Lennon continues to rest in peace

So, in case you missed the big news, the Vatican recently forgave John Lennon for claiming that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Lennon made the claim during an interview in the mid-60s, likely because “more popular than fuck” hadn’t been coined yet. Here you have a bunch of 20-somethings who had almost redefined “craze,” were stoned much of the time and were on the verge of becoming held hostage to their own success. The Jesus descriptor probably wasn’t strong enough.The fact that the Vatican gave Lennon clemency suggests to me that they’d condemned him at some point. It raises a couple of questions, but also shows the depth of the Vatican’s vapidity. First things first: one of the few things that’s clear in the later Bible is that there’s no getting out of hell. It’s a final verdict on an entire life. Add to this fact the Pope’s infallibility and we’ve got guys sending souls to a hell from which they can never escape and then issuing posthumous pardons.
So there’s that.
But what’s really revealing - aside from the fact that th
e church continually counts on people not being familiar with their rules - is the choice of antics requiring condemnation and forgiveness.
Years later, when Lennon’s fame had reached the point that on a multi-billion population planet people referred to him as John and no one thought “Bible contributor,” he wrote an anti-deist anthem. Besides claiming that he didn’t believe in God (or the Beatles for that matter) Lennon sang: “God is a concept/By which we measure our pain.”
I’m not certain how the Vatican missed this nugget - the song might have come out when Popes were dying and being replaced with some regularity - but it is a seriously more blasphemous statement than “We’re more popular than Jesus.”
The only thing their silence on the second, more blasphe
mous, elocution reveals is how irrelevant the church was already becoming in the world. The church was still reeling from the fact that it could no longer just torture people to death and, I guess, figured the next best thing was to show it could kill the career of any young upstart who crossed it.
Well done.

So whether the whole “God is a concept” thing really went under the papal radar or if they felt singed that a man they’d condemned was still able to put out a popular record containing the message more than 10 years later isn’t really a question worth answering.

Lennon spent his years of Catholic exile becoming a popular icon for peace and rationality that more than exceeded his actual work. We forget that he dissed Yoko for years, shacking up with a way better-looking Asian woman and that the famous bed-in was more an indicator of his lack of star power than evidence of his ability to command culture.

Instead, we remember Lennon as a long-haired, bearded martyr who stood only for peace and was killed because a small-minded person thought he was a hypocrite. A full 18 years after his death the Catholic church’s decision to remind us of the first time they responded with a knee-jerk reaction to something they saw on television boggles the mind.

*Images lifted from www.redstateson.blogspot.com (Pope) and www.friendcodes.com (Lennon).


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