John Lennon Did Not Imagine That "All Religion Is True"

So Cee-lo Green sings “Imagine” before the ball drop and, as has been done before, the lyrics are appallingly sanitized, changing “no religion too” to “all religion is true”. It’s sheer cowardly pandering bullshit. If you can’t respect the ideas of the song then just don’t sing the song. Leave it alone. Don’t twist it to say the very antithesis of what it was meant to say. I don’t even particularly like the song very much. But don’t take something deliberately provocative and counter-cultural and neuter it as an expression of inoffensive, bland conformity. Don’t take his dream of the end of religion and swap it out with a dream that all religions be equally accepted as true and good and pretend those are remotely the same things. They’re antithetical ideas.

And so to censor John Lennon’s rejection of religion—while not censoring his rejection of nation states and not even censoring his rejection of private property, which is something far more integral to stability and prosperity of the modern world—again exempts religion from equal criticism on no legitimate grounds. Yeah, maybe the new version still offends fundamentalists since it declares “all religion is true” and that’s not exclusivist enough for them. And, yeah, would rather see “true religions” than worry specifically about having no religions. But neither of those were Lennon’s dream solution to the plague of pointless religious conflict that has unnecessarily divided human beings for centuries. And that should be respected. The dissenting voice should be respected. Not those institutions and individuals who are intolerant of all dissent from their baseless dogmas.

Maybe next year on New Year’s Cee-Lo will read us passages from Christopher Hitchens’s book God Is Great: How Religion Fixes Everythingor Richard Dawkins’s The God Solution.

__________________________________

James Sweet has a great set of lyrics suggestions for Cee-Lo if he ever wants to just go whole hog and turn Lennon completely from a radical to a mainstream liberal.

Your Thoughts?

If you enjoy reading my philosophical blog posts, consider taking one of my online philosophy classes! I earned my PhD and taught 93 university classes before I went into business for myself. My online classes involve live, interactive class discussions with me and your fellow students held over videoconference (using Google Hangout, which downloads in just seconds). Classes involve personalized attention to your own ideas and questions. Course content winds up tailored to your interests as lively and rigorous class discussions determine where exactly we go. Classes are flexible enough to meet the needs of both beginners and students with existing philosophical background

My classes require no outside reading or homework or grades–only a once weekly 2.5 hour commitment that fits the schedules of busy people. My classes are university quality but I can offer no university credit whatsoever. New classes start up every month and you can join existing groups of students if you want. Click on the classes that interest you below and find the course descriptions, up-to-date schedules, and self-registration. 1-on-1 classes can be arranged by appointment if you write me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com.

rsz_1dr_daniel_fincke_online_philosophy_class_ethicsrsz_1online_philosophy_class_dr_daniel_finckersz_1online_philosophy_class_mind_language_dr_daniel_finckersz_2online_philosophy_of_religion_class_dr_daniel_finckersz_1social_and_poltiical_online_philosophy_class_dr_daniel_finckersz_1online_history_of_philosophy_class_dr_daniel_finckersz_1online_introduction_to_philosophy_class_dr_daniel_fincke

Patheos Atheist LogoLike Camels With Hammers and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

Different Fundamentalists, Same Covered-Up Child Abuse

Captain Picard Sings "Let it Snow"
Are Religions Unfair to Women?
Joe Cocker Has Died
About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X