Music legend Elton John recently talked to Parade Magazine about a number of things. In what apparently constituted a sidebar conversation (is anything ever off-the-record anymore?), he said something about Jesus.
"I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. 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."
These comments appeared Ash Wednesday, several days in advance of Parade's Sunday release, and churned up a little chum in their wake.
But as surely as Mr. John knows how to make controversy, he's learned how to quell it, too. Yesterday he apologized (see video below) for the dust-up and responded to the past few days in a web-posted interview in which he adhered to his talking point.
Everybody's individual faith is their own business.... And we each have our idea of what religion should be.
His interviewer got closest to what perhaps is the case.
You're identifying him as a reflection of yourself and how you relate to Jesus.
When you strip away the celebrity and the fact that such a story would never have come to light if, say, your next-door neighbor said all this, what remains is a reader-response hermeneutic at least as old as the Christian faith - that we cannot help but view Jesus through our own lenses, and sometimes about all we can do is own up to those lenses.
What's your take?