Thursday, March 4, 2010

On this day in 1966 . . .

. . . the London Evening Standard published Maureen Cleave's article, "How Does A Beatle Live? John Lennon Lives Like This," which quoted the opinionated Lennon as saying (now notoriously) that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." The rest, of course, is history.

For us living in the year 2010, it seems that the most relevant of John's remarks to Maureen about religion is the one that immediately preceded the comparison with Jesus: 'Christianity will go,' he said. 'It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right.' Now because John didn't provide specifics on when he thought this fate would befall Christianity, you can't say conclusively that he was wrong. But to this day, Christianity emphatically remains the world's dominant religion in terms of sheer numbers. And when measured by the "absolute number of new adherents" that it gains per year, it's also the world's fastest-growing religion. At this point in history, then, John's prediction is off. Badly off. He was probably much closer to the truth with his comment about Jesus.

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