March 21, 2007

Elton John, St. Paul and Plymouth

I wrote before about how people in this country are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites when it comes to homosexuality and religion. The current uproar by religious leaders over Elton John’s visit has proven my case!

How come I have not heard a peep out of the same religious leaders when other performers with un-Christian lifestyles come here? What is so different about Elton compared to say Elephant Man? I’ll tell you, one plays upon people’s fears and intolerance and one doesn’t. If Elton was still in the closet there would be none of this nonsense! Gay people get judged harsher than anyone else even though they are no better or worse than anyone else! Many of these Christians do not even judge their OWN shortcomings with the same zeal as they do gay people. Not only that, gay people are the only group of people towards whom many of these Christian churches will openly spread intolerance. They are too chicken and concerned about public opinion to go after all the other kinds of sin in their belief system because it will make them look hateful. You don’t see them trying to hassle overweight people who got that way from gluttony. There are even overweight pastors and reverends! Not only do all gluttons go to hell according to the bible but obesity kills millions a year and unlike sexual orientation it is a lifestyle choice. But because gay people are already a maligned, culturally unpopular, voiceless and leaderless minority in our Caribbean society, they are constantly getting bashed because they are too afraid to stand up for themselves. When they do, they get ridiculed, discriminated against or worse yet physically abused or murdered like Brian Williamson, an outspoken gay activist in Jamaica.

Now if you claim to be truly Christian and a strict follower of the bible, then you know that SIN IS SIN. There is no big sin, medium sin, small sin. All sins have the same penalty! Having same-sex intercourse is no greater a sin than overeating or telling a white lie, cheating on your taxes or engaging in mauvais langue. There is NO relativity! As such, it is impossible NOT to sin in the Christian faith because practically everything you do or don’t do is a sin! That is why Christians have to ask for forgiveness every single day or go to confession regularly if they are Catholic. Even their beloved St. Paul said it was impossible not to sin and called himself a wretched and miserable man because he cannot stop sinning! Go read Romans 7:15 to 25. See I wish these hoity toity, holier than thou people were at least that humble. I thought these Christians believed judgment belonged exclusively to God and God alone. They supposed to believe that if you judge others, every single flaw will be held against you by God when your turn comes. Matt 7:1-2 says “Judge not that ye may not be judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

So I hope they are prepared for the same unforgiving, merciless, intolerant treatment from God when it’s time to stand naked under his magnifying glass. I would imagine that if you are truly a smart Christian you would do better to assume God will accept everyone and err on the side of understanding and tolerance just to be sure. Especially since I never read of Jesus turning away anyone because they were gay or asking if they were gay first before feeding or healing them. Do you? I never see in years of bible reading anything about Jesus commanding his followers to be the bedroom monitors and sexual-position dictators of society. The greatest commandment he imposed upon people was, ‘Love God with your whole heart, mind and soul and love your neighbour as yourself.” He even said that this commandment reigns supreme over ALL THE OTHERS and fulfils the entire Law.

As for me, I prefer to look at what Elton’s music says to me. Isn’t that WHY he is coming here in the first place, to perform his music? You would think from the uproar he was here to do a live sex show on stage in a pink tutu and then and then turn everyone in Tobago gay with magic “fairy” dust and a phallic shaped magic wand. Unlike many of the artists who have visited or performed in our country unchallenged by any religious outcry, I have never seen an Elton video that promotes lasciviousness or violence or hatred all of which are sins in the bible. Most of his music reflects uplifting and inspirational sentiments. From Candle In The Wind to Circle of Life to I’m Still Standing to The One, I have never heard him sing about anything other than love, beauty and the human experience in all its sadness, disappointments highs and lows. If all talents come from God and that is the kind of work Elton produced with his God-given talents he has done well. He survived drug abuse, terrible loss, near career failure, failed relationships, bulimia, being slandered against and coming to terms with his own sexuality after years of self-hatred and guess what, he still going strong and sounding good. Obviously he has been blessed and who God bless, no man can curse right? Sir Elton John gives and raises millions of dollars for charity that helps suffering people all over the world. There is a reason he was knighted and most of us, including the holier than thou crew, were not. I am willing to welcome him with the all hospitality and compassion and respect Christians are supposed to extend to others even if I am not a Christian myself. Isn’t that how those of you who act like everyone’s judge, juror and executioner would like to be treated yourself according to your own Golden Rule? And another thing, if according to your bible God could use a wretched sinner like Paul, a man no better than you or I, who admitted to sinning everyday, to inspire others and teach others, why not Sir Elton John? Enjoy the concert everyone!

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