Controversial or artistic? Provocative drag queen efficiency of ‘Ama Namin’ remix ignites passionate on-line dialogue • l!fe • The Philippine Star
The intersection of artwork and blasphemy typically results in heated debates and controversy. One latest instance is the case of a drag queen singing a remix of the Lord’s Prayer, titled ‘Ama Namin,’ within the Philippines. This efficiency sparked a web based debate, with some praising it as a daring creative expression and others condemning it as an act of blasphemy.
Artwork has at all times pushed boundaries and challenged societal norms, and this incident isn’t any exception. Some argue that the drag queen’s efficiency is a type of creative freedom, because it combines components of music, trend, and efficiency to create a thought-provoking commentary on faith and gender identification. They imagine that artwork needs to be allowed to impress and problem established beliefs, pushing society to critically look at its personal prejudices. However, opponents view this act as disrespectful and blasphemous, because it reinterprets a sacred prayer and makes use of it for leisure functions. They argue that artists needs to be extra aware of spiritual sensitivities and deal with fostering unity somewhat than inciting division. Finally, this debate displays the continued stress between creative expression and non secular sensitivities, highlighting the necessity for a considerate and respectful dialogue to bridge this divide.
Filipino drag queen Pura Luka Vega sparked heated debates on social media after posting a video of herself singing an Ama Namin remix to a cheering crowd at a bar.
The remix was a punk rock model of the Catholic Mass worship track, and Vega carried out this in an outfit that appears to painting Jesus Christ.
Her efficiency has elicited combined reactions from netizens. Some asserted that what the previous Drag Den Philippines contestant did was “offensive” and “blasphemous,” whereas others had been adamant in defending the drag artist towards criticisms, saying that it was merely an “expression of art.”
— Pura Luka Vega ? (@ama_survivah) July 9, 2023
Commenting on the video, one person argued: “Prayer is not entertainment. The mass is not a costume party. The church is not a club.”
One other one criticized the supposed hypocrisy of the act. “We know this is offensive to religious people, so why do we resort to this kind of entertainment? I know they have offended us many times due to their religion, but aren’t we doing the same with this kind of gesture? Those people will hate us more, instead of them listening to us.”
Others, in the meantime, urged that there needs to be limits to what drag artists can do with their craft.
“For the sake of the LGBTQIA+ community, we need to set limits on what we should and should not do. Yes, drag is art, but if we offend others because we are offended by them, we are being lower than them. Sad lang,” they wrote.
Nevertheless, not all had been so eager as to sentence Vega for her controversial efficiency and have as an alternative chosen to come back to her protection.
One person emphasized how “art is meant to comfort the disturb and disturb the comfortable” and identified how the church has additionally unfold discriminatory messages towards the queer neighborhood.
“Sasabihin niyo ‘this is not okay,’ balikan niyo ako when you can say the same to your church who does not preach love, who does not see beyond gender. Balikan niyo ako when the Filipino church no longer sees homosexuality as a sin. Hurt na hurt kayo, tinatawag niyo pambababoy, eh di’ba ganun din tingin nila sa’tin?” they wrote.
Regardless of Vega’s efficiency popping out as offensive to the spiritual, there are some who had been under no circumstances disgruntled by the act, equivalent to that of one other person who claims that they’re an lively church member.
“I’m a Christian, was a worship leader, and still attending prayer meetings every week. But, the LGBT+ community is literally being killed out there. I’m sure things like these won’t do no harm to us. Besides, our relationship with God will not be affected by what others do,” they wrote.
‘Expression of religion’
Talking with PhilSTAR L!fe, Vega addressed the controversy surrounding her clip and emphasised that she didn’t intend to offend individuals along with her act.
“I understand the sentiments, and I think they’re valid but as an artist, the perception of my art is beyond my control. However, my intent is clear and does not mean to offend,” she stated.
“It’s my way of expressing my faith, odd as it may seem. I deliberately chose Ama Namin for the message—a message of hope for the oppressed, particularly the LGBTQIA+ community.”
When requested about what she meant to convey along with her efficiency, Vega defined: “This is something that has been done before, it’s not very new, Jesus as a drag persona, I mean. Whenever I embody a character as a drag artist, the challenge for me is to embody the values associated with that character and incorporate them in a queer setting.”
“I keep reminding myself, ‘What would Jesus do?’ and ‘How can the act of expressing faith and worship intersect with queerness?’ Hence the performance,” she continued.
Transferring ahead, the artist highlighted that she plans to proceed telling queer tales via her performances and is open to studying the best way to enhance her craft.
What does the regulation say about blasphemy and freedom of expression?
In an interview with L!fe, Atty. Kenneth Manuel underscored that whether or not a efficiency is taken into account a type of blasphemy or artwork is extremely subjective.
“There is no legal definition for what can be considered an art or an act of blasphemy,” he stated.
“Strictly speaking, there are no blasphemy laws in the Philippines. This is stemming from the fact that the Constitution protects the separation of Church and State, and that the Philippines has no official state religion,” he added.
Whereas that is so, Atty. Raymond Dominic Physician mentioned how the Philippines does have a regulation that penalizes the crime of offending religious feelings underneath Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code.
Nevertheless, that is solely punishable if the act “was performed either in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony, and the act must be notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful.”
“If a blasphemous act does not fall under the exact situation defined under the elements of the aforementioned crime, it cannot be considered criminal,” Physician stated.
However there may be nonetheless a restrict to what individuals can specific relating to a sure topic.
Whereas a minimum of the Philippine structure ensures Filipinos freedom to specific, Atty. Ma. Bettina Parado identified how this proper isn’t absolute.
“Its exercise must be done within the ambit of the law to protect social and individual rights. Hence, the Supreme Court treads carefully along a thin line when determining whether an expression is protected or not,” Parado stated.
“Strict standards are set for both the protection and restriction of the right of any individual to freely express themself,” she added.
A ‘provocative’ efficiency
For Jayeel Cornelio, a sociologist whose work revolves round areas of faith and public life, the video evoked emotions of pleasure.
“It’s an exciting thing to be provocative, it’s an exciting thing to be transgressive, it’s an exciting thing to challenge boundaries kasi religion is one of those public but very private affairs for us Filipinos,” he instructed L!fe.
“Opportunities like those are moments for Filipinos to start engaging in these issues,” he added.
Cornelio additionally cautioned about referring to it as “blasphemous” as it’s “a kind of dialog enders.”
“The moment you call something blasphemous, you are already arresting all possible ways of engaging the phenomenon or talking about it,” he stated.
For him, what Vega did was “one of the diverse ways of how Filipinos express their religiosity” and it is not one thing that mechanically screams disrespect in the direction of faith.
“Most of the time, when people do these things, it’s not as a result of they’re trying to insult religion. It could be because that’s how they perceive their religion and sa Pilipinas, our faith is expressive. It’s not about doctrines, it’s not about the right beliefs, it’s about how individuals specific their religion,” he stated.
On the similar time, nonetheless, it is also not as simple as an “expression of art” like what Vega’s supporters attempt to push.
“Hindi siya artwork lang talaga. I see it as a thoroughly religious thing kasi the moment we say it’s ‘simply artwork,’ then it’s as if the person can wash her hands like it’s just freedom of expression. I say that because of all the potential imageries that this person could use, pinili niya ang spiritual symbolism,” Cornelio stated.
“If you think about it, the person is making a statement. There was a performance that was yes, at one level, artistic, but on the other hand, making a statement about faith, about religion.”
“Is it a transgressive religion? Yes. Is it an inclusive religion? Yes. Is it a queer religion? Yes. Is it a rebellious religion? Yes.”
With all the things that has been stated, Cornelio affords one easy step to maneuver ahead: “Take it or leave it.” (with reviews from Brooke Villanueva)