The Source for Parents


RSS PRINTER FRIENDLY

Music Discussions
ADD AN IDEA!

Born This Way
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
03/04/2011

Dynamic ImageThe Song: “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga

Main Point of Discussion: Jesus loves everybody—so should we.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: (The following should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.)

  • Lady Gaga is perhaps the biggest pop-music star on the planet. Known for her unconventional (okay…outrageous) wardrobe choices and Madonna-influenced dancing and vocal style, Gaga has been grabbing scads of awards and critical praise and millions of listeners for several years now.

  • “Born This Way” is the latest notch on her musical belt. Gaga sang a snippet of the tune (a fairly shameless rip-off of Madonna’s “Express Yourself”) after winning one of several MTV video music awards last September. Her fans have been, well…gaga ever since. She released “Born This Way” on Feb. 11, and it quickly hit the top of the iTunes charts. Gaga performed the single for the first time on the Feb. 13 Grammy Awards telecast, and it’s now atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well.

  • More important than the tune’s undeniable buzz is the content of the lyrics; they champion the idea of loving yourself no matter what you look like or how much money you have or if you’ve ever felt bullied or marginalized—because “God makes no mistakes.” Kudos to Gaga for singing those truthful sentiments. But intertwined with such positivity is her long-held pro-promiscuity, pro-gay agenda (see song lyrics further down). Given the popularity of “Born This Way,” it’s incumbent upon parents to dig into the tune and offer their kids a biblical perspective, which this discussion will focus on. (For more background, check out the Source’s Youth Culture Window article on Lady Gaga and “Born This Way,” posted recently.)

  • You can present the song and its lyrics any number of ways, from downloading the track and playing it while your family members read from lyric sheets you’ve passed around or projecting a YouTube video with the lyrics on a wall.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Scripture is clear regarding same-gender sexual sin, as it is regarding opposite-gender sexual sin—i.e., they’re both sinful; God isn’t cool with either action. Unfortunately the church has justifiably gained a reputation as a gay-hating institution by, among other things, stigmatizing homosexual sin (and homosexuality in general) to a far greater extent. As believers in Christ, we need to end homophobia, like, yesterday. That means stopping the gay jokes; that means confronting hatred for LBGT people within our church walls and homes and challenging believers to instead show love—at least as much as Christ loves straight people who lie, cheat, sleep around, and wallow in all manner of addiction. That also means, as a church, dealing with same-gender sexual sin by the same yardstick as opposite-gender sexual sin—neither is better, neither is worse, and no backing down from either sin. After all, if the church fails to love LGBT people, Lady Gaga (and her ilk) most certainly will. Please keep this in mind as you prepare this discussion.

  • ONE MORE NOTE: Try not to appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide, primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.

Song Lyrics:

It doesn’t matter if you love him, or capital h-i-m
just put your paws up
’cause you were born this way, baby

my mama told me when I was young
we are all born superstars
she rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
in the glass of her boudoir
“there’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are”
she said, “ ‘cause he made you perfect, babe”
“so hold your head up girl and you’ll go far,
listen to me when I say”

I’m beautiful in my way
‘cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way
don’t hide yourself in regret
just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

ooo there ain’t no other way
baby I was born this way (2x)
ooo there ain’t no other way
baby I was born
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way
don’t be a drag—just be a queen (3x)
don’t be!

Give yourself prudence
and love your friends
subway kid, rejoice your truth
in the religion of the insecure
I must be myself, respect my youth
a different lover is not a sin
believe capital h-i-m (hey hey hey)
I love my life I love this record and
mi amore vole fe yah (love needs faith)

don’t be a drag, just be a queen
whether you’re broke or evergreen
you’re black, white, beige, chola descent
you’re Lebanese, you’re orient
whether life’s disabilities
left you outcast, bullied, or teased
rejoice and love yourself today
‘cause baby you were born this way
no matter gay, straight, or bi,
lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
no matter black, white or beige
chola or orient made
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to be brave

I was born this way hey! (2x)
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way hey! (3x)
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!

Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
    Q: What’s the message of this song?
    A: That we all need to accept ourselves and each other, no matter how different we are—but also no matter what moral choices we make.

    Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this song?
    A: We need to look past the catchy melodies and allure of Gaga’s visuals and realize that while she says a few good things in the song, it’s primarily about accepting sinful behavior, and that can’t go unanswered.

    Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this song to actually living out those opinions?
    A: We should use great caution. To speak truth about this song means not backing down from what the Bible has to say about promiscuity and homosexuality if the subject comes up with non-Christians (perhaps even with other believers!); but it also means treating those who disagree with us (perhaps even hate us for our beliefs) with the utmost respect and civility.


Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.

For Deeper Discussion:
(If your kids seem into diving in deeper and looking at what the Bible has to say on the subject, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)


Want help getting your teenager engaged in conversation? CLICK HERE for a helpful article from our "Parenting Help" page providing you with 3 Essentials to Talking with Today's Teens.

Transitional Statement:
“Born This Way” is a catchy single that a whole lot of people love—but is that because of the music and Gaga’s appealing vocals? Or could the song’s message be what’s capturing listeners? The Bible definitely has a few things to say about some of the lyrics in “Born This Way.”

More Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: As you think about your peers, is changing their physical appearance in big ways becoming more of a focus these days—or is it a rare thing that’s not too much of a widespread issue?

  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Gaga sings, “a different lover is not a sin believe capital h-i-m.” What do you think Gaga means by “different lover”? How do you imagine the actual “capital h-i-m” is reacting to these lyric lines?

  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Later in the song, Gaga adds “no matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered” to the list of conditions she says some people are born with. What is it about those lyrics that may be attractive to some listeners? Is it the same kind of draw that “a different lover is not a sin” may have? (Parent—answer you’re looking for: It’s attractive because if promiscuity and sexual orientation are conditions we’re “born with,” then hooking up with anyone and everyone is fair game and truly okay with God. Let the good times roll!)

  4. Read the following passage from the Bible:

    Introducing the passage —SAY THIS:

    Realize, you’ll hear some people try to explain away the truth of this passage, saying that this word for homosexuality meant something else, like the abuse of young boys. I assure you, it didn’t. Paul would have just said that. And there are plenty of other passages that are very clear about all these actions he lists as being sins. (Parent- if you’d like to study a little more prior to these small groups to be prepared, you can read our extensive article on the subject here.)

      1 Timothy 1:8-11 (NLT)
      The law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.

  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What does this verse have to say about sexual immorality and homosexual acts? (Leader—answer you’re looking for: Both constitute behavior that’s unrighteous (v. 9) and contrary to sound doctrine (v. 10).)

  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Gaga is correct in one sense; we ARE indeed born with original sin and the predisposition to rebel—we ARE “born this way.” She’s got a good point. BUT the big difference is that original sin/sin nature has never been an excuse to keep sinning. God wants our repentance and trust in Christ’s sacrifice for forgiveness and his power to “go and sin no more.” Still, it’s unlikely that quoting Bible passages to fans of Gaga will change their minds. If that’s the reality, what, then, can we do in response that doesn’t involve carrying picket signs?

  7. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Romans 12:21 (NIV 2010)
      21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How can this verse from Romans 12 guide us as we engage respectfully with non-Christians—especially those who’ve been hurt (i.e., gays and those who support them, etc.) by the insensitive/dismissive actions of some Christians?

  9. SAY TO YOUR WHOLE FAMILY: Everyone close your eyes. In silence, imagine Jesus sitting backstage with Lady Gaga and her dancers after one of their shows (it shouldn’t be so hard to do since Scripture tells us that Jesus hung out with all sorts of people that the “righteous” were surprised he actually liked). How do you imagine Jesus speaking to them? How do you imagine Jesus treating them? Then imagine a few of them start to cry, telling Jesus how hurt they’ve felt because of how others have treated them—how do you imagine Jesus responding to these people? Does he reach out and touch them? Embrace them? Stand with his arms crossed while he tells them to get their acts together? Now imagine you’re sitting backstage with Lady Gaga and her dancers—what do you do?

  10. ASK: What can you do this week about what you learned from this passage?

Wrap Up:
The Bible is clear regarding same-gender sexual sin, as it is regarding opposite-gender sexual sin—i.e., they’re both sinful; God isn’t cool with either action. The passage in 1 Timothy says as much. Unfortunately the church is viewed as a gay-hating institution because Christians have placed more weight on homosexual sin (and homosexuality in general) than on heterosexual sin. But God views them both equally—again, 1Timothy, 1 Corinthians 6, and other passages say as much.

As believers in Christ, we need to end homophobia, like, yesterday. That means stopping the gay jokes; that means confronting hatred for LBGT people within our church walls (and in our house) and challenging believers to instead show love—at least as much as Christ loves straight people who lie, cheat, sleep around, and wallow in addiction. That also means, as a church, dealing with same-gender sexual sin by the same yardstick as opposite-gender sexual sin—neither is better, neither is worse, and no backing down from either sin.

Here’s my challenge to you: If you know people who are gay or lesbian, figure out a way this week to demonstrate love to them. Choose to stick up for them. Don’t talk to them about their sin or their lifestyles—instead, as the Bible commands, overcome evil with good. In time you may gain the right to speak into their lives.



Close in Prayer

Rate this resource!
*Name:  
*Email:  What is Gravatar?  
 Website:
 Comment:



GET THE BRAND NEW BOOK THAT PEOPLE ARE CALLING "JONATHAN'S BEST EVER WRITTEN"




Youth Culture Window
CLICK HERE FOR MORE




Parenting Workshops
CLICK HERE FOR MORE




Jonathan In Person

© 1999-2016 The Source for Youth Ministries           Site Disclaimer