Norwich religious group discusses the impact of Lady Gaga
While millions of people were watching controversial pop superstar Lady Gaga perform on the X-Factor on Sunday night, a Norwich religious group was discussing the 'profound impact' the American has had on our culture.
She dominated the MTV Europe Music Awards last week when she scooped best song, best video, best female artist and biggest fans, and her eccentric antics and opinions have provoked much opinion around the world.
So Norwich church Proclaimers, based at The Space, on Roundtree Way, decided it was time to have their say and their lead pastor John Rawls held a talk just ahead of the pop star's appearance on ITV's popular talent show.
He said: 'Lady Gaga is an international phenomenon who is having influence on millions of young people across the globe, yet just earlier this year her song 'Judas' caused uproar among some due to its reportedly 'blasphemous' lyrics. I want to explore what it is we can learn from this much-debated performer.'
Describing her latest album, Born This Way, Lady Gaga describes it as 'bad kids going to church, having fun on a high level'.
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Mr Rawls, an American-born Australian, who came to England in 2004, decided that rang true with the values of his church, which aims to provide opportunities for people of all ages, but particularly young adults, to find faith and meaningful involvement in a community.
The evening also included performances of some of Lady Gaga's songs from members of the church and was intended to explore reactions to the pop star –famous for once wearing a dress made entirely of meat.
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He continued: 'Since embarking on her career, she has sold an estimated 25 million albums and 64 million singles, which in turn has made her one of the best selling music artists of all time.
'In 2010 she appeared on the Time 100 most influential people on the planet list.
'Love her or hate her, she is making her mark on popular culture today.
'For this reason alone the church needs to stop and take a closer look at this phenomenon known as Lady Gaga.
'I am so sick and incredibly sad that some sections of the church need to be negative, critical and judgmental towards the diva and everything else they don't like.'
Next week the church will be holding a similar event, discussing the recently deceased British pop star Amy Winehouse, from 6pm.
For more details about the Proclaimers church and to listen to the rest of Mr Rawls's speech, go to www.proclaimers.com