In the last Out100, we dubbed Stephin Merritt "rock's curmudgeon emeritus." Fresh off the release of the Magnetic Fields' new album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, the sardonic front man is living up to that reputation in a recent interview with New York magazine.
Asked about religion, Merritt responded, "If I had to adopt a religion, it’d definitely be Taoism, because it consists of agreeing with the phrase, 'It’s probably best to take the middle path.' I don’t agree with that statement, but it doesn’t have any other requirements. Whereas with Catholicism, I would disagree with all of its statements. I don’t know where to begin."
The interviewer went on to ask Merritt about the Catholic stance on gays, which, if you're unfamiliar, is generally negative:
Like maybe, as a gay man, you’d begin with its notions of sexuality?
Oh no, no, no, no. That wouldn’t be in my top 1,000 objections.
I’ve noticed you try not to take a political stance. But with the recent publicity over gay suicides and the coming election, would you reconsider that?
Do you think there is a candidate who is more against teen suicide than another candidate?
I’m talking about gay rights.
Uh, what about them? Do we know that there’s any correlation between gay marriage and teen suicide?
Fair enough. But many wonder if gay marriage were accepted, that could be more of an impetus for people to accept same-sex relationships.
Why speculate? There either is or there isn’t [a correlation]. It shouldn’t be all that hard to find out because teen suicide is, fortunately, actually rare.
Well, scientifically he may have a point. But we'll take that as a "girl-don't-even-go-there" in terms of asking him to lend his voice to more political endeavors.
Photo: Gavin Bond