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Defending the Faith: John Lennon was wrong, but right at the same time

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  • Robert Kelly Orem, UT
    Aug. 22, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    I read this article without knowing who the author was and then very surprised to find out it was Daniel Peterson. Daniel Peterson is a very smart individual and surprised he could not connect the concepts and words together that are common sense to most people that know the lyrics. "Living for today" is clearly meant on how people view the world today and not specifically a 24 hour period which Peterson believes. Phrases like "Being a christian today" and "How people think about today's world" come to mind. People make a lot of bad choices based on a belief of what will happen in the after life. Lennon clearly meant it this way since he talked about no heaven and no hell right before he said "living for today".

    Living for today means making decisions and choices that affect people right now and at this time in the world. You have anti-mormons shouting at conference goers because they think they are going to hell and you have people bombing themselves along with others because of their belief of what will happen in the after life. Bad choices people make because they do not "live for today".

  • sharinlite Lake Forest, CA
    Aug. 20, 2012 7:38 a.m.

    As a Senior citizen that listened to the Beatles and the song "Imagine" a favorite....at my age today, I found the lyrics strange and bland. Because, it has been my experience that people like John Lennon and celebrities world round don't truly understand what they are promoting....but you see, they have tons of cash at their disposal, so to be "in" with whatever happens to be the crowd of today is the thing to do. John was an avowed communist because he never clearly saw the destruction of the human spirit in countries around the world that felt they knew best how man should live: their way! Freedom takes such a wrenching responsibility when you don't have the assets of these folk but, it gives the individual a deep abiding love for man....John grew up hard and didn't "work" for his money...his voice, his lyrics did it for him and he, of all people should have seen the difference and could not. What does that say about the man?

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Aug. 18, 2012 11:45 p.m.

    I tire quickly of people who see themselves as the ones with the only right perspective. For example, we lost nearly 60,000 Americans, butchered countless Asians, and spent hundreds of billions in Viet Nam, and got absolutely nothing to show for it. Now we're spending hundreds of billions we don't have to squabble with the neanderthal peasants on the other side of the planet, and we don't really even know why we're there anymore. John Lennon was a musical genius, but he didn't really know much about economics or government. Just like today's celebrities, people expect more than is really there. I think he was well-meaning when he wrote the song, and was a pretty decent guy in most ways--but I too think it was bad choice for closing ceremonies.

  • Nachtmerrie_in_Brugge Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 18, 2012 10:26 p.m.

    "Nothing to kill or die for"

    Really, Mr. Lennon? Not even the right to sing those lyrics in public?

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    Aug. 18, 2012 11:27 a.m.

    As often happens, I look at some of these comments and wonder whether they've read the same article I did.

    Peterson never said that everybody has to believe exactly what he does, didn't "paint a happy face on the abuses of religion," didn't attack John Lennon personally, didn't argue that good effects of religion prove there's a God . . .

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Aug. 18, 2012 7:32 a.m.

    It is a beautiful song. I just don't think most people carefully listen to the words. I know I didn't for a long time, then I did. Wow! How could such a beautiful song preach such a depressing message? But it does.

    I was stunned when this song was played at a memorial of the 9/11 victims. I wondered again, is anyone listening to the words?

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Aug. 18, 2012 2:41 a.m.

    You would have to have a wild imagination to think that 'above us is only sky'.
    Hubble telescope photos have revealed so much more.
    Then there is the hidden from earths view center of our own galaxy.
    Lennon was not just closed minded but was being led by a dogmatic belief system of the elite London bankers who want to own and control the whole earth with their chains of darkness.

    In fact the lyric 'I'm not the only one' is referring directly to this banking dynasty.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 17, 2012 7:25 p.m.

    Let's paint a happy face on the abuses of religion over the centuries and then attack a song choice made in an event in another country and diss the singer 32 years after his death. Yeah, that's constructive. Why, everyone simply must have the same views as Petersen. Why, we need to judge the man, even though Petersen might be advised to go back and re-read President Uchtdorf's talk in the last conference. This article really bugs me.

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Aug. 17, 2012 7:16 p.m.

    Thinkman--nice ideas. Live a good life, that's what my non-religious parents did and it's good enough for me. I admire those who believe, annoyed by those who say they know. They are only kidding themselves.

  • bma SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Aug. 17, 2012 12:03 p.m.

    Steve Carrell (Barry) in "Dinner for Schmucks" had an opinon about this sing, too.

    Barry: In the words of John Lennon, "you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not."
    Tim: ...the only one.
    Barry: The only what?
    Tim: No, that's the lyric: "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."
    Barry: Oh, OK Tim.

  • Susan in VA Alexandria, VA
    Aug. 17, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    Oh my... "Imagine" if all the people in this discussion could just get along! This is a wonderful illustration of just why John felt he had to write the song. I'm sorry, it just makes me smile.

  • bma SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Aug. 17, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    I agree with Tyler D. For the author to devote a chunk of this article pointing out the benefits of long-term goals and hard work is hilarious. Totally missed the mark on that.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 17, 2012 9:45 a.m.

    RE:Lqqk, Mother Mary and let it be was a song for the legalization of "mary"juana.

    How about another possibility, Let it be," The words are those of Mary's fiat(not a sports car) to the angel Gabriel in Luke 1:38: "Let it be done unto me according to thy word."

    The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.(Luke 1:35)

    Paul McCartney, who was Irish on both sides of his family, and George Harrison, who had a devoutly Catholic mother, were baptized in the Church and raised as Catholics. Though Catholicism didn't take with any Beatle.

    Catholic culture and Marian images permeate a number of Beatles songs.
    Lady Madonna, children at your feet, Wonder how you manage to make ends meet.

    Father McKenzie, writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear, No one comes near.

    Lennon was baptized,in an Anglican/Episcopalian church. When time he was a teenager, Lennon was banned from the parish church his family attended for laughing out loud at a sermon.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 17, 2012 9:42 a.m.

    John Lennon challenges us to look at reality devoid of what people refer to as religion and patriotism. Where religion would burn people at the stake for saying the earth revolves around the sun as it has in the past, John would have us look within and imagine a better way, where people are allowed to believe differently.

    Where patriotism would whip us into a frenzy and have us kill others without just cause as it too often does, John Lennon offers a different and a higher vision.

    The civil rights heros of the 1960's were widely thought of as unpatriotic because they went against the national culture at the time. Yet because they dared to imagine and then pursue a better way, they were able to make their vision a national reality and we all benefit from this higher and better vision.

    Jesus said the kingdom of God is within us. John at some levels must have recognized this when he admonished us in the song Imagine, to when necessary throw off the shakles of so called patriotism, religion and culture and imagine a better way and then dare to pursue it.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 17, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    Holy cow, for a college professor this guy is certainly not the sharpest tool in the shed. When John writes "living for today" he is clearly talking about NOT living for some mythic afterlife, which taken to it's silly extreme leads people fly planes into buildings.

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    Aug. 17, 2012 8:19 a.m.

    I always liked the song musically, and there is a positive aspect to the peace and brotherly love theme, but you can't really think his message left any room for God when he wants us to imagine no heaven, no hell, no religion, and "above us only sky."

    The hippie philosophy was always a little misguided -- not in the call for peace -- but that the call for peace was always directed at the DEFENDER OF LIBERTY rather than the AGGRESSOR. There was (and still is by some) a warped idea that if WE would just back down and bury our weapons then the world would turn into tranquil paradise.

    Nope. Not going to happen. At least not until a sizable portion of the wicked are removed from the planet.

  • gcrobmd GADSDEN, AL
    Aug. 17, 2012 6:55 a.m.

    Atheists like to blame religion for many wrongs in the world. More than once I have heard Scandinavia cited as a largely atheistic society with a very low crime rate, supposedly proving this point. It is good to set the record straight about the horror that atheistic societies have done.

    Hatred, greed, lust, and power have often used religious ideals to masquerade as service to God. Like old-time cowboys dressed up like Native Americans, evil likes it best to use the name of God to spread its horror in the world.

    Right on, that the ideal society we all hope for, like countries without borders and caring for each other the way we care for ourselves---this is a memory of heaven, where the brotherhood of man is mentored through the Fatherhood of God.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 9:56 p.m.

    Believing in Santa Claus also makes children "nice" and compliant... but that does not mean Santa is real.

    Once again, Daniel Peterson shows that he is way in over his head in dealing with philosophical issues.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Aug. 16, 2012 8:03 p.m.

    Paul's mother was named Mary. The Beatles did a few songs about drugs but I never heard Let it Be was one of them.

    I'm with Daniel Peterson on Imagine (getting back to the article). Huge Beatles fan as a kid - and still am - and John was my favorite. But I didn't think Imagine was one of his better songs and it always struck me as a communist anthem - no heaven, no hell, no religion, no possessions. But I'm happy to hear it resonates with so many on this thread. My wife adores the song as well. All you Need is Love is better anthem for world peace in my opinion, even though it can be said to have some silly lyrics as well. Doesn't matter. Art doesn't need to make sense, only stir you in some way.

  • fkratz Portland, OR
    Aug. 16, 2012 5:39 p.m.

    Dr. Peterson comments: Still, "Imagine" is a silly song, and, surely, to at least a substantial proportion of those who watched and participated in the Olympics, it's a potentially offensive one.

    Given that "Imagine" is one of the top ranked singles of all time which has been played and sung almost equally with national anthems according to Jimmy Carter (who has visited 125 countries), it seems an appropriate song for the end of a world event. It is neither silly nor potentially offensive unless of course you are looking for some devious meaning to the lyrics. Perhaps Dr. Peterson should ask David Archuleta (LDS Church member) why he chose this song for his American Idol finale. Could it be that the younger generation doesn't feel it is "silly" at all? Could it be that the song actually inspires belief in world peace and harmony among the many ideologies trying to coexist on planet earth?

  • lqqk pocatello, ID
    Aug. 16, 2012 4:54 p.m.

    killpack:
    Mother Mary and let it be was a song for the legalization of "mary"juana.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 4:21 p.m.

    If that's how you define knowledge, that is fine. You are entitled to that definition. I define it a different way. To me, there is little difference between knowledge and belief. You say that I know there is a keyboard in front of me. Really? How do I know that? How do I know it isn't an illusion. I know, because I believe it, given my experience with keyboards. I have faith that given what I have been taught about keyboards, this thing in front of me must indeed be a keyboard. Could it be an illusion? Of course it could, however improbable. How do I know there is a God? I know, because, like the keyboard, I believe. I have faith He is there, given my experience. I've seen things happen, firsthand, that are only explained by His existence. To me, I don't know this keyboard is in front of me, that it isn't some kind of illusion, any more than I know that God lives. That is how I define knowledge, and I am entitled to that, as you are entitled to your own definition of what it is.

  • sanpaco Sandy, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    @Thinkman

    You assume that something can only be KNOWN if it can be universally known. That isn't even remotely true. For example I happen to know lots of things that you don't. I know that I have a blue mouse. You can choose whether or not you beleive me, but you can't know until you see it. Same goes with God and/or religion. If I happen to have come to a knowledge of God that doesn't mean you have or even that you can by my telling you that I have. You only come to know something through your own efforts. Seeing isn't the only way you can come to know something. I can't hear the color blue, and I can't see music, but I know they both exist. Most people come to a knowledge of the existence of God because they FEEL His influence in their lives.

  • donn layton, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    Re: bald man running, consider the setting. The first two verses are a war protest song, like many in the 60's. True, Did you ever consider the effect Lennon had on the american military in Vietnam?

    In March 1969, Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, stayed in bed for two weeks to protest the Vietnam war, Seeing that was depressing for me and other patriotic American military.

    One month later I left with others for Vietnam. One later I was discharged at Travis AFB and when we arrived at the S.F. airport we were spit on and harassed by the Weather Underground, Bernadine Dohrn, Wife of Bill Ayers(Obama friend). Their biggest sign was “Imagine there is no USA.”
    Somehow most of Vietnam era students who are todays college professors(Peterson)and my cousin who also avoided Vietnam service.

  • sanpaco Sandy, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 4:02 p.m.

    @Thinkman

    You don't KNOW what anyone else does or doesn't KNOW, you only BELIEVE you KNOW.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    killpack,

    You KNOW you have a keyboard of some sort that you typed your comments to me.

    You may BELIEVE I will read your comment but you don't and won't KNOW until and if DesNews accepts this comment from me and then you read with your own eyes this comment.

    You won't KNOW that there is an afterlife or a God or supreme being or beings until you die or see God or a/the supreme being.

    I choose to live by the creed I stated in my first comment and find the joy and fulfilment in life because I choose to. I choose to be happy by first my attitude and feelings and second by my actions. You can choose to be happy by how you live whether that includes believing in a religion and living its tenets or not.

    I choose to not be controlled by others' views or constraints. Therefore, I am happy. For you and others, you may need to have a religion or others dictate for you how to live your life. I wish you the best in that lifestyle.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 2:42 p.m.

    Thinkman, I think it very noble of you to be motivated to live a full life, regardless of what happens afterward. Unfortunately, some people, myself included, cannot live that way. Some of us have an unhealthy love for drugs, alcohol, etc. that we simply could not beat without a belief in a better life after death. Sure, it would be nice if I could, like you, just do the right thing and live life to the full, just because. For some of us, however, this life just isn't that cool without Jesus and salvation from the horrible things of this world. That much I know with 100% certainty. Can I, or anyone, know there is a God? You have asserted that it isn't possible. But how do you 'know' that? Did you read it in a book? Did someone tell you? Or is it just a belief, as some people believe in God. Do I know there is a God? How would you know I didn't? I certaintly believe in God and consider that the same as knowing. Either way, it's all the same to me.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 1:53 p.m.

    Whether there is a God or not I do not know, nor does anyone.

    I believe in God or a supreme being. There has to be more than just this mortal estate. I hope there is. But if not, I will live each day that I have breath to the fullest and live with no regrets. I will treat others with kindess, courtesy and strive for excellence in all I do. I will be a devoted, caring and loving husband and father.

    Then, when I die, I will let nature take its course as I have no control over what lies beyond death.

    I want peace and have a thirst for knowledge and to seek and gain wisdom and truth. I don't need to follow a religion for my happiness or for my placement in station after I die. Again, I don't know if I will continue to live in some form after my physical body dies. I hope I will, but I nor ANYONE knows if there is a life of any form after death.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Aug. 16, 2012 1:45 p.m.

    Maybe I'm not the only LDS "hippie" out here after all--even if I'm not a native Californian! It's too bad so much of what was said was said in a drug/alcohol-induced state, since without that it would have been more credible. And we lost some great talent to that, as well. Imagine will join my playlist entitled "Free That Pore Ol' Hippie!" as a hats-off to my youth and continued idealism. I really hope that the spirit of that time, and the desire to make a more hopeful tomorrow, never becomes something lost to us.

  • MarkJohnson1956 WESTLAND, MI
    Aug. 16, 2012 11:47 a.m.

    @Tolstoy
    That "kid" has a name: Daniel Gene-Vincent Sorensen. He was born in Provo, on September 22, 1981. He has two Uncles and one Aunt living in Utah. He was killed on Nov 7, 2007. The murder was happened in Canton, Mi. and was so heinous the trial was broadcast on Court TV. His 17 year old, self professed atheist, killer was found guilty and is now doing life without parole. Tolstoy, I recognize that "Christians" have been responsible for the killing of millions of innocents throughout history. My point is that MANY of the Atheists I've talked to or have read their writings seem to think that getting rid of Christianity would make the world a nice rosy place to live. My point is that Atheism is not the Nice, Sweet, Perfect World Lennon wanted everyone to think it would be. People can be evil regardless of personal beliefs. So yes Christians kill but so do Atheists.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    Everyone, even John Lennon, has a religion, or some way to live, that he or she follows. For some it is sex, drugs and rock n roll; for others it is putting on Sunday clothes and paying respects to God in a church house. To say the world would be a better place without different ways of living is silly, because it is impossible. Sure it would be nice if we were all united, but so would a lot of other impossibilities. A more realistic and practical dream would be to live free from oppression, religious or otherwise. Sure, some of you are probably thinking, 'that was John Lennon's point; without religion that wouldn't exist in the first place.' No doubt it was. However, it's impossible. I will never see 100% eye to eye with every person I come across. Nor will any of you. We all need to accept that. And live with it, peacefully, without infringing upon the liberties of others. I like Paul's words of wisdom better, or rather, Mother Mary's: let it be.

  • bald man running ,
    Aug. 16, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    People -- consider the setting. The first two verses are a war protest song, like many in the 60's. He's not debating or postulating about whether or not there is a God or a heaven or hell, he's pining the fact that these ideals are used to justify war over and over again in our human history. If there were no disagreements about who goes to heaven or hell, or who lives in what country so we must fight them, etc., there would be no war, and the "world would live as one." The third verse is an anti-poverty, pro-"United Order" (if you must), rant against social injustice. Stop looking for ways to be offended by it and you'll see it's really a rather beautiful sentiment all the way around. And this coming from a card-carrying LDS God-fearing dude (just for full disclosure).

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Aug. 16, 2012 11:15 a.m.

    When I was younger and thought I knew so much, I, too, thought this was an atheist song. But now that I am older, and able to get some perspective on it, it occurs to me that it is not an atheist song. It doesn't say we should leave out God. The Scriptures don't mention specific religions, either. John Lennon and the Church both talk about living for today, and if we plan to make it to the Celestial Kingdom, we certainly can't put things off until tomorrow, can we? As for heaven or hell, I'm sure he was doing the best he could with the knowledge he had. But then, so was a 14-year-old boy who couldn't decide what to think, when all the adults around him were confused about things of faith. So he just went to the Scriptures, and followed the Savior's invitation. Who knows, maybe John got a personal invitation after his untimely death?

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    If you walk by the "Medicinal Herb" shops in California and here this song blaring on their speakers and watch the pot smokers lazily wander the street you see the nirvana Lennon was singing about.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    @MarkJohnson
    So of course an atheist kills a kid you know so atheism is bad. I don't suppose you apply that same overly simplistic logic to Christianity thanks to the thousands of avoid Christians that have killed other peoples sons and daughters right?

  • meinmt HUTTO, TX
    Aug. 16, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    As someone who didn't have the fullness of the gospel, Lennon could only see the great destruction that has been done for millenia in the name of religion. In that vein, I can see how his view of a world without all these excuses to kill could only be an improvement and the only real chance for peace. Sure, we feel otherwise - that "religion" that is truly based on Faith in God should bring peace, not destroy it. That dreams should inspire men to be better. That countries should be a source of pride and home. But far too often these things are the outward show of inward pride which destroys all.

    Whether or not I agree with the exact wording of the song, I definitely agree with Lennon's ultimate message - can't we all just get along? Please? The only place to find an affirmative answer today is, sadly, in our Imagination.

  • cbm Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    Many thanks to the author, I agree with him. I have been wondering for years if anyone else heard the problem with this song as I did. I have taken it the way Daniel Peterson has. On the other hand, like with any song or poem, the listener can understand it the way he hears it. I'm just grateful I'm not alone.

  • MarkJohnson1956 WESTLAND, MI
    Aug. 16, 2012 9:46 a.m.

    The Son of a very close friend had his life taken by an atheist. Enough said!!!!!

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    On Monday, the first news story I read about the closing ceremonies described "Imagine" as the highlight. I agree completely. What a beautiful song.

    Far from being an "atheist anthem," "Imagine" is better seen as John Lennon taking a stand for "God is love." I thought it was the perfect music to reflect the unity among nations and athletes at the closing ceremonies.

    As far as "living for today," Lennon was right. "Living for today" is a Good Samaritan philosophy, where the Good Samaritan tended to the immediate needs of an injured man, while the more "religious" types passed him by, perhaps because their minds were focused on something a lot farther down the road.

  • Raeann Peck Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    Some of the most serious sin is what separates us, especially in violence, one from another in the name of religious belief or unbelief. I'm troubled by the ways people of faith are portrayed and ridiculed nowadays in media. So much intolerence and prejudice, such lack of godly love, kindness, and patience alienate and polarize us. I fear where this is leading....

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Aug. 16, 2012 8:37 a.m.

    I am sure that most of us 'imagine' a better world, but the path to that realization should never be confused with anarchy. And to oppose the oppression of a government is not anarchy, in my terms, anarchy is attempting to live without restraints; without consideration and responsibility for one's own actions.

    President Spencer W. Kimball once lectured a group of businessmen at a retreat in Idaho. He explained that the only way to become better and truly successful was to come to know and understand Christ better - for he alone accomplished greatness on his own merits without degrading others.

    Granted, a lot of evil has been perpetrated throughout history in the name of religion, but that does not condemn religion, only those who try to corrupt it for their own selfish gains. That was never Christ's message and he promised to cast all of those off who tried to commit sin in his name.

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 8:33 a.m.

    When I look at the world today and see all the hate that is justified by religion and violence that is done in the name of nationalism I can understand a songwriter asking us a question to imagine what things would be like if we didn't have these things.

    It seems somewhat like the same question that was asked by a young boy in 1820 when he saw so much dissension around him and wanted to know what the true religion was.

    I also think it was an appropriate song to play at the closing ceremonies of the Olympics where the world had just come together for 2 weeks and we all joyed in the stories of athletes from all over the world and the challenges they had to face to get there and the personal victories they had even if they didn't win a medal.

    When I saw the woman running with her veil on, I understood what John Lennon was asking.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Aug. 16, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    I was never a Beatles or John Lennon's fan for that matter. However, "Imagine" as a song is a masterpiece.

    Of course, we can put it down as hippie philosophy. But it doesn't change the spirit of the song as something in which most human beings believe and hope for. Not so called Christians, or Muslims, or Hindues, or any other label, just human beings living in peace.

    No heaven and no hell. Why Christians want to go to Heaven? interest? Why they try to avoid hell? fear? If that is the case, we have interest and fear as motivators for behavior. John Lennon sounds way more enlightened than that.

    Personally and as most people who have been part of religion and walk away from it, I love God and humanity, we don't need man made organizations.

    No religion and no God are two different things. I will continue dreaming of a world without countries and without religion. I will keep on living for the day, making every day the best day I can make for me and those around me.

  • Susan in VA Alexandria, VA
    Aug. 16, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    He said "no religion" he didn't say no God nor did he reject a belief in God. I see this song totally differently than an atheist song. He spoke (as did Jesus) of loving one another and taking care of each other. Would that happen? Probably not. But "Imagine" if it did. No heaven and no hell... we wouldn't need them as we would all live together in spirit peacefully. He is imagining the world as I would like to see it. God did not set the world up that way and I accept that... but especially in this contentious election year I would like to "Imagine" we could all just get along. Sadly that doesn't happen.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 16, 2012 8:19 a.m.

    I believe Mr. Peterson reads far too much into the lyrics, and errs when calling Imagine an "atheist anthem".

    I agree with elarue that it was an idealistic expression in a turbulent time, wishing for the absence of injustice committed in the name of religion, nationalism, race or social status.

    Ultimately, what is the United Order? Certainly, it invokes religion, but more than religion, Charity, the pure love of Christ.

    I believe "no religion" speaks to the divisiveness of organized religion railing against organized religion. If he had known about the LDS Church, and the principle we espouse of "allowing all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may", he may have adjusted his lyrics. But then again, from an outside perspective at the time, we were oppressive toward Blacks, right?

    Idealistic? Perhaps. But Christ himself suffered all with the hope that ALL would come unto Him. All inclusive. All partakers of the blessings of eternity, joint heirs with Christ. Just Imagine.....

  • Full-on double rainbow Bluffdale, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 8:19 a.m.

    For starters, I like to imagine a world without religious apologetics. Because, you know, its easy if you try.

    @antodav
    I always thought it was common knowledge that John and Paul were the creative force behind the Beatles, and to a slightly lesser extent George, and Ringo...well sorry Ringo.

  • Monk Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    I can (ahem) "imagine" that John Lennon was not unlike millions of others who look around and see much of what is posed to them as "religion" as repressive to many, distasteful, and extremely hypocritical. I happen to have found a religion that I know is not that way. But, I know many who haven't had the same options, religiously speaking, as I have had offered to me.
    It doesn't upset me to hear what is on someone's mind. It doesn't threaten me. I think he just wanted a peaceful existence of some sort. That is actually a noble intent. If Lennon feels that way about religion and what he understood to be "heaven", it doesn't upset me. I feel differently. But I am sure if I am given the chance, I would love to just talk to the guy (civilly) and see what was on his mind and why. He might let me share too.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Aug. 16, 2012 7:45 a.m.

    @elarue, please ask your spouse, as a former Russian citizen, what life was like living in the kind of society John Lennon wished to create, which is what existed there prior to 1990. Then get back to me about how great his "hippie idealism" was.

  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    Aug. 16, 2012 7:31 a.m.

    I for one, love the song. As an American citizen married to a Russian citizen, imaginging "there's no countries" is something that resonates very deeply with me. And while as a member of the church, I disagree with the sentiment about imagining "no religion," I would love to imagine a world without the bad behavior committed in religion's name, even by those who share the same religion that I do. Honestly, the world would be much better off if we had more "hippie idealism."

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Aug. 16, 2012 7:19 a.m.

    At least somebody finally psychoanalyzes this song deeply and realizes how atrocious its message is, instead of just getting swept up in the melody and its stupid hippie idealism…besides me…although it's still far too kind to John Lennon. Paul McCartney and George Harrison were the real talent behind the Beatles.