his solution would be to "ban religion completely, even though there are some wonderful things about it."Not "religion should change its teachings." Not "Religion X should be banned." Not "religion is foolish and stupid." But "ban religion completely." That's not ambiguous. And sure enough, like music's answer to Andrew Sullivan, it is all about The Great Glory That Is The Gay Lifestyle:
"I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people," he said. "Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays."It's sad, so sad. It's a sad, sad situation. Homosexuals are becoming increasingly totalitarian, and this interview drips with. He thinks religion turns people into "hateful lemmings," not realizing that to call human beings "lemmings" is itself "hateful." Or that plenty of non-religious societies have persecuted homosexuals quite vigorously. No ... it's the same childish rant. Y'know I never would have thought that Sir Elton really did think he was justified when he was five, to judge by the approximate maturity of some of the theological thoughts. I mean, how does one respond to:
[Sir Elton] also said that the problems experienced by many gays in former nations of the Soviet bloc, such as Poland, Latvia and Russia were caused by the church supporting anti-gay movements.Well, that's so awful for those countries. For governments, maybe they'll get a replacement and go back to their previous regimes, which were a bit closer to Sir Elton's notion that all religion should be banned (however imperfectly realized, they were at one with Sir Elton in principle). And for the record, those regimes and every other actual Socialist regime would never have met the standards of the City of San Francisco Human Rights Commission -- homosexuality is a selfish, decadent product of capitalism, doncha know. And homosexuals in the Soviet Union could only dream of him, never see the letters that he writes, and had to look up through the wire to count the stars at night.
That latter might seem like a small point, but it indicates the ahistoricity of gay-rights floggers -- oh they can bitch, they can bitch because (they think) they're better than you, but to listen to them describe the status quo, whether in the Church or the broader society, you would never get the sense that homosexuality has never been freer or less-disapproved (whether this is a good thing or a bad thing). Butterflies are definitely free to fly, here.
Then there's this sheer, utter idiocy:
[Sir Elton] called on the leaders of major religions to hold a "conclave" to discuss the fate of the world - which he said was "near escalating to World War Three".I haven't seen that face for a while, but it's definitely still the same spoiled child. What makes it sheer and utter idiocy (as opposed to simply Kumbaya dreaming, which'd obviously be bad enough) is that this is coming from someone who says religion should be banned. Well, how are these "absolutely banned" religions supposed to even exist, much less meet, much less wield influence. Even if you think there's some distinction between "organized religion" and something else "disorganized religion[?]," without the "organized" part, there's no way for any religion to have a "leader" for this meeting Sir Elton pins such great hopes on.
"I said this after 9/11 and people thought I was nuts," he said. "It's all got to be dialogue - that's the only way. Get everybody from each religion together and say 'Listen, this can't go on. Why do we have all this hatred?'
"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? They're not going to do it and it's left to musicians or to someone else to deal with it."
I could go on forever in this vein, but metaphors involving fish, barrels and the use of Second-Amendment-protected devices would come to mind. And there's plenty like him to be found. I first saw this at the site of Dale Price, who asked in shocking language to which I would never stoop: "who gives a crap what entertainers think?"
I disagree with Dale ... entertainers do matter. In and of themselves, Sir Elton's remarks don't matter, either in the sense that George Bush's or Condi Rice's or Vladimir Putin's do (holding formal power), or in the sense that Alasdair MacIntyre's or Irving Kristol's or Michael Lerner's (intellectuals). They ARE just the dumb bloviations of a pop star.
But in a perverse way, that's what makes them important. There's the obvious Shelley aphorism about "the unacknowledged legislators of the world." (CM shudders). But even beyond that, the specific example breaks a bit of kulturkampf ground. They're important not as a furnace (the cause of a thing -- heat), but as a thermometer (the measure of that thing). Sir Elton HASN'T thought these topics through (which isn't particularly damnable in itself), and this is what comes out of a him. Most people, and all non-intellectuals, DON'T think things through -- they absorb what the world around them thinks or tells them they should think, thoughtlessly or with minimal thought. The thoughtless man is a better barometer of his society than the thoughtful man for that very reason. I think a serious persecution of Christians is coming, because sentiments like these are becoming much more commonly expressed as natural and normal than before. While there has always been The Village Atheist around, he has been an exception. Sir Elton indicates TVA might be becoming the norm.
On a somewhat lighter note, Kathy Shaidle, discussing the same topic, came up with a list of reasons the Pope is better than Elton John:
- He's got his own hair and has never filed for bankruptcy
- Valerie Bertinelli never dressed up as Cardinal Ratzinger on One Day at a Time
- Had nothing to do with Tommy²
- Doesn't call photographers "rude, vile pigs"
- Not a dwarf
- About the role of Husserl and phenomenology in Karol Wojtyla's personalist philosophy -- Elton John don't know shit
- The Pope never wrote a song to the World Team Tennis league
- The Pope has the stronger fashion sense, with more modest hats and better Prada shoes
- Everyone knows the pope's born name
- "Deus Caritas Est" is in a real dead language, unlike "Solar Prestige a Gammon"³ And a bit meatier than "Believe"⁴
- Pope doesn't depend on Bernie Taupin to write words for him
- Pope hasn't had a career trajectory that started with Kiki Dee as a duet partner and went on to RuPaul and (on another song) George Michael
¹And Dale ... that other fellow would probably say "Don't drink? Don't smoke? What DO you do?" Which actually pretty much sums up modern morality on matters sexual -- "there's always something inside."
² C'mon, Kathy. That's a bit unfair. "Tommy" may not be to everyone's taste (it's garishly over-the-top) and Sir Dwight is obviously wrong to sing "Pinball Wizard." But how can a movie with Ann-Margaret in a roomful of baked beans, Roger Daltrey singing "See Me, Feel Me" or a vamping Tina Turner as the Acid Queen be something shameful.
³ An obscure album cut from "Caribou." Lyrics here.
⁴ Which rivals "Imagine" as the Dreamy-Dumbest Pop Hit of all-time. Lyrics here.