “let he who is without sin throw the first sin”, and all of the men leave in shame. Then Jesus forgives the woman and tells her not to sin again. (Remember, at this time a woman could be harshly punished for sexual immorality, while men were less likely to be punished for comitting the same crime.)

    Interestingly, there is a popular misconception that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, but the Bible never says this (it only says that she used to be sinful before meeting Jesus). There is no reason to believe that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute or an adulterer. Rather, she was an honoured member of Jesus’ inner circle and the first person to witness the resurection of Jesus. Unfortunately, her reputation has been tainted throughout the centuries (sort of like Eve’s). It’s as if people couldn’t handle the idea of a woman being a leader in the early church, so they had to call her a whore. The stoning of Gaga at the end of the video could represent the character assassination that male church leaders have been inflicting on Mary Magdalene over the centuries.

    I see this video and this song, in part, as a commentary on the Church’s double-standard of punishing female sexual immorality while overlooking or tolerating the same sins when committed by men. Something which Jesus obviously wouldn’t be cool with.

    • The whole confusion of Mary’s origins stems from a fusion of three different anonymous women in the Gospels, if I’m not mistaken. My aforementioned former prostitute who washes Jesus’s feet with her hair is one of them, and I think there was a Mary (or another unnamed woman) who had demons exorcised by Jesus earlier. The Church Fathers decided to combine all 3 “Mary” figures into Mary Magdalene so that her importance as an Apostle would be diminished. So, Jesus’s closest friend and ally was reduced to a former whore so that only Peter and Paul (and the rest of the men) could be elevated to the statuses they continue to enjoy.

      Isn’t it amazing how insanely centralized our society is around a man who historically didn’t exist? Just blows my mind in so many different ways.

      • Some scholars also suggest that Mary was a lesbian, and the Church didn’t want to allude to the real nature of her lifestyle because that would mean showing that Jesus was the first Lesbro or lesbian-equivalent of Beard.

        So that’s why she’s smiling on the motorcycle ride in. ;)

  31. I want to be best friends with her makeup artist, she’s clearly brilliant. Gaga’s gotten WAY too skinny though, that concerned me.

    Great video. It’s gonna be stuck in my head for the rest of the night.

  32. Also, I finally just watched the Born this Way video… my only response is W.T.F.??

  33. SEXY JESUS! I’m not attracted to him but I realize that he is a good looking person.

    Can “Jesus of color (Nazareth)” be a thing? My sister and I watched this video and she said, “Omg he’s a Jesus of color because all the other Jesus’ are white, AMAAAAAAAAAZING *burp*!!!!!”

    I thought (we have been drinking…a lot (CINCO DE MAYO!!!)was the best thing I have heard all day.


    because jesus looks like fuckin’ PAPI.
    go back and check.

  35. thoughts:
    1. that main dude looks really fucking familiar. he’s pretty.
    2.nails: OUCH!!!!!
    4.the way the lipstick gun pops out at first reminds me of the lipstick action dogs have going on when they’re horny/humpy. (ewwwww)

    • EWWWW Jessica you have forever imprinted the image in my mind of Gaga thrusting her puppy dick at Judas.

      • I regret nothing, petite.

        (but it’s funny though, right? and it really fucking does look like that. i’m still completely grossed out by long ass fingernails. )

  36. I want to have feelings about this, but I don’t, and I think that’s the problem. I get that she’s using Judas to say that we’re in love with darkness and faultiness of humanity and ourselves, but I feel like she’s using religion just to provoke, but then not daring to take it far enough. Representing Jesus and his disciples as a biker gang is not groundbreaking or thought provoking enough for someone this pretentious. Visually, this isn’t my favorite either. Remember Madonna? Reinvention, that’s the key. This seems more like a leather clad echo of previous greatness.

  37. The only thing that shocked me:
    I actually found Lady Gaga attractive in this video (wtf?!?!?!!?)

    • then we are in agreement that Autostraddle would make the single greatest English class ever? Dead Poets Society has nothing on THIS group of lesbians.

  38. This. Is. Gorgeous. I love the entire aesthetic of this video, and it REALLY makes me want to fucking DANCE.

  39. I know people have Jesusified Lady Gaga, but I am so not sitting next to her at the Last Supper dinner table. Like, in other words, not a fan of Gaga. Not a fan of this video. Not really to go to Queer Hell for not jumping on her boat. I liked her briefly and then all the demons and spirits started roaming after “Born This Way.” She gets no free passes for her appropriation and her insensitivity for the sake of putting out what could be a good message for people. I’m walking away and turning her over to the people who won’t criticize her for being so damn smitten in her Gaga Glow.

    So. Damn. I just made myself Judas, huh? Eh.

    • Luna, I feel that you and I hold similar sentiments in regards to “Born This Way.” I myself am really uncomfortable with the appropriation and insensitivity with the language of that song.

      I assume you’re Luna from the Autostraddle calender, and if you are, you make a hotter Judas than the 1 in Gaga’s video. ;)

  40. The part where Gaga shoves that girl’s head into her boob is stuck in my head. @2:40’s. Anyone? Anyone?

  41. Basically the video and song represents how you can cling to what’s wrong, even when you know what’s right. WADA

  42. EVERYONE should read this!! Very good description. Also, it is said that her eye makeup in the beginning is supposed to reference the Egyptian God Horus

  43. I am sorry, but I am laughing at the people who said this video was too complicated to understand and she should go back to pre fame pop! So you’re saying you just wanna watch 5 min videos of people dancing in a club? LAME! I love that, like someone in the beginning said, her videos are like a puzzle, and I like puzzles!! I’ve never needed to do research to figure out music video before!! I think it’s awesome she is making us create dialogue amongst ourselves. There is only one other music video in history to make me cry. Very very powerful video IMO and is fighting Bad Romance for my fav!

  44. Probs being obnoxious here, but…the red/blue/veil imagery developed in art history is usually a designation of the Virgin Mary, as in the mother of Jesus, and not Mary Magdalene. Two different Marys. (FYI, Mary Mag is usually depicted covered in hair…to cover her sin–AKA HER BODY sometimes i really hate religion. check it out: actually I could kind of see Gaga pulling this off.) I still think it’s pretty clear Gaga is supposed to be Mary Mag, but…could be interesting to think about her as the Virgin as well? Maybe?

    (have NOT thought this all the way through, and must go back to art history papers…i shall return to this in two weeks. and/or in two minutes when i need to procrastinate again.)

  45. Judas famously denied Christ three times. Denied knowing him. Who can’t relate to denying knowing what one knows. The water image, that of flood, of foot washing as an act of humility (while done in an opposite fashion, Gaga as the opposite of humble, mentioning Her own name all the time!!!)–the whole thing about baptism. Judas is the typical badass that is fun to love/lust b/c sh/e is unattainable, the hard to get, the gangster we love to hate. Judas is a safe crush. Who can get over the one who bit our pretty red heart in two (plath’s “Daddy”)….how about in movies, how when the character comes it shifts to tea pot steam, volcano, something erupting, a geiser. self sacrifice, yadda. well, without a betrayal, jesus wouldn’t be famous for “saving” us, right?! also, so what judas said jesus will be in da garden. like the town was so big that the bullies can’t find the dude on their own? jesus was cool. he hung around the tax collectors and the prostitutes, those with leprosy, etc. But hey, just like when you are in a 12 step, when you are one of the 12 disciples, you can’t expect the 12 steppers to be all healthy and healed. we mofo’s have ISSUES. –preacher’s kid

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