In a recent Parade magazine interview (the link is below), Elton John suggested that Jesus was "... a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems." He added, "Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving.... Try being a gay woman in the Middle East - you're as good as dead."
Hm. I am a gay man, so I have upon occasion fallen prey to the desire to claim every awesome figure in human history as One of the Tribe. Some were (Michaelangelo), some may have been (Abraham Lincoln), and some weren't (most of the rest of them).
But Jesus? If you took "gay" out of Elton's sentence, it would have made as much sense. So why a "gay man?"
If Elton knows, he isn't saying. Yet. (Wait for the backlash - and his inevitable statement addressing it.)
Elton did say, however, that when he performs "The Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes," a song about Ryan White, a lad who very publicly died of AIDS in the 1980s, "I say that this is a song about a time when people in America started getting AIDS and your president, Ronald Reagan, did nothing about it. I get boos. There's a lot of hate in the world."
Well, there's a lot of historical denial in the world, too. (Just ask Holocaust survivors and their offspring.) The hagiography around Reagan - his sanctification as an awesome figure in human history (though, one is relieved to note, not One of the Tribe) - is nauseating to anyone who lived through the '80s and lost one or (many) more to AIDS. Reagan's administration did exactly nothing for years; he was well into his second term - in his eighth year as president - before he said the words "AIDS" publicly.
The man had blood on his hands. Elton John is right to keep that truth front and center, no matter the revisionist magical thinking of those who boo him.
(The Parade article is here.)