Ariana Grande’s Sweetener: Jesus Style

by | Sep 7, 2018 | Art, Music, Pop Culture

Much like the rest of the hip youth, I awaited Ariana Grande’s new album Sweetener with great anticipation. What I hadn’t anticipated, however, were its constant references to religious themes. From “raindrops (an angel cried)” to “God is a woman,” Grande uses spiritual terms in her lyrics. To illustrate the point, I experimented a little and put together some images paired with actual lines from songs on the album. I think they call these “memes”? Enjoy, and feel free to respond with your own!

1.) “God is a woman”: I doubt Ariana has looked at a catechism lately. If she had, she would know that God transcends the human distinction between the sexes. We do love the Virgin Mary though!


2.) “blazed”: While I think it’s safe to say that this song wasn’t written about an Old Testament story, let’s have some fun with it. I’m thinking: Lot’s wife. Sodom and Gomorrah.


3.) “R.E.M.”: Do you know the story of Ruth and Boaz? Not sure if Ariana does either. Boaz gets a surprise nighttime visitor and asks, “What’s that woman doing at the foot of my bed?”


4.) “raindrops (an angel cried)”: I wonder if Ariana got the idea for this song from my 5th grade religion teacher, Miss Mary Anne.


5.) “the light is coming”: The title says it all. Was Ariana borrowing from the start of John’s Gospel? “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” Sweet baby Jesus!


6.) “Successful”: Whose anthem could this be? Well, when you use a slingshot to take down a giant warrior, you gotta feel pretty good about yourself. Young David slays Goliath.


7.) “no tears left to cry”: Have you seen Bernini’s famous statue of the ecstasy of St. Teresa in Rome? I think Ariana found, like, the perfect caption for it.




Cover image courtesy of FlickrCC user Disney ABC Television Group


David Inczauskis, SJ   /   All posts by David