She says the couple are the ‘worst representation of Christianity’
Lady Gaga has taken aim at Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence, over her recently announced teaching role at a school that excludes LGBTQ+ students and parents.
The pop star took time out of her performance in her Las Vegas residency to call out the Pences, saying: “You say we should not discriminate against Christianity; you are the worst representation of what it means to be a Christian. I am a Christian woman and what I do know about Christianity is that we bear no prejudice and everybody is welcome. So you can take all that disgrace Mr Pence and you can look yourself in the mirror and you’ll find it right there.”
The criticism was sparked by the news that Karen Pence is set to return to Immanuel Christian School in Virginia to teach art. Gaga was understandably concerned about the posting, as the school has a “parent agreement”, which states that it can “discontinue enrolment” of a student if they or their parents “are in opposition to the biblical lifestyle the school teaches”. This definition includes “supporting or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bisexual activity”.
Pence responded to the backlash in an interview for a Christian television station, stating" “To see major news organisations attacking Christian education, is deeply offensive to us. We have a rich tradition in America of Christian education and, frankly, religious education broadly defined. We celebrate it. The freedom of religion is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution prohibits a religious test for holding a public office and so we’ll let the other critics roll off our back, but this criticism of Christian education in America should stop.”
It’s not the first time that Pence has aligned himself with deeply conservative views. In 2000, he said on his campaign website that resources should be taken from “organisations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviours that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus” and “directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behaviour.” Many took this as Pence’s support for gay conversion therapy, but he denied this through a spokesperson.
Gaga also took the time in between sets to criticise Donald Trump's government shutdown. She implored the president to get things running again, by saying “if the fucking President of the United States could please put our government back in business. There are people who live paycheck to paycheck and need their money.”
Lady Gaga has long been an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, protesting anti-trans legislation in Texas, performing for and engaging with LGBTQ homeless youth, and founding anti-bullying non-profit the Born this Way foundation.
Activists have been railing against Mike Pence’s form of gross LGBTQ oppression for some time, from gay dance parties outside his house and office, to graduation walk-outs and impersonating Pence himself in booty shorts.