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Remembering John Lennon

Hard to believe it's been 27 years but it has. I'm in NYC this week visiting my Mom and will stop by the Dakota later today to pay my respects.

Rest in peace, John. You remain in my heart now and forever.

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Ah yes ...

John Lennon, that humble soul who proclaimed at the height of Beatles? fame in the 60s, "Christianity will go. We?re more popular than Jesus now."

Better to forget Lennon and others of similar ilk.

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i believe the quote was closer to

"more people have heard of the beatles (today) than jesus (in his time)"


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(NT) Of course it was...
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The quote...

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink.... I don't know what will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity. We're more popular than Jesus now. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

You know, he was a good songwriter and part of a pop phenomenon, that's it. Politically he was an idiot and by all accounts as a person he was a miserable jerk.

I like his songs, but there's no reason to revere him.

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The quote, IN CONTEXT....

...was in reference to the decline in interest in religion among British teenagers at that time. The statement was also factually correct within that context. It was the American media that turned it into a circus, complete with record burnings.

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It was a pretty dumb and arrogant statement.

Lennon was, after all, trying to sell his product. Intelligent marketing does not gratuitously attack cultural or religious icons. It's called a lose-lose strategy.

He was, of course, also wrong. Jesus will be revered and worshiped long after the Beatles fade into historical oblivion. I wonder if, even today, there are many kids who even know who they were.

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It was an offhand remark...

at the time (as a teenage Beatles fan) I thought way too much was being made of it, and I still think that today. He was a pop star; an entertainer, not a philosopher or leader. He was not that deep a thinker IMHO.

If Lennon were alive today he would probably be laughing at those who deify him.

Same thing is happening nowadays with Oprah's political musings. I can't believe people are taking her so seriously.

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ain't that the truth!

The British public took the comment as what is was: An opinion voiced by an artist known as much for his hummingbird mind as for his considerable talent. In July, however, an American teen magazine called Datebook quoted the infamous Jesus statement without reprinting the original article. It appeared as part of a cover story called "The Ten Adults You Dig/Hate the Most."

The American reaction was instantaneous. Radio stations across the country, but especially in the South and in the Midwest, stopped playing Beatles records. Death threats began pouring in, directed against not only John, but the other Beatles as well. Bonfires appeared, with Beatles pictures and albums providing the fuel. Maureen Cleave tried to explain that "John was certainly not comparing the Beatles with Christ. He was simply observing that so weak was the state of Christianity that the Beatles were, to many people, better known. He was deploring, rather than approving, this," but to no avail.


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Even then, PR people knew how to try to spin a stupid

or ill considered comment to try to alter the meaning of what was said. Some people actually believe the spin.

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John (reluctantly) held a press conference to explain

In it he commented that if he had said television was more popular than Jesus, there would likely not have been any fuss about it. He felt that it was because he used the Beatles as the point of reference that it got misinterpreted.

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(NT) Yep, he was a Sean Penn ...
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It may well have been an offhand remark. It was still

pretty dumb and arrogant. Offhand remarks are a remarkable way to glimpse a person's soul, and the view was not very flattering.

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What's wrong with being arrogant?

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Sure Josh, sure it was ...

The quote and the FULL CONTEXT in which it was used can be read here:

Lennon's response(s) and the usual appologists denial and spin can all be located here:

Exactly NONE of it refutes the statement not the context in which it was used.

Reid has been quoted as saying we have lost in Iraq despite all evidence to the contrary and his most ardent wishes. He has been reading the MSM about Iraq (as lennon was said to be about religion) so does that somehow change the context of Reid's equally vapid and blasphemous utterings? Not just no, Jopsh but HE__ (double toothpicks) NO!

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(NT) {yawn}
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That;s correct, Josh.

He was speaking to a journalist friend in England, and was referring to the British teens.

BTW, the Catholic Church accepted his apology,

We were big fans, and enjoyed them with our children. (The kids had Beatles wigs, cards, and guitars.)

When that story broke, our reaction was that it was true. We discussed it with our children, as well, in the context in which it was said.

I think I once told you that my husband met him at a booksellers event. He signed a copy of "In His Own Write" to our daughter. My husband described him as soft-spoken and friendly.

Josh, there are/were other entertainers, artists, writers, etc. that I especially enjoyed. Some had "feet of clay". But that does not detract from their work and the pleasure it gave me.

I'm sorry this was even brought up as it serves no useful purpose except to put down a person you and others admire.

Speakeasy Moderator

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he said LATER that he was referring to British teens. Nothig in the original statement indicates that.

But really, who cares?

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A current equivalent......

....might be to say that Britney Spears is more popular than Jesus within certain demographics. Making the observation and believing it to be a good thing are not the same.

John was NOT suggesting that the Beatles deserved to be more popular than Jesus, which is why he later said that had he used television as his point of reference, it would not have caused such a ruckus.

I was fortunate enough to meet him once as well, and saw him and Yoko around the neighborhood several times. We lived around a mile apart.

I'm also sorry this subthread was started at all.

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I'm sorry Josh...

"I'm also sorry this subthread was started at all."

I was probably the one to start it with my deleted post to Edward. I just couldn't keep my peace when I read it...


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Ed's reporting of the quote was verbatim, as was mine. Lennon was not saying anything about how well Jesus was known in his own time.

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I believe that you should CHECK before ...

making incorrect statements.

I do apologize for omitting the elipsis (but the omission in no way changed the content) but the full quote was:

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right, and I will be proved right. We are more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first -- rock'n'roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me." - -- John Lennon to British reporter Maureen Cleave for the London Evening Standard, March 4 1966

No more "Deals"?

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Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink.

Did he say when?

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why should i check?

you do it for me, thanks....

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right, and I will be proved right. We are more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first -- rock'n'roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

We are more popular than Jesus now; isn't that what i said?.....

isn't that what Lennon said? wasn't he making a point about the immense WORLD WIDE popularity of the beatles?


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Yes, that's what you said. No, he didn't say what you said.

The full quotation makes that clear. He was not referring only to his contemporary scene.

BTW, history has now shown just how wrong he was.

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if i said what he said, and you say that i said it then how come i didn't say what i said he said......Wink

like it or not, more people (30 years ago) knew of the beatles than the number of people who knew of jesus when he was alive, and like it even less maybe, but that was the point of lennons remark...


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That may be true except for one minor point,


In spite of the attempt to spin the quotation, we do actually have the quotation in all its glory. I know you would like to rewrite the quotation, but that simply will not work.

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I was there today. Beatiful as usual!

He IS a man to remember Josh. Thanks for posting about it!

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I think you mean he was a man to remember.

Unless there is a God, the man he was no longer is.

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to me he IS a man to remember. His music and his artistic work still live!


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Few people have heard this I think...

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