Friday, March 6, 2009

The Cathedral To Ring "Imagine"

Over at the Church Times Dave Walker has discussed the ringing of Imagine, the 1971 song by John Lennon, on the Cathedral Bells.  He goes on the ask readers to vote if this should be done, given the lyrics and all.  The last vote I saw was 70% against and 30% in favor.  It seems that many years after John Lennon's death the religious right is still out to crucify John Lennon.  More aptly, there is a large chunk of the population that did not think beyond their pew when John said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ and now, today, they still cannot.

John railed against the establishment.  The hollow words and vicious action we as a group, as a society, spoke and acted upon.  When he wrote this song he looked at those things that held us back from becoming one group acting in concert.  Religion, more aptly the practice of religion by so many folks was fraudulent.  John believed the practice of Religion did not follow the great teachings of Christ in Matthew 26.  It allowed people to go to church on Sunday and kill people on Monday.  It allowed people to preach "God's word" and perform corporate theft. It allowed the first world to be smugly comfortable and not help those in need.  He feared that if people were either afraid of hell and/or working toward heaven they would not help people in the here and now.  

Imagine no possessions 
I wonder if you can 
No need for greed or hunger 
A brotherhood of man 
Imagine all the people 
Sharing all the world 

You may say that I'm a dreamer 
But I'm not the only one 
I hope someday you'll join us 
And the world will live as one 

If you ask me not much has changed since John wrote Imagine.  We still have a large group of people so caught up in the righteousness of their cause that they refuse to see the crushing needs right now.  The banks, the auto industry, the religious right are all examples of what and why John wrote this song.  I understand that many would vote against ringing this song out on the cathedral bells.  John liked to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.  Apparently the comfortable are even today reaching out to reduce John to an inconsequential musician from Liverpool.  What say, just for a change,  we give John a break.  He has been dead a long time so how about we start to read the lyrics and try to understand what John was trying to say.  John was a great musician and an even better poet.  Let's begin to recognize that fact and think with both heart and head.