George Michael, whose birth name was Georgios Panayiotou, was born in London, England and grew up there and Radlett, Hertfordshire, England.
Michael seems to have been exposed to Protestant Christianity as a school-age youngster in England, but as he describes it, the religion didn’t have much of an impact on him:
Two hundred children would hum vaguely decipherable hymns around me in the main hall each morning, and every once in a while I’d have to stop picking my nose to pretend I was looking for a number in my hymn book.
He praises England for being secular and criticizes the United States for being too religious–something he sees as a threat to the gay community.
His songs aren’t much of a help. He can sound like a believer in one song and an atheist in the next. My guess is that he’s using both ends of the spectrum as a songwriting tool and that he’s probably neither a religious man nor an atheist.
But it’s the fundamentalist Christians that he really loathes, as they appear to loathe him. When struggling with a case of pneumonia, the organization, Christians for a Moral America, openly prayed for the gay musician’s death. In response to the news, Michael made a point of differentiating between fundamental Christianity and the kind that doesn’t think gay people will go to hell:
I know for a fact that many devout Christians. . . are truly wonderful, kind-hearted men and women who take the best parts of that religion and live admirable, generous and loving lives. . . . But in my opinion. . . there are others who use their twisted interpretations of ancient scriptures as a pathetic excuse to be totally fucked up cunt-sucking bastards.
It is when Christians use the Bible to justify political beliefs that infringe on gay people, and in turn himself, that impassions George Michael above all else.
Michael is definitely liberal, but doesn’t toe any party line. He was happy to hear about California’s legalization of gay marriage (before it was reversed by Proposition 8). But he doesn’t think churches should be forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies if they oppose it.
He was an outspoken critic of former U.S. President George W. Bush and the Iraq War. His song “Shoot The Dog” is an attack on Bush and former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s cozy relationship. During a tour, when he played the song, a large inflatable caricature of Bush would appear, and after Michael unzipped its pants, a dog with a British flag on its back would pop out. The dog’s head was in a compromising position in the inflatable Bush’s crotch.
Conservative David Cameron didn’t fare any better than his Labour predecessor. Michael said this about the Prime Minister:
Cameron must be the most cowardly PM we’ve seen for decades.
So even though he was willing to criticize a liberal prime minister, he criticized him for being a puppet of a conservative. And even though he supported the church with regard to gay marriage, it seems to stem from a belief in freedom of–and from–religion. Conclusion: George Michael = another totally liberal pop star.