Police have impounded boxes of Lady Gaga's latest album Born This Way as they arrived at Beirut international airport after Lebanese officials banned and deemed the record "offensive to Christianity," the Guardian reports. Its recent single, "Judas," has received criticism from Catholic groups and was banned from Lebanese radio in April. The song lyrics might not cause such a stir, but the music video features Jesus' 12 disciples as rugged bikers and a love triangle between a flirtatious Gaga, Judas and Jesus.
Even though the album has topped charts in other parts of the world and sold two million copies in its first week, Gaga's Lebanese fanbase won't be able to grab a copy for themselves. Reports say officials are ruling based on article 75 of Lebanon's law for distribution of print media: "Distributors are prohibited from circulating media that diverges from public decency and morality, or is at odds with nationalistic or religious beliefs." Lebanon has 18 official religions, including five Catholic sects, and Maronite Catholics make up more than 20% of its population.
"If they are going to offend us we are going to cancel the album," explained Father Abdo Abu Kassm, director of Lebanon's Catholic Information Centre. "We will not accept that anyone insult the Virgin Mary or Jesus or Christianity ... Call us traditional, call us backward, call us whatever you want. We will not accept it."
Meanwhile, Lebanon's information ministry insists that it "is, and always has been, against all forms of censorship."
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