J Walking

So Elton John wants all religion banned. Why? Because it inspires so much intolerance and hatred for gay men and women. Hmmm.

In his attempt to fight for tolerance he is intolerant of the billions of people who find meaning from God. Isn’t that exactly the kind of bigotry he opposes?

The problem with Sir Elton’s comment isn’t that he is against religion or that he finds no solace in it or finds it to be ridiculous. Instead, he says he wants to ban religion. That is just scary.

BUT: then I read the actual interview. I suggest everyone do the same thing, because there is some fascinating stuff in it. For instance (all the following are direct quotes):

– But there are so many Christian people I know who are gay and love their religion …

– They used to put gay people in a cupboard, but now they’re doing it to [certain] religious people.

– I love the idea of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the beautiful stories about it, which I loved in Sunday School and I collected all the little stickers and put them in my book.

– We are all God’s people; we have to get along and the [religious leaders] have to lead the way. If they don’t do it, who else is going to do it?

So is Elton John a bigot? Or does he just sound like one when quoted in certain ways?

Our media problem today is that it is so much easier to chomp on one soundbite — one man’s “I would ban religion” is another man’s “I think we ought to assasinate the president of Venezuela” — than to explore the actual context. I learned a lot about this in the last month while following media coverage of my book, Tempting Faith. The discussion about it often bore such little resemblence to what I had written that I actually went back to my book to reread it just to make sure I was right.

There is a lot of stuff in Elton John’s interview that is far more troubling than anything he had to say about religion. There is some good in the interview too. No matter what, the whole thing deserves to be discussed as a whole, not just in bitty parts.

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