Elton John has never been one to hold back his feelings. This time, he's ruffling a few feathers among Christians.

"I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East -- you're as good as dead," John tells PARADE.

Check out more of his candid interview on love, loss and "lunatics" ... after the jump.