In a recent interview in The Observer’s special “gay edition” of Music Monthly Magazine, musician Sir Elton John told the UK newspaper that religion should be outlawed because it lacks compassion and promotes hatred of homosexuals. In the Sunday, November 12, 2006 issue, John said, “I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people. Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays.”
Is he talking about brands of radical Islam that oppose homosexuality? No, it seems like he’s directing his fire at Christianity, or what’s left of it, in Britain and other decadent Western societies.
Later in the same interview John added, “The reality is that organized religion doesn’t seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate.”
One is tempted to respond to this rant with the title of Laura Ingraham’s book about Hollywood: Shut Up and Sing.
But there is another thing to consider: Why aren’t Elton John’s hateful comments as controversial as Michael Richards’ anti-black “comic” diatribe? Is it because being scornful of religion is “in” among the entertainment and Hollywood elites?
John, who admitted to being bisexual in 1976, married Renate Blauel in 1984 and divorced her four years later. After his divorce from Blauel, John announced he was no longer bisexual but homosexual. In December of 2005, Sir Elton John, who was knighted in 1998, entered into a civil partnership with his gay partner David Furnish, in Berkshire, England.
John, who has only recently become an outspoken advocate of gay pride issues, admitted that his past drug addictions hampered his involvement. John said in the interview that he “never stood up to the AIDS thing because I was in a drug haze-even though my friends were dying left, right and centre-I wasn’t on the front line and I should have been.”
Part of the explanation as to why it took John so long to become involved in gay pride issues was because of his rather late decision to be a homosexual man. In a more revealing statement about his own sexual proclivity John admitted, “I was sexually very immature-I didn’t have sex until I was 23 and that was with a man. I made up for lost time after that in a hurry. I wish I could have had sex when I was, like, 14, 15 or 16 because that’s such an exciting age to have sex.”
Even with John’s ridiculous comments on religion, I will assume in this statement John speaks of regret in his own life rather than advocating underage boys engaging in homosexual activity either with each other or adults. But, later in the interview Jake Shears, the interviewer and vocalist for the American music group Scissor Sisters, discussed an encounter with a mother, father and son who came backstage after a show to meet Shears, which led John to jokingly ask Shears if he had sex with all three of them. Although Shears replied no, even though the boy was 18, John responded, “He was legal.”
What is so remarkable about this interview is that John advocates sexual tolerance while showing a complete lack of religious tolerance. Amazing in John’s rant about gay pride issues and gay tolerance was a belief that “The world is near escalating to World War Three,” leading John to offer the solution of, “Get everybody from each religion together and say ‘Listen, this can’t go on. Why do we have all this hatred?’? [religious leaders] have to lead the way. If they don’t do it, who else is going to do it? They’re not going to do it and it’s left to musicians or to someone else to deal with it.”
Elton John’s convoluted message to the masses is: Religion should be outlawed because it promotes hatred towards homosexuals, that religious hatred is leading us towards World War III, and the only way to prevent another world war is for musicians to solve all the world’s problems.
It is comforting to know that if the world would all hold hands and sing Tiny Dancer we would all be safer. But frankly, I’d rather hear Randy Travis sing Three Wooden Crosses.