Ian Anderson: You Don’t Have To Be Christian To Support Church
Ian Anderson is proud to support the Church – even though he’s not a Christian.
In the same way, he’s a supporter of gay rights despite not being homosexual. He doesn’t see any contradiction in his position, although he understands other people do.
The Jethro Tull mainman tells Surf-Drift: “The average person spends several hours a week indulging in non-work activity. Some people play darts, dominoes, or, God help them, golf.
“I don’t do those things, so my interests outside of music are more conservation or human rights related, on subjects that I’m fairly passionate about.
“For instance, I’m a passionate supporter of the Christian Church, but I’m not a Christian — let’s get that one straight. And nothing will turn me into one. But I’m a supporter of the culture, tradition, and physical edifices of the cathedral, so I believe in doing my little bit to keep the lid on the buildings.
“I’m also a supporter of gay rights, but – as far as I know – I’m not a homosexual. It doesn’t mean that I should not be able to support these things.
“Some people see this as a big contradiction, but to me there’s no contradiction at all. After all, to be a good paleontologist and teach about dinosaurs, you don’t necessarily have to have sharp, pointy teeth and a long, scaly tail.
“You can become knowledgeable and concerned about something without necessarily becoming one of those entities that you’re in support of.”
Anderson recently toured Israel, a move he accepts is regarded as controversial by some. But he explains: “Simplistic, occasionally well-meaning souls think boycotting Israel is going to achieve something.
“But I go there to meet people from different organisations, and raise money for charitable bodies connected with the co-education of young Israeli Arabs, Jews, and Christians.
“Most people wouldn’t find anything wrong with that, but there are those well meaning but inane fools on the right wings of both the Jewish and Arab worlds who do.
“They just want you to stay in bed – but if you don’t engage, you achieve nothing.”
He recently said that no decision had been made over the future of Jethro Tull, and none is likely until he’s completed his Thick As A Brick touring commitments in 2014.
Now he adds: “It really all depends on whether the Rolling Stones decide to pursue their plan to recruit a flute player for their reunion tour next year. I’ve been waiting to see if I get the call from Keith or Mick – but so far I haven’t had that lucky nod.”