NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Christian Examiner) -- Country legend Dolly Parton was featured in a Billboard interview last week discussing her 50 year presence in Nashville, the record success of her recent solo album, her gay fans and thoughts about what she described as judgmental Christians.
"They know that I completely love and accept them, as I do all people," said the 68-year-old east Tennessee farm girl turned country superstar about her gay following.
"I've had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love. I don't think we should be judgmental."
A long time supporter of same-sex marriage, Parton criticized Christians and church goers who may frequent her family theme park Dollywood, which is known to draw interest from the LGBT community.
"It's a place for entertainment, a place for all families, period," she said. "But as far as the Christians, if people want to pass judgment, they're already sinning. The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing."
The fourth of 12 children, Parton grew up singing in her grandfather's Pentacostal church choir and is no stranger to Christian ideas. In an interview with Country Woman Magazine earlier this year, she claimed her faith in God to be a significant influence in her life.
"It's all kept me sane. It's kept me stable. A belief in God is essential," she said. "You have to believe in something bigger than yourself. We grew up believing that through God all things are possible," Parton said.