For more explanation of this month’s theme, “millennials in thirty things,” check out this post.

Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. Born to two traveling evangelists. Her father: “end times messenger” with the gift of speaking in tongues. Her mother: prophetic minister with the gift of interpreting tongues.

Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson grew up in a home that banned television and secular music and phrases like deviled eggs and Dirt Devil. At seventeen, she recorded a Christian rock album, and at eighteen, she tattooed Jesus onto the inside of her left wrist.

“I wasn’t able to say I was lucky because my mother would rather us say that we were blessed, and she also didn’t like that lucky sounded like Lucifer.” [1]

And then, in 2008, seven years after her Christian rock album debuted, and six years after she moved to Los Angeles and transitioned into secular music, “I Kissed A Girl” made Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson famous.

Enter Katy Perry.

Katy Perry supports gay marriage. Katy Perry wears latex dresses. Katy Perry shoots whipped cream from her bra and sings about booze and cocks and parties. Katy Perry rejects the idea of heaven, and Katy Perry, by her own declaration, has left the church.

“I don’t believe in a heaven or a hell or an old man sitting on a throne. I believe in a higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable… I’m not Buddhist, I’m not Hindu, I’m not Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God.” [2]

Katy Perry has disgraced Christianity.

So says, and to a lesser extent, Charisma News and Crosswalk. Both call her a “lost sheep,” and according to Beginning and End, Katy Perry’s career is “a blatant sinful rebellion.”

“I was raised with certain ideas, what the Bible says. But as an adult I definitely have different perspectives and I’m very much not a poster child for anything perfect or organized or cookie cutter. I have my own relationship and my own beliefs and I’m continually on an upward search with all of that. I really don’t know the answers, nor do I like to impress them on anybody else.” [3]

Katy Perry has sold more digital singles than any other U.S. artist (72 million), and @katyperry has more followers than any other Twitter account (56.4 million). She has won 182 awards, including 14 People’s Choice Awards and Billboard’s “Woman of the Year,” and she made the cut for “100 Best Boobs in the World,” as judged by Elite Daily, The Voice of Generation Y.

Katy Perry, lost sheep and prodigal daughter sans propitiation, is an icon of the Millennial Generation.

“My sponge is so big and wide and I’m soaking everything up and my mind has been radically expanded. Just being around different cultures and people and their opinions and perspectives. Just looking into the sky.” [4]

Each generation fights against the one before it. Each generation finds fault and tries to correct that faultand maybe that happens at the expense of other, better valuesbut each generation is trying to make the world better, and people better, and faith better. Even if that generation leads itself into a mudslide, its fault does not lie with intention. In Gilead, Marilynne Robinson writes, “the times change, and the same words that carry a good many people into the howling wilderness in one generation are irksome or meaningless in the next.” It is not necessarily a fight of right and wrong, but more a fight of perspectives and priorities, and in the fighting, a generation forms its identity.

“I come from a very non-accepting family, but I’m very accepting.” [5]

But beneath the fighting, beneath awards and sales and sermons, there is still Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. And there are still her parents, Keith and Mary Hudson. And beneath the battle between Millennials and Generation Xers, beneath every disagreement and every argument, there is a child, and there is a parent. Our children. Our parents. Us.

“I think sometimes when children grow up, their parents grow up. Mine grew up with me. We coexist. I don’t try to change them anymore, and I don’t think they try to change me. We agree to disagree.” [6]

“I love my daughter and I will always love her. Stop being judgmental and critical. Do not close the doors to your loved ones, especially your children. Just because they do not like what you do or what you are, they are still praying that you stay in the race. They are counting on you. I believe in God, for every one of my children.” [7]

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” [8]




[1] “Sex, God & Katy Perry,” Rolling Stone, (Aug. 19, 2010).

[2] “Katy Conquers All,” Marie Claire, (Dec. 9, 2013).

[3] “Katy Perry talks about gay rights in interview with CGG,”

[4] “Katy Perry on Her Religious Childhood, Her Career, and Her Marriage to Russell Brand,” Vanity Fair, (May 3, 2011).

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] “Katy Perry’s divorce was a gift from God, her mother claims,” The Telegraph, (Jan. 6, 2012).

[8] Matt. 10:34-37 (NIV)

1 Comment

  1. Bart

    Well written and thought provoking. Must have been an interesting seven years. I have that same bra.


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