Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lady Gaga, Evangelist?

Last week, I attended the Lady Gaga  concert in at the Oakland Coliseum. It was a rainy night, but the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of concert goers as we stood in line waiting to go in. The crowd was a wonderful mirror of the beautiful diversity we have in the Bay Area. Hugs, laughter, singing and dancing broke outside spontaneously as the crowd inched closer to the doors.

Except for one man.

Standing close to the crowd was a man dressed with a coat covered in slogans like “hate the sin, love the sinner” and “hell is for eternity.” The man was shouting at the crowd so hard that the chords of his neck were bulging and his face was beet red.  He shouted things like “You're going to burn in hell!”

The man was quickly forgotten once Lady Gaga took to the stage. People were swept up by her performance. In between her songs, she asked people to support local homeless shelters and in particular, shelters for homeless lgbt youth.  Then, she did something I totally wasn’t prepared for--Lady Gaga actually… well, there's only one word for it… PREACHED!

I had to wonder, as I thought of how the crowd responded to Lady Gaga’s message of love and how they responded to the street preacher’s message of hate, which one touched and changed more hearts that night, opening lives up to God's love?

Lady Gaga, evangelist. Who knew? I am grateful for her message of God's unconditional love to 50,000 concert goers, reminding them: “Baby, we were born this way!”


  1. Dr. Oliveto,
    I saw the same crazy "preacher" and some men with signs yelling at the crowd near Market St. at the Pride Parade this weekend. I was thrilled when the parade started and sounds of joy and love drowned them out!
    Speaking of which, I greatly enjoyed the parade, which I was lucky enough to catch while visiting SF for a wedding. And imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw the woman who baptised me, YOU, riding by in a car!! I had just gotten off the phone with my mom who told me about their new pastor at the Universalist church in Brewster, MA who apparently knew you when she lived in SF - small world!
    Anyway, just thought I would share that weird coincidence with you. I'm really glad to know I was baptised by such an open minded person!
    ~Liz Cavallaro from NY (daughter of Sue!)

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