By Joseph Brannigan Lynch
Updated April 14, 2011 at 10:06 PM EDT

The single isn’t even released yet, but Lady Gaga is already getting heat for her upcoming “Judas” music video.

Three Arizona-based Latino Activist groups that are condemning “her message of racism and intolerance” in the still-unaired clip. (Although they are also calling her “Lady Rerun” and “Lady Caca” in their statements, so it is possible their next move could be nothing more than a series of “your momma’s so fat” jokes).

The 25-year-old pop star—who will portray prostitute-turned-disciple Mary Magdalene in the video—is being accused of racial intolerance by virtue of her fixation on Catholicism.

“So, Lady Gaga is playing Mary Magdelene [sic] in her new video,” says Jorge Serrano of Take Back Aztlán, a group that believes much of the Southwestern United States was stolen from people of Aztec descent.

“In the video, she witnesses a crime, falls in love with a Black Jesus figure and ends up saving the person wrongly accused of the crime. Wait—didn’t Madonna do that before? At least Madonna made people question religion and race. Lady Gaga is just exploiting the Catholic religion, which many Latinos follow,” Serrano claims.

Before we go any further, let’s just point out that these groups are eviscerating her not only for a music video that has not yet been released (the song itself won’t be unleashed until next Tuesday), but there have been no official statements from her camp saying that this is in fact the plot of the video. And the lyrics, which are already online, don’t support that claim one way or another.

So unless these groups are stalking her film crew, these accusations are purely speculative. Of course, if “Judas” does follow the above-mentioned plot, it would be a clear rip-off of Madonna’s infamous 1989 video for “Like a Prayer,” but that’s simply information we don’t have (and it doesn’t look like Pepsi has anything to do with this video anyway).

Another Latino group took issue with Gaga’s portrayal of Magdalene. “Why can’t Lady Gaga pretend to be Muhammad? Now, that would be very brave!” said Cecilia Maldonado of Chicanos Unidos Arizona, echoing complaints that recently came from the Catholic League. “It’s so easy to knock Catholicism and Christianity these days, especially if you have absolutely no musical talent whatsoever. Lady Gaga is Lady Caca.”

Playground taunts aside, there is a case to be made that Gaga may be less interested in exploring religious issues than she is in attention-seeking. But it’s a huge leap to say she is “racist and intolerant” simply because she’s turning a critical eye on a religion followed by many Latinos.

After all, wouldn’t that make her equally intolerant of the Irish? More significantly, many Italians are Catholics—including Madonna and Gaga, who were both raised in the faith. So yes, it would be more surprising to see her “take on” Zoroastrianism or something like that, but she focuses on Catholicism because it’s what she knows.

Readers, what do you think?