Singer Elton John has responded to the controversy created by his recent comment that Jesus was a gay man.
John told Parade magazine, in an interview published last week in America, that he believes that Jesus was “…a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems”.
He added: “On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don’t know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East – you’re as good as dead.”
In the interview, John – who has been with his partner David Furnish for 16 years – also talked about his early attempts at relationships: “I’d always choose someone younger. I wanted to smother them with love. I’d take them around the world, try to educate them. One after another they got a Cartier watch, a Versace outfit, maybe a sports car. They didn’t have jobs. They were reliant on me. I did this repeatedly. In six months they were bored and hated my guts because I’d taken their lives and self-worth away. I hadn’t intended to.”
The comment about Jesus, however, has not gone down well with conservative Christians who have accused the 62 year old star of blasphemy.
In response, John said in a follow-up television interview with WGN: “I think everyone’s individual faith is their own business. And I do believe in Jesus, and I do believe he was a compassionate person. And I see him from my point of view, and that’s just my point of view, as a compassionate gay person – someone who was persecuted, someone who forgave people…
“That’s how I see him. That’s my idea of faith. If I’ve offended anybody, I don’t see why they should be offended by it, because I’m not saying, ‘That’s how he definitely was.’”
John also noted that while he might have made the comment about Jesus being a gay man in his conversation with the journalist, the quote is not actually in the published interview but was placed instead on the magazine’s website, which he said was “a kind of sneaky thing”.