Pop star Elton John is featured on the cover of Parade magazine this week. So I guess Parade is still around. He's ostensibly on the cover to talk about how he's a better person now than he was before. But he makes news for an unconventional religious idea he puts forth. Many news outlets, including USA Today and the Washington Post have quoted or otherwise given the interview coverage.
Soraya Roberts at the Daily News writes it up as follows:
Elton John has never been a big fan of religion.
"Religion promotes hatred and spite against gays," the openly gay performer told the Observer's Music Monthly magazine in 2006. "From my point of view, I would ban religion completely."
So it comes as a surprise that in Parade magazine this week, John claims that one of the central figures of Christianity is in fact a homosexual.
"I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems," he tells Parade. "On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him."
It's a perfectly fine write-up and the interview certainly is newsworthy. But is Jesus Christ really best described as "one of the central figures of Christianity"?
Observers have long noted how statements or images viewed as blasphemous by Muslims tend to receive less media coverage and receive a much stronger reaction than blasphemous statements about Christianity.
There's no doubt that Sir Elton John's views are considered blasphemous by most Christians. I'm sure that Christians won't respond by rioting or anything, but that doesn't mean that the media should treat the offending statement cavalierly.