My thanks to Captain Fantastic for another illustration of theÂ disjunction between talent and brains. Since when did being aÂ musician automatically increase one’s IQ? Speaking at a special “gay edition” of The Observer newspaper’s Music Monthly Magazine, Sir Elton John shared his views on several controversial issues. Most notable, however, was his opinions regarding organizedÂ religion:
I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people. From my point of view, I would ban religion completely.Â Organized religion doesn’t seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate.Â
I wonder if my church friends at the homeless shelter or AIDS hospice realize what “hateful lemmings” they are and whatÂ “organized religion” is doing to them?
Anyway, NewsBusters reports that the actual interviewÂ took place August 21st, at Elton John’s house in the south of France. They provide a link to the entire interview in the Observer Music Monthly, and I must say, it is rather shocking. Take this exchange between Jake Shears (of the band Scissor Sisters) and Mr. John:
JS: What was it like when you were starting out? When did you know you had homosexual tendencies?
EJ: Maybe at school, although when I was in my band, Bluesology, playing with Long John Baldry I didn’t even realise he was gay and he’s the gayest person I can think of right now. He was outrageous; flamboyant, camp, funny. 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.
Yikes! I think the Rocket Man has just left planet earth.Â I may be missing something,Â but don’tÂ most civilized culturesÂ frown upon homosexual sex with 14 year old boys? (Oops! There goes my hateful lemming-ness.)Â And I can’t imagine many parents condoning their 15-year-old’s sexual adventures, even if that is “such an exciting age to have sex.” Perhaps, along with banning organized religion, Sir Elton might wanna ease restrictions on other primitive laws governing sex.Â Â
But how exactly does one ban organized religion? If I’m not mistaken,Â they tried that in the Soviet Union and Communist China.Â Liberation hardly followed.
Whatever happened to all these sensitive artists being against censorship?Â Last I heard, it wasÂ organized religion that was supposed to be suppressing free speech andÂ banning everything. Hmm. I smell a double standard.
Michael Medved, in a Townhall.com article, sums up the inconsistency this way:
Despite that â€œhatred and spite,â€ religious leaders actually express more tolerance to homosexuality (and non-believers) than Sir Elton expresses toward organized faith. Imagine the indignation if a religious leader suggested that we need to â€œban homosexuality completelyâ€ — or urged an outright prohibition on atheism? Itâ€™s true that many believing Christians want to persuade gays to overcome their same-sex urges, or try to get non-believers to replace their doubt with faith, but no factions in the varied array of conservative religious groups has called for â€œbanningâ€ ideas with which they disagree.
Even the Reverend Giles Fraser from the Inclusive Church, a pro-gay group in the Church of England, thinks EJ’s comments reveal a misconception widely held in the gay community.
“I’m sad because it deepens the perception that the Church is intrinsically homophobic,” Fraser said. “I don’t believe it is homophobic, I believe that’s a mistaken interpretation. And (his comments) don’t help those struggling to change that perception.”
But of course, this is spoken by someone entrenched in the dreaded “organized religion.” Perhaps what the Pinball Wizard really wants to ban isÂ individuals who disagree with his homosexual lifestyle. Me, I’d like to ban stupid musicians.
Either way, it’s all so disingenuous. Christians are always viewed as the extremists, the haters, while the sensitive artists get a pass. Can you imagine a U.S. Senator or an evangelical pastor saying, “I wish I could have had sex when I was, like, 14, 15 or 16 because that’s such and exciting age to have sex,” without getting run out of town? Or investigated. Yet whenÂ the Honky CatÂ says it, we hum along. Hey, Mr. Piano Man, shut up and sing.
Oh well.Â Hopefully, Sir Elton will not rise to power anytime soon. If he does, all us religious folks might get bent over and spanked for being the bane of the free world. Naughty, naughty lemmings!