"You May Be Right"

In a recently published interview, Elton John says, "I think religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people. Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays. From my point of view, I would ban religion completely. Organized religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate."

In other words, Elton John is saying that since religion bans homosexuality, religion should be banned. Elton John, as a gay man, feels persecuted by religion so his solution is to turn that around and persecute the religious. He attacks religion for it's lack of tolerance, yet he shows the same lack of tolerance for those with religious beliefs.

I'm not denying that there are religious people who hate gay people. There are even those who have persecuted and committed terrible acts towards gay people in the name of religion. Clearly, that isn't what Christians stand for and how they should be acting. However, claiming that organized religion doesn't work and that it isn't compassionate is ignorant.

Maybe we should ban religion, it tends to grow more explosively in areas of persecution... Christianity's growth has been explosive in areas such as China and Africa. Within 25 years, the World population of Christians is expected to grow to 2.6 billion with 67% living in Africa, Asia and Latin America. A few more statistics for you...

  • The church has grown more in the 20th century than in all the previous 19 centuries since the time of Christ combined
  • Every year, ~27 million people profess faith in Christ as Savior for the first time
  • The amount of Christians in China is expected to swell to 135 million by 20205

Elton John also thinks that religious people aren't compassionate. If that is true, I wonder why religious observers, who only account for 38% of all Americans, give 2/3 of all charitable dollars in the US. Religious observers give an average of 3.4% of their income annually, while nonreligious people give only 1.1%. Not to mention the fact that many large charities and non-profits have religious ties and roots.

Elton John says that organized religion doesn't seem to work. Maybe it "doesn't work" because it doesn't fit into his lifestyle. Anyone who reads the Bible will find that there are things that don't fit nicely with the way we live our lives. There are passages in the Bible that make us uncomfortable because they point out our sinful actions. The Bible shows us that we don't love people, that we aren't compassionate, that we're self-serving, prideful, and deceitful. So perhaps when we feel like it "doesn't work" because it doesn't fit with the way we are living, it actually is working just the way it should...