Sunday, 23 November 2008
Forgive and forget.
It is not so often nowadays that I am incensed by items in the news. Today brought a brief piece on the radio that aroused a good deal of in-car ranting..
The Vatican has seen fit to 'forgive' John Lennon for his 1966 remark about The Beatles fame and it's relative importance when compared to that of Jesus Christ. (BBC News).
I have not been a fan of 'Imagine' for many years. I have considered it to be a clumsy, poorly written song suffering from over exposure by the media, wheeled out whenever a plea to the rich West's guilt is felt necessary. I have revised my thinking lately. It is coincidental but fitting that I was considering this as the news piece was aired.
Imagine is far from a clunky dirge. It has the gravity of any great folk song. The grammatical inaccuracy that has pricked my pomposity in the past is laudable and appropriate. The sentiments are increasingly suited to the times.
Lennon was not just right at the time. He wrote an anthem to anti dogmatism that would resonate so long as institutional mythology is supported by those least qualified to forgive..
Benedict may do worse than look to his favoured manual for a suggestion.. King James Bible
"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"
It may be considered uncharitable and irrelevant to emphasise those episodes of breathtaking cruelty perpetrated by the Catholic body. No one would think to blame Benedict and his bishops for the irrefutable facts of inquisition, invasion and mass murder. These are understood to have been historically documented however. As an indicator of what was to come, individual free thinkers were subjected to inquiry in order that heresy be effectively stamped out and the power of the Vatican reinforced.
Reasoning thinkers understand that the papal stand on contraception and termination continues to endanger lives and compromise women the world over.
Shifting opinion will be accomplished by logical argument and cultural adjustment however.
There is no reason to forgive. Theirs is a free thought. Collectively held and acknowledged as largely irrelevant but respected as a right.
Lennon was correct in his closing statement about the endurance of the Beatles music and the inevitable decay of religious belief. His creation has never prompted battles or genocide. The violence that erupted at the time of his statement was entirely focused on the band's product. Records and memorabilia was publicly destroyed. Reassuring counter statements were issued by schools and even by congress members anxious to divorce themselves from this unpopular young man.
No one suggested a Fatwa however. There were death threats but from within the Ku Klux Klan and lone gunmen.
The Faith based community gasped in affronted indignation and then forgot all about it.
There.. I can feel a cold wind blowing. It's about time. He'll need more than a frilly skirt to protect his fundamentals!