The Guardian reports:
Christian groups in the Philippines have called for a ban on Lady Gaga’s Manila concerts, alleging that her song Judas is an offensive mockery of Jesus Christ.
Youths gathered at a rally outside the mayor’s office, chanting “Stop the Lady Gaga concerts”, while members of the Biblemode Youth Philippines group called her videos religiously offensive.
In the song, she calls herself a “holy fool” who is “still in love with Judas”, singing: “Jesus is my virtue/And Judas is the demon I cling to.” In the video, Gaga plays a biker chick riding behind a man wearing a crown of thorns, while longing for another biker with “Judas” emblazoned across his leather jacket.
The singer is due to play the 20,000-seat Mall of Asia tomorrow and on Tuesday, and James Imbong, a lawyer filing a petition to ban the concerts, said Christian groups would not accept a compromise as organisers in South Korea did when Seoul authorities agreed to forbid under-12s from attending instead of cancelling the concert.
“She has a song that suggests that she wants to have sex with Judas and performs it with a dance,” Imbong told the news website PhilStar. “Of course, it would be accompanied by a costume that has pornographic elements.”
Manila’s mayor has issued a statement ordering Gaga not to “exhibit any nudity or lewd conduct which may be offensive to morals and good custom”, with the stark reminder that the penal code in the primarily Roman Catholic country of 93 million can convict anyone up to six years for offending race or religion…
Indonesian activists called the cancellation of a gig in Jakarta a sign of the country’s “Talibanisation” after authorities withdrew permission for her concert on 3 June, making her the first foreign artist to be banned despite selling out a 52,000-seat venue.
Indonesian human rights activist Andreas Harsono has said the concert ban represents “the Talibanisation [of] Indonesia”, while sociologist Ida Ruwaida said it was up to the government to “facilitate different interests without allowing the cultural hegemony of one group over another”.
Police denied the singer a concert permit amid claims from hardline Islamic groups that the suggestive nature of her show and lyrics would sabotage the country’s moral codes of conduct. “During her concerts, Lady Gaga looks like a devil worshipper,” said Suryadharma Ali, the religion affairs minister of the nation of 240 million people, mainly Muslims.