Driving to work this morning, channel hopping on the radio, I stumbled across the John Lennon classic ‘Imagine’.
Obviously I started to sing along to it, badly….
Then I realized that the song had been changed and I nearly drove off the road in a rage.
These are the original lyrics from the second verse, I just looked them up….
Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do
No need to kill or die for and no religions too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
The end of the second line had been changed to ‘…and one religion too’
Now obviously I was on ‘God Squad FM’ or something but the bastardization of the song and the meaning behind it was a terrible insult.
What John Lennon was saying when he wrote that line was that by removing the differences, we can all work together and follow a common aim.
Just imagine a world without religion ?
No 9/11, no ‘troubles’ in Ireland, no problems in the middle east, no Palestine, no Holocaust, no holy wars.
I wonder just how many lives have been lost over arguments over who’s god is the biggest, best, strongest, fastest ?
As I type this, there is a family in Pakistan waiting to find out if their mother will be hanged over blasphemous comments. These comments were made during a heated argument after the woman dipped her cup into a water bucket and her co-workers complained that the water was contaminated as it had been touched by a non-muslim.
With no religion, her life would be safe.
It is easy to think that this is simply a case of muslim intolerance. But even with the US’s ‘freedom of speech’ there is little tolerance of anti-christian rhetoric. The average christian is anything other than tolerant of other religions. The average ‘born-again’ christian is even worse. The process of being born again, whatever that means, appears to strengthen their inability to tolerate other religions or anything that they see as non-christian. It seems to me that ‘organized religions’ teach that their beliefs alone are true. This carries the implication that all other religions are false or untrue to a greater or lessor extent. The implication is that you are either ‘with us or against us’ appears to apply. The more extreme religions appear to teach that those that do not follow their ‘true faith’ are obviously devil-worshiper or worse, out to undermine their religion.
From what I remember of religious studies and church sessions as a teenager, the message was generally that by following the teachings of the various religious writers, you could live a wholesome life and be rewarded in some kind of after-life. To me this seemed to mean that life is some kind of test and how well you do at this bit determines your position in the next stage. It was never clear if there was a stage after that, or even if there was a stage prior. Perhaps Human life is the last test, but prior tests involve working your way up the food chain.
Maybe the first test is to survive as plankton, then maybe as a fish or a crab or an ant or a bird or something.
Then maybe as you complete each test you step up the food chain. Maybe this step is where you gain your consciousness?
It all seems pretty crazy to me.
What seems even crazier is that people are killing each other over an argument that boils down to something like ‘my imaginary friend that lives in the sky is bigger/better/more powerful than your imaginary friend that you say lives in the sky.’
This is what John Lennon was saying, in a world without religion, there would be no need to kill each other just because they believe in the wrong imaginary sky dweller.
Perverting the song to promote your own beliefs is sacrilegious. It is like painting a sponsor logo on the Mona Lisa or representing your imaginary sky dweller as your race.