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Elton John Prefers ‘Higher Power’ Over God

In a recent interview with Fresh Air’s Terri Gross, Elton John explains why he prefers a “higher power” over God:

GROSS: You almost left rehab because - well, one of the reasons … was when it got to talk of a higher power, when it got to, as you describe it, the God talk, you felt like that is just, like, ‘not for me.’

JOHN: Yes.

GROSS: And you really thought seriously about leaving. So, I'd like to know what upset you so much about the God talk and if you were able to find a way into that talk?

JOHN: Well, the God thing, I was angry [because] God, for me, represented a punishment. You know, God will punish you for doing this; God will punish you for doing that. I hated the word God. And I really resented the word God.

And then someone said to me, ‘Listen - do you believe in something greater than yourself?’ And I said, ‘Of course I do. There's been so many things in my life that have happened by chance or just, you know, decisions I've made that have been prompted by something inside of my soul.’

Of course, I only have to look up in the sky to believe in something greater than myself, or I'll go walk in the field or look at a mountain. And they said, well, then that's it. Use it. That's how - say higher power instead of God. And I went, I can do that. I can do that.

It doesn't have to be the punishing God that I … learned in Sunday school. It can be a higher power that … sends me messages. And I accepted that, and I came to terms with that, and that was really very important to me.


Terri Gross, “Elton John on Music, Addiction, and Family: ‘I’m Proud of Who I Am Now,’” NPR Fresh Air, (10-14-19)

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