When you’re blogging, you can sometimes forget that the whole world can read what you write, and when you write about a particular person, even if (perhaps especially if) they’re a celebrity, they will sometimes respond.
Case in point: Earlier this week, celebrity entertainer Lady Gaga posted an Instagram photo of her with a Catholic priest and mentioned his beautiful homily last Sunday, intimating that she’d been to Mass and thus is an active Catholic. Becky Roach at Catholic-Link.com wrote an article about the phenomenon of celebrities expressing their faith in public and how we should remember that celebrities can sometimes use the trappings of faith to be trendy or appear down-to-earth, and so on. I’ve often cautioned others about getting too excited about celebrities who appear to agree with your viewpoint, whether it’s religion or politics or tastes in music, because (a) they’re usually just people like you and me with no special expertise and (b) they are fallible and subject to doing others things that can work against whatever cause you make them the poster child for (cf. Mel Gibson).
Interestingly, Lady Gaga saw the Catholic-Link piece and took umbrage: “We are not just ‘celebrities’ — we are humans and sinners, children, and our lives are not void of values because we struggle. We are as equally forgiven as our neighbor. God is never a trend no matter who the believer.”
First, good for her. That is a laudable outlook and understanding of faith. Second, I don’t think Catholic-Link was necessarily criticizing her the way it appears she took it, and in a response they make it clear that given the context of the whole article, they essentially agreed with her.
Like I wrote at the top, when you write online it can be a temptation to forget that we’re usually writing about real people with real lives and real struggles and a real relationship to the Lord (of whatever stripe). To quote Ian McLaren, “Be kind, for every man you meet is fighting a hard battle.”