Rose French writes about religious and spiritual matters for the Star Tribune. Before arriving in the Twin Cities this fall, she covered religion for the Associated Press in Tennessee, where she wrote about the Southern Baptists, United Methodists, Gideons and other religious groups and issues.
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Pop star Cee Lo Green is still catching heat from John Lennon fans and others for changing the lyrics to Lennon’s “Imagine” while performing the iconic song live on television in New York’s Time Square Saturday night.
Instead of “Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too,” Green sang, “Nothing to kill or die for, and all religion’s true.”
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of “God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World,” is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor and had some interesting thoughts on the controversy:
“This change has performed something of a minor miracle: bringing atheists and evangelicals together in common cause. Atheists are outraged that Green is messing with what they see as an anthem for their cause, while evangelicals object to his view that all religions are true.
“Green has also infuriated Beatles believers, who see tampering with any Lennon lyrics as tantamount to rewriting the Bible. On Twitter, more than one Beatles fan has quoted Cee Lo Green back to himself: “Forget you” (or worse).”
“The message of “Imagine” is simple. Here Lennon allows himself to imagine what Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of as a “beloved community” wrapping its arms around the entire planet. Three things need to go away for that to be possible: countries, religions, and possessions.
“So this was not some minor cut Cee Lo Green did to the song on New Year’s Eve. It was major surgery on Lennon’s “one world” vision.”
What do you think? Should Green have changed the lyrics?