Dear Ms. Gaga,
We hope this letter finds you well and that you have fully recovered from whatever it was that caused blood to gush from your pores the last time we saw your photo. We are writing to propose a business arrangement that we think will be mutually beneficial: we want you to do for the Baha’i faith what Madonna did for Kabbalah.
As a young religion, there are only 5 or 6 million Baha’i practitioners in the world–and let’s be honest, that number is a lot closer to 5 million than 6. Being Baha’i has never been a “sexy” religious choice. Our doctrines of equality and peacemaking don’t exactly inspire a lot of bra-burning.
But then again, neither did Chassidic Judaism until Madonna apportioned off an especially tasty bit of it and turned it into a global free-for-all. You might think we Baha’i are as straight-laced as black hats, but we have our share of commodifiable mystical products. Does “Seven Valleys” ring any bells? It’s a Baha’i holy work that’s chock-full of vaguely worded poetic flimflam about “seekers” and “unity.” Just the kind of stuff bored middle-classers go wild for. And that’s not all the Baha’i faith has to offer.
Did you know that being Baha’i is considered apostasy in many Muslim countries? People *love* apostasy.
But how can we spread our totally awesome, subversive message–and gain recruits–unless we have the right vehicle for delivering it? That vehicle is you, Ms. Gaga. Your shut-up-and-listen attitude and so-bizarre-they-must-be-brilliant fashions suggest to the global public that you have extraordinary insight. We need you to take that surely unjustified authority and make people want to be Baha’i like you.
In return, you will gain access to 150 years of insight, individual instruction in the teachings of Baha’u’llah, and unlimited access to our gardens in Haifa, Israel.
Please reply as soon as possible with your answer.
The members of the Universal House of Justice
Religions, like snack food and gadget corporations, are no strangers to celebrity spokespeople. Perhaps most famously, Christianity landed Roman Emperor Constantine, the most powerful single figure in the world in the late Imperial period, and also Kirk Cameron, from a moderately well-received family sitcom. Apart from Madonna, Jews were able to ensure the services of film star James Cagney, as long as they promised not to tell anyone about it. And who among us can forget the wild month when celebrity chef Emeril Legasse became a Buddhist? Since time immemorial, religions have been able to use the power of celebrity to attract customers. At this point, celebrity endorsements are considered more important than the various tenets of the religion. How else can we explain Scientology, which teaches that magical aliens taught a bad science fiction writer how to make piles of money?
As shocking as it may be, Lady Gaga seriously considered this offer from the Baha’i. With her worldwide popularity, many celebrity religion observers believed she’d pick something more mainstream, like Sikhism. Still, despite sweet last-minute offers from both Islam and Voodoo, she was prepared to take the plunge. Unfortunately, Ms. Gaga was distracted by a massive pile of cocaine and missed the deadline for filing the proper paperwork. In a hilarious comedy of errors, her application form was accidentally faxed to the Church of the Universal Jedi in New Zealand, where she was made a member of the Jedi Council and given a free lightsaber.
The Baha’i, however, continue to grow despite their lack of a “proper” celebrity spokesperson. Instead, they’ve turned to renting celebrities for weekends and events to give the faith an air of gravitas. At the 105th annual Baha’i “Meet and Greet Pancake Brunch,” the faithful were rewarded with a rare glimpse of former Seinfeld star Jason Alexander and musician Kenny G, who performed a humorous duet/softshoe routine memorializing all those victims of religious oppression slaughtered in the past year. The performance was called “insensitive,” “wildly innapropriate,” and “really quite droll.”