All Lennon did was point out the obvious!
What Lennon said after fundamentalist Christians in USA began burning Beatles LP's and memorabilia:
"I was pointing out that fact, in reference to England, that we meant more to kids than Jesus did or religion at that time. I wasn't knocking it or putting it down, I was just saying it for the fact."
The following is excerpted from KEEP HOPE ALIVE-
Chapter One: The Morning After April 4, 1968
“Now, Jack, you have a very wild look in your eyes; I hope I have not disturbed you too much. Please, understand that it would be violence upon a soul to rush the work of God. A stage one or two* should remain that way until God beckons them on.”
Mary and Khaled had returned to the kitchen just as Jack’s eyes bored into Raid's, and his voice cracked, “You know, Mr. Riad, I’d like to tell you why I tuned out the institutional church. Up until I was about eight years old, every Sunday morning was spent standing in a glass-encased room that was called, and literally was, the cry room. I would stand at the soundproof glass and watch this show on the other side. My brother Mike was an altar boy. I’d make faces at him, hoping to crack him up, but he never looked my way. Every so often, I’d hear the priest’s voice filter through the loudspeaker above my head. But it was all Latin to me: and back then, it really was! I see myself now, just as I was: surrounded by squirming kids and uptight adults, engulfed by the sounds of crying and whining, and I truly believed that was church. Once my younger siblings had grown, we got to be in the main room. It was OK.
“But when I turned fifteen in 1963, three things occurred. By Thanksgiving that year, I was overfilled with images of JFK being shot and John-John during that motorcade. I still can’t get that little guy in his short coat with his knees exposed out of my head. He saluted as the casket rode by, but nobody knew why it had to be that way. And life as I had known it all changed. But God is good, and three months later, the gloom had gone. For the Beatles appeared on a Sunday night in my living room, and the world as I had known it was never the same. Recently, John Lennon made a comment to a reporter that the Beatles were more popular with my generation than Jesus, and he was right on. My friends and I know every lyric to every Beatles song, but nobody ever quotes Jesus.
“Lennon made me think about my own hypocrisy, and that led me to drop the church. It happened at weekly confession; there I was at the altar, on my knees and mindlessly repeating the same old prayers as the week before. But on that day, it was for the last time. In the middle of the three Our Fathers and ten Hail Mary's, it hit me like a light. These words that I uttered never changed anything, and I got up and walked out for the very last time. But now, I understand; I’m just a stage one! The thing is, you have given me a lot to think about. Maybe I was just born into the wrong faith?”
Ahmad smiled even wider and exclaimed, “Jack, a Hindu would advise you to follow the path you have been born into. Seek God in your family tradition. Seek where you have been placed. If, after you truly seek God there, you do not find him, then go seek him wherever he leads. Now, have you heard what Gandhi said about Christianity, Jack? He said that it was a most excellent religion; they should all try it.”
“Too bad Gandhi wasn’t there during the Crusades! Those barbarians tortured and burned people at the stake! What kind of Christian could rationalize that? So much hypocrisy! I will not give my soul over to another. No institution is going to control me!” Jack announced triumphantly, and then continued, “My best bud Al is a Jew, and we both have tuned out what our elders have offered—too many rules! Besides, I think Christians can be real cowards, or else they were sleeping while Hitler was gaining power. I hate to think it, but maybe it was because they are anti-Semitic?”
Riad interrupted, “I won’t comment on that, but in 1965, the Second Vatican Council issued a declaration on the relationship of the church to non-Christian religions, condemning anti-Semitism, and recognizing ‘the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham’s stock.’ Now, I realize nineteen centuries of anti-Semitism and some very unholy behavior will not erase the sins of the fathers, but with this new revelation begins the healing. Hope emerges every time a wrong has been admitted and corrected.”
Art had returned unnoticed and had silently stood in the doorway until Riad finished and then softly spoke. “Excuse me. The book Sylvia had been reading to me while we traveled--it’s a collection of Einstein’s essays. I was driving down your street when a white cat darted in front of me, and I hit the brakes. The book fell on the floor, and that cat flew up a tree and sat, and just stared down at me with his icy blue eyes. The book fell open to ‘The Calling of The Jews.’
"I quote: ‘This is a time when there seems to be a particular need for men of philosophical persuasion—that is to say, friends of wisdom and truth—to join together…We Jews should be, and remain, the carriers and patrons of spiritual values. But we should also always be aware of the fact that these spiritual values are and always have been the common goal of mankind.’ Einstein’s advice should be heeded by all men of good will. But it seems to me that we all can claim to do God’s will, and yet we all can too easily justify unjust behavior.”
The Muslim and the Jew locked eyes, and tears welled up from within them both, and then overflowed at the same time. After a time of timelessness, Riad softly spoke. “I offer you Thomas saying forty-eight, and I quote: ‘Jesus said, “If two make peace with each other in a single house, they will say to the mountain, ‘move from here’, and it will be done.’”
Art exhaled smoke as he spoke directly to Khaled. “I just flashed onto another memory about how you came to be the owner of a ’41 Pontiac with a dent in the side door that--” 1 | 2
”Oh, no, Art, you can’t tell that one without me first laying the foundation. I remember it well. Jack, did I tell you that my friend here, Art Pearlman, hired me while I was still in college? Right on the spot and he never regretted it. Art was the director of the assistant-engineer-in-training program at the John Deere Company, and supervised with an iron hand and warm heart. While still a sophomore at State University of Iowa, I was promoted after four months on the job to be Art’s right-hand man. We had become like brothers! Jack, remember when I told you about Gloria breaking my heart? Yes, well, Art watched me brood the entire week after we broke up, and he refused to allow me to keep my broken heart to myself!”
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