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Lady Gaga: Institutionalized Religion Impacts Values, Affects Teen Suicide

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GAGA JUDAS

Lady Gaga skirted controversy once the full lyrics and video to her song "Judas" were released, but she's got more to say about organized religion. It may upset some people -- especially those that felt uncomfortable with her act in the first place.

In a long feature for The Guardian, Gaga discusses a wealth of topics, including her hyper self-awareness and the message of hope she seeks to send her followers, the attendees of her holy image-drenched concerts. It's almost a religious following, a fact she does not shy away from -- she calls her epic shows "pop cultural church." In some ways, she believes it's a better influence than our more formal religious institutions, as presently constructed.

"The influence of institutionalised religion on government is vast. So religion then begins to affect social values and that in turn affects self-esteem, bullying in school, teen suicides, all those things," she told the paper.

On the other hand, there is her message of self acceptance, most clearly delivered in the first single off her new album, "Born This Way."

"It's more self-worship, I think, not of me. I'm teaching people to worship themselves."

Being the messager, though, does give her a certain influence.

"If you were to ask me what I want to do, I don't want to be a celebrity, I want to make a difference," Gaga insisted. "I never wanted to look pretty on stage and sing about something we've all heard about before. I'd much rather write a song called Judas and talk about betrayal and forgiveness and feeling misunderstood, and talk to the fans and figure out what it is society needs. If I can be a leader, I will."

To the Grammy winner, her brand of self-belief and the more traditional institutions can co-exist; there's no need to put her in opposition to organized religion, in theory.

"Don't say I hate institutionalized religion - rather than saying I hate those things, which I do not, what I'm saying is that perhaps there is a way of opening more doors, rather than closing so many."

For so much more, click over to The Guardian.

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