Sir Elton John, one of the most decorated and celebrated performers of the past fifty years, recently stated in an interview with Britain’s Sky News that he believes Jesus Christ would be a gay marriage supporter if he were alive today.
John, who is gay, made the statements in the context of a discussion of Pope Francis, whom John says he supports because of the Pope’s “humanity”:
He’s stripped it down to the bare bones and said it’s all basically about love and taking everybody in, inclusiveness. And that has to be encouraged by the Church of England.
He went on to say that both Churches need to catch up with the times, and that, he “cannot see [Jesus], as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying [gay marriage] could not happen.”
John’s comments come at an interesting time in the gay rights debate. Gay marriage is now legal in nearly half of the United States, plus the District of Columbia, became legal in England and Wales this past spring, and will become legal in Scotland this autumn. So, to a certain extent, the debate–in these two areas at least–is over; gay marriage advocates have won.
Yet, in a broader sense, John’s comments touch on the ongoing discussion sparked by Pope Francis, the more seemingly humanistic turn the Catholic Church has taken under his leadership, and the role of love in everyday life.
Pope Francis has drawn attention to himself and his church by calling for an end to what he considers the misguided and unfair economic policies of wealthy nations. Much of that attention has come in the form of media praise. But it’s easy to forget that the Pope himself is not in favor of gay marriage.
As for his own nuptials, John and partner David Furnish plan to marry next year, in a small, “off the cuff” ceremony.
What do you think? Is Elton John taking the Pope’s humanity out of context? Is the whole issue overblown, at this point?