Apologetics imagine-de-john-lennon

Published on July 4th, 2011 | by Gary DeMar

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John Lennon: Republican? Theist? Anti-Evolutionist?

Former theist and now self-avowed atheist Dan Barker, who is co-president of the Freedom of Religion Foundation, promoted a “Beware of Dogma” campaign using billboards that also included the line “Imagine No Religion,” borrowed from John Lennon’s atheist national anthem “Imagine.” I wonder if the FRF’s call for everyone to “beware of dogma” includes the dogma of atheism which is funded by my tax dollars in government schools.

Recently we’ve come to learn that Lennon was embarrassed by his early political and social radicalism. Fred Seaman, who worked with Lennon from 1979 to his death on December 8, 1980, claims that the music legend “was a Ronald Reagan fan who enjoyed arguing with left-wing radicals who reminded him of his former self.” Seaman continued:

“I also saw John embark in some really brutal arguments with my uncle, who’s an old-time communist… He enjoyed really provoking my uncle… Maybe he was being provocative… but it was pretty obvious to me he had moved away from his earlier radicalism.

“He was a very different person back in 1979 and 80 than he’d been when he wrote Imagine. By 1979 he looked back on that guy and was embarrassed by that guy’s naivete.”

In a series of interviews published after his death, “[t]he man who famously called for imagining a world with ‘No religion’ also jettisoned his anti-theism,” Jordan Michael Smith of The American Conservative writes. “‘People got the image I was anti-Christ or antireligion,’ he said. ‘I’m not at all. I’m a most religious fellow. I’m religious in the sense of admitting there is more to it than meets the eye. I’m certainly not an atheist.’”

Not only did Lennon reject atheism, he also rejected extreme forms of evolution. He instinctively knew that there was something special about humans and different about the animal world even if he did not how the theory of evolution is argued.(1):

“Nor do I think we came from monkeys, by the way,” he insisted. “That’s another piece of garbage. What the hell’s it based on? We couldn’t have come from anything — fish, maybe, but not monkeys. I don’t believe in the evolution of fish to monkeys to men. Why aren’t monkeys changing into men now? It’s absolute garbage. It’s absolutely irrational garbage, as mad as the ones who believe the world was made only four thousand years ago, the fundamentalists. That and the monkey thing are both as insane as the apes standing up suddenly.”

What happened to Lennon? Why did his views change? He grew up. He matured. He was willing to look reality in the face without blinking and say, I was wrong.” The man who imagined a world with “no religion” and “no possessions” left an estate of more than $275 million, “not bad for one who referred to himself as an ‘instinctive socialist,’ for one who believed in the abolition of ‘all money, police, and government.’”(2) His early flirtation with the theory of socialism was naive.(3) He knew that sending money to poor nations was counter-productive.

When it was pointed out that a Beatles reunion could possibly raise $200 million for a poverty-stricken country in South America, Lennon had no time for it. “You know, America has poured billions into places like that. It doesn’t mean a damn thing. After they’ve eaten that meal, then what? It lasts for only a day. After the $200,000,000 is gone, then what? It goes round and round in circles.”

It’s time that atheists and liberals follow Lennon’s lead and also grow up. Atheism and socialism are literal dead ends. They are destroyers of people and societies. If there is no God, then Lennon’s death at the hands of Mark David Chapman was the result of the survival of the fittest, the fittest being Chapman.

We don’t have to imagine what our world would be like without religion. Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924) gives us a window into such a world:

Our propaganda necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism. . . . We shall now probably have to follow the advice Engels once gave to the German Socialists: to translate and widely disseminate the literature of the eighteenth-century French Enlighteners and atheists.(4)

The French “enlighteners” worshipped reason. “[T]he success of the physical and other sciences in England in the seventeenth century,” Robert Conquest observes, “gave the French intelligentsia the idea that everything could be determined by Reason—in whose name the Revolution was made—with the ‘Romantic’ input from Rousseau as part of the meld.”(5) What was the result? The guillotine and blood in the streets. All together now, “Imagine no religion. It’s easy if you try.”

The atheism that spawned Communism was very reasonable and led to the deaths of 100 million people in the 20th century. When I made this statement in response to an email I received, I was met with this challenge: “Who are these high priests of atheism exactly? Name them and quote them. Then I want to know how many people were killed in what country during what period exactly and who killed them, within a million or so. I need you to account for all 100 million Gary, or close to it. I have history books in three languages and they don’t mention a word about atheists killing anyone.”

Lenin, Stalin, Cambodia’s Pol Pot (remember the “killing fields”?), Romania’s Nicolae Ceauşescu, China’s Mao Zedong, North Korea’s Kim Il Sung — all atheists and Communists — committed well-documented atrocities that led to the deaths of mega millions. The authors of The Black Book of Communism (1999) offer the needed documentation that the e-mailer demanded me to produce. Tony Judt of the New York Times writes of the book:

An 800-page compendium of the crimes of Communist regimes worldwide, recorded and analyzed in ghastly detail by a team of scholars. The facts and figures, some of them well known, others newly confirmed in hitherto inaccessible archives, are irrefutable. The myth of the well-intentioned founders — the good czar Lenin betrayed his evil heirs — has been laid to rest for good. No one will any longer be able to claim ignorance or uncertainty about the criminal nature of Communism, and those who had begun to forget will be forced to remember anew.

From The Black Book of Communism he can move on to Robert Conquest’s Reflections on a Ravaged Century (1999) and The Great Terror (1990). Conquest writes:

Organized irreligion in the twentieth century committed atrocities on a scale that the fiercest religious wars never approached. The scientific racism of Nazi Germany killed forty million and attempted genocide against Europe’s Jews. The scientific socialism of the Communist countries killed a hundred million (and still counting) people around the globe. As the Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has noted, people in the West routinely invoke the Spanish Inquisition as an example of religious horror. And they are right to do so. But the Inquisition, in the course of three centuries, and after legal procedures of a sort, killed fewer people—probably around three thousand—than the Soviet Union killed on an average day.(6)

It is significant to note that “after 1949 when the communists took control of China, the first new text introduced to all the schools was neither Marxist nor Leninist, but Darwinian.”(7) With Darwin, all things are permissible. For a fleeting moment, Communism was seen as the new god that would save the world. But even here, disillusionment set in as the logical extension of its materialist assumptions were worked out consistently.

On the atheist foundation of Marxist Communism, see Religion in Soviet Russia: 1917–1942 (1942) by N. S. Timasheff, the doctoral dissertation The Role of Atheism in the Marxist Tradition (1979) by David B. T. Aikman, Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless (1998) by Daniel Peris (a summary of the movement can be found here), and the three-volume A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies by Dimitry V. Pospielovsky (1987). For the most comprehensive study of the philosophical roots of Communism, take a look at Francis Nigel Lee’s Communist Eschatology (1974). There are 120 pages of chapter notes with 30 to 50 notes per page in the 1100-page volume.

Barker’s Freedom From Religion Foundation has a lot to live up to. The billboard people in Grand Rapids, Michigan, refused to display the atheist advertisement. I think they should have done it. Churches should have countered with a billboard that reads:

Imagine no Religion? We already did — 100 million dead!

Endnotes:

  1. Evolutionists do not claim that humans evolved from monkeys but that humans and simians evolved from a common ancestor. It’s possible that Lennon knew the difference but rhetorically used “monkey-to-man” evolution for rhetorical effect. His dig at six-day creationism shows that he was aware of the competing position.()
  2. David A. Noebel, The Legacy of John Lennon: Charming or Harming a Generation? (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), 11.()
  3. Maybe he was persuaded by the lyrics from fellow-Beatle George Harrison’s “Taxman.” Its lyrics attack the high levels of progressive taxation taken by the British Labour government. At the income level of the Beatles, it was 95 percent. In the January 22, 1981 Playboy interview (Lennon was interviewed in September 1980 by David Sheff), Lennon admitted that he “threw in a few one-liners to help the song along.” In a later version of the song, Harrison added “If you’re overweight, I’ll tax your fat.”()
  4. Vladimir Lenin, “Socialism and Religion” (1905): http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/dec/03.htm()
  5. Robert Conquest, Reflections on a Ravaged Century (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1999), 4: http://www.wwnorton.com/catalog/fall99/conquest1.htm()
  6. Robert Royal, The God that Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West (New York: Encounter Books, 2006), xvii.()
  7. Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (London, England: Rider & Company, 1984), 24.()
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About the Author

Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, His most recent book is Exposing the Real Last Days Scoffers. Gary lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and four grandchildren, Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).



16 Responses to John Lennon: Republican? Theist? Anti-Evolutionist?

  1. Los says:

    I hated this guy John Lennon!! he made a film about being a soldier but never served in the military but sure did go out of his way to protest the Vietnam War — Spawned degenerates and traitors like Jane Fonda whose actions in North vietnam are unexcusable! If he grew out if his stupidity thats too bad – too late because he made a lot of people angry with his biased view of the world. Political Correcdtness police say that yo have to be held accountable for offending someone through an email but no one told John Lennon to shut the hell up with his Imagine piece of crap! That was and still is offensive to me. lastly to the Atheists as a good Christian I am supposed to tell you the good news of Salvation through Christ but truly if you dont want to belive I dont care — I know how difficult it is to be a Christian and it will take years of getting kicked hard in the ass before atheists turn to teh Lord on their own accords — I will suffer for this but I amnot going to help them! dont believe, I dont care! Roast!!!

    • Mark Tully says:

      Judging from your reply to me, I’d dare suggest that your method of “telling the good news” needs some…refinement. Were I what you accused me to be, I’d be very disinclined to convert.

  2. Mark Tully says:

    Mr. DeMar,

    I have published a response to this article at http://restorus.org/articles/culture/arts/one-more-reason-not-be-republican

    It is a critique from someone writing on the Right, despite the title.

    • Los says:

      Tully
      Screw you — Give me a good reason to be a marxist ass-sucking coward Liberal Democrat ?
      What the hell would you know about being a Republican when you cannot conceive of caring for something other than yourself? What do you know about being focused upon our Republic? You are a slimy little creep who takes and is destructive. Screw you

      • Mark Tully says:

        Los,

        A good reason to be a “Marxist ass-sucking coward Liberal Democrat” would be that at least you’d read my article before calling me names. Perhaps you didn’t even visit my home page, Restorus.org, which aims at being a right wing, conservative research site. My criticism of Mr. DeMar is that he’s too far left.

        I dare say that if you were a real conservative, you wouldn’t talk to someone that way. The Right has always been about manners, culture, and decency. Name-calling, vulgarity, and ignorance are things of the Left – which continues to influence the Republican party in pretty profound ways. That is why I think that being a Republican is a dead-end strategy for those on the Right.

  3. Gary this is a wonderful article! I have researched John Lennon’s life for many years — have written many articles about him, read many books, know many who knew John. You are absolutely correct in your assessment. John did grow up by the time he died, and the late interviews in Dec of 1980 bear all this out, these are direct quotes from Dave Sholin’s interviews, whom I interviewed last year. I have spoken to Fred (Seaman) about what John was like in those last years. He had mellowed a great deal.

    To the prior commenters who don’t believe this is all true, it’s absolutely true. The books and interviews have been out there for years. But the interviews come and go and people forget. And the history gets re-invented, especially in terms of what Yoko Ono prefers to have out there. She hangs her hat on the radicalism and left-wing views of 69-72 that she and John espoused– to this day. (See LENNONYC–the documentary)

    May Pang, the woman who was John’s girlfriend for many years, (another thing Yoko would like everyone to forget) also remembers when John met Mr. Reagan and said “he liked him better than Carter!” She affirmed that John had mellowed a great deal by the mid 70′s. John was TAKEN ADVANTAGE of by the radicals in 71-72 and figured it out and moved on.

    Even in 68 he was a bit unsure of the left approach. The song “REVOLUTION”—(listen to the words)–was a message to the activists who were into violence to get their point across–saying “if you want money for people with minds that hate, don’t you know that buddy you’ll have to wait!”

    Thanks Gary, well done.
    Shelley Germeaux (John Lennon Examiner)

  4. Virginia says:

    It’s possible, though why I never discovered this before he died I wonder why; I might’ve had more respect for him then. I did read a story somewhere where he attended this lady’s church and liked the experience. If Ron Silver could wake up before his death, so can others. Maybe Christopher Hitchens could. I thought Anne Rice did but did she renounce all that she renounced before? While I wish there was a list stating the media’s religious-or non-religious- preferences, I believe religion to many is a private affair;still, it’s nice to know what you share in common, like God’s love for example.

  5. Gregory F says:

    “’Nor do I think we came from monkeys, by the way,” he insisted. “That’s another piece of garbage. What the hell’s it based on? We couldn’t have come from anything — fish, maybe, but not monkeys. I don’t believe in the evolution of fish to monkeys to men. Why aren’t monkeys changing into men now? It’s absolute garbage. It’s absolutely irrational garbage, as mad as the ones who believe the world was made only four thousand years ago, the fundamentalists. That and the monkey thing are both as insane as the apes standing up suddenly.’”

    “What happened to Lennon? Why did his views change? He grew up. He matured.”

    Sir, are you as pathetically misinformed about evolution as John Lennon is? I don’t learn science from my songwriters and neither should you. Men did not evolve from monkeys. All primates share a common ancestor. Anyone who takes more than a passing interest in biology knows why “men aren’t turning into monkeys now”. And he thinks that “maybe we came from fish”. Not sure if you agree with that uneducated thought and don’t care.

    • cyoder says:

      I didn’t learn my science from songwriters either, and I was taught that man did come from monkeys. What evolutionists believe is constantly changing as more and more facts come to light that are difficult to reconcile with what they have been believing.

  6. Guy Tuten says:

    I know john Lennon had a bad start but if he changed in his last years that’s great I don,t know because just like the rest of you I did not know him so I go as God tells me believe that all can change and come to him all it takes is to give your heart to him and his son and ask for forgiveness and accept him as you Lord and Savior

  7. Ken Roberts says:

    The spark of belief is in every human being it is put there at birth . It is something that tugs at all of us from time to time . What we do with it is up to each individual . As for me I take my journey willingly with Jesus . The question is what will you do.

  8. David in MA says:

    John Lennon is dead?
    WOW! how about that!
    Good.

  9. David in MA says:

    John Lennon went where the money was and did what it took to get it.
    BTW~~~
    Is John Lennon an American citizen?
    No?
    Then he should be quiet!

  10. Vincent says:

    Too bad about his early demise. Couple more years, he might have embraced the cosmogony of Genesis. Then he really would have ceased being a nowhere man.

  11. Matthew says:

    John Lennon made those above quoted statements? I can hardly believe it.

  12. aSeattleConservative says:
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