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ELTON JOHN: 'I WOULD BAN RELIGION COMPLETELY'
Sat Nov 11 2006 15:42:55 ET

Sir Elton John wants religion banned completely -- because he believes it promotes hatred of gays.

Speaking to the Observer Music Monthly Magazine the singer said religion lacked compassion and turned people into "hateful lemmings".

The PRESS ASSOCIATION reports: In a candid interview for a dedicated Gay issue of the magazine he shared his views on topics as varied as being a pop icon to Tony Blair's stance on the war in Iraq.

He said there was a lack of religious leadership, particularly in world politics, and complained that people do not take to the streets to protest any more.

Sir Elton said: "I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people. Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays.

"But there are so many people I know who are gay and love their religion. From my point of view I would ban religion completely.

"Organised religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate."

He added: "The world is near escalating to World War Three and where are the leaders of each religion? Why aren't they having a conclave? Why aren't they coming together?

"I said this after 9/11 and people thought I was nuts. Instead of more violence why isn't there a meeting of religious leaders?

"It's like the peace movement in the Sixties. Musicians got through to people by getting out there and doing peace concerts but we don't seem to do them any more.

"If John Lennon were alive today he'd be leading it with a vengeance," he said.

Sir Elton said people were too busy blogging on the internet to go out onto the streets to stand up for what they believed in.

"They seem to do their protesting online and that's not good enough. You have to get out there and be seen to be vocal, and you've got to do it time and time again.

"There was a big march in London when Britain decided to join the war against Iraq and Tony Blair is on the record as saying 'the people who march today will have blood on their hands'. That's returned to bite him on the ass," he said.

Sir Elton compared his place in British culture with that of the Queen Mother's.

He said: "People come to me and I'm a bit like the Queen Mother. I never get those problems. I don't know what it is with me, people treat me very reverently.

Referring to his "wedding" to long-term partner David Furnish, he said: "It was the same when Dave and I had our civil union - I was expecting the odd flour bomb and there wasn't.

"Dave and I as a couple seem to be the acceptable face of gayness, and that's great."

He pledged to continue to campaign for gay rights saying: "I'm going to fight for them whether I do it silently behind the scenes or so vocally that I get locked up.

"I can't just sit back; it's not in my nature any more. I'm nearly 60-years-old after all. I can't sit back and blindly ignore it and I won't."

Developing...




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