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Switch to Forum Live View Censoring John Lennon
2 years ago  ::  Jan 02, 2012 - 12:59AM #1
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,156
On New Year's Eve, rapper Cee Lo Green changed the lyrics to John Lennon's imagine from "and no religion, too" to "all religion's true."  The censoring of John Lennon's original lyrics - essentially flipping an atheistic message into an endorsement of religion - has created a lively debate.

What do you think about this?  Was it an accident?  Was it an attempt to promote religion?  Was it censorship becaus atheism is too hot to handle on New Year's Eve?  Is it likely to be the last time somebody does this? 
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2 years ago  ::  Jan 02, 2012 - 6:58PM #2
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,900

BS"D


This reversal of John Lennon's lyrics by the rapper is, to me, to be expected.  The MO of every religion, including my own, is to take what exists and recast it into something that applies to the particular people.  If anybody listens to the rapper's intentional reversal of John Lennon's lyrics it could definitely be made a case of intentional indoctrination.  But if the audience of the rapper is inherently deistic (irony of ironies as rapping was supposed to be freedom of expression AFAIK) then it is no big deal - rather than being a case of indoctrination it is merely a case of "preaching to the choir."  Sadly, for one such as myself, this turns me off of listening to the work of this rapper or anyone who makes use of his "remix" of Lennon.  This is because the inherent subjectivity of religious "truth" should NEVER be paraded in public as a universal absolute.  Even within any extant religion "truth" is extremely malleable depending upon the times and circumstances.

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2 years ago  ::  Jan 02, 2012 - 11:41PM #3
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,156

You make an interesting point.  Religion has a tendency to synthesize.  Christianity reinterpreted the Old Testament.  Some would argue that Paul reinterpreted Jesus.  Islam reinterpreted both the Old and New Testaments.  Even the Buddha reinterpreted Hinduism.


These new syntheses pose a dilemma of sorts.  The success of a new religion depends, to a certain extent, on its ability to read the old in a new way (what Jesus called "wine in new bottles") - even if that synethesis is aesthetically pleasing but intellectually dishonest.


For example, there is an Old Testament prophecy in Isaiah, about the coming forth of "Emanuel."  Matthew cited it as proof that Jesus was God Incarnate.  As Matthew explained, before Joseph took Mary as his wife, she became pregnant.  Matthew cited this as fulfillment of the passage in Isaiah saying that a virgin would conceive a child to be named Emanuel.  Emanuel (imanu-el) literally means "With us is God."  The suggestion is that Jesus, whose birth had to be a miracle, was the child born of a virgin.  That child would be "Emanuel" in the sense that God was now "with us."


But anybody who stopped to actually read Isaiah would discover that this prophecy has nothing to do with Jesus.  Isaiah was summoned to report to the King of Judah after reports that the Kingdom of Israel (the northern 10 tribes) was considering an alliance with the Assyrians.  Showing up to provide comfort and counsel , Isaiah asked the king to call for a sign.  When the king refused, Isaiah said that a virgin (a young woman) would conceive and bear a child.  This child would be called "Immanuel," which literally means, "with us is God."  The point of the story is that a child would be born, and that before he was old enough to speak, both foreign kingdoms would lose their leaders.  The feared alliance would not last.


Reading the Bible for myself, I find many places where I have to decide whether I want truth or inspiration.  All religions opt for inspiration, forcing the thoughtful to suppress inconvenient truths hiding in plain sight in order to offer the spiritually hungry a Happy Meal.

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2 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2012 - 6:33AM #4
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,900

BS"D


Yeah, this makes me to understand what the original inhabitants of Australia call their Dreamtime.  Holy texts are the published "dreamtime" of the various religious adherents.  To make something more of them (or less as the case may be) seems to cause nothing but evil and suffering in this world IMHO.

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2 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2012 - 6:39PM #5
mountain_man
Posts: 38,049

Jan 2, 2012 -- 12:59AM, BillThinks4Himself wrote:

On New Year's Eve, rapper Cee Lo Green changed the lyrics to John Lennon's imagine from "and no religion, too" to "all religion's true."  The censoring ....


Uh.... that's not censoring. Not even close.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2012 - 11:05PM #6
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,156

Jan 3, 2012 -- 6:39PM, mountain_man wrote:

Jan 2, 2012 -- 12:59AM, BillThinks4Himself wrote:

On New Year's Eve, rapper Cee Lo Green changed the lyrics to John Lennon's imagine from "and no religion, too" to "all religion's true."  The censoring ....


Uh.... that's not censoring. Not even close.




It depends upon the intent.  If you take, at face value, the rapper's stated reason for changing the lyrics - that he wanted to say people have a right to believe what they want - it's not a clean case of censorship.  But then one has to wonder why he felt he needed to change the lyrics at all.  If John Lennon wrote, "and no religion, too" - which would be offensive to a number of religious groups - and this guy sang, "and all religion's true," it's obvious that the meaning of the message has been altered.  If it was done because the lyrics were objectionable it is, of course, censorship.

Anybody can engage in censorship.  It doesn't have to be the government.  It doesn't have to be the network.  Anybody who omits or obscures something, to avoid offense, is engaging in some kind of censorship.

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2 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 6:12PM #7
mountain_man
Posts: 38,049

Jan 4, 2012 -- 11:05PM, BillThinks4Himself wrote:

It depends upon the intent.


No, it does not. Nothing said in the revised lyrics was about telling Lennon that he could not, or should not, say what he did.

Anybody can engage in censorship.


No one here, except you, have engaged in any form of censorship.


It doesn't have to be the government. It doesn't have to be the network. Anybody who omits or obscures something, to avoid offense, is engaging in some kind of censorship.


I cannot agree with that. There needs to be some kind of direct suppression. In this case, the revising of a few words in a song, can, in no way, be considered censorship.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2012 - 10:08PM #8
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,156
MountainMan, you don't make any sense.  How have I censored anybody by criticizing someone's version of a song?  If you criticize my argument does that, by your own logic, mean you're censoring me? I would think a better defense of the guy, beside artistic freedom, is to point out how - from a practical sense - he's saying the same thing. Literally, he's contradicting Lennon - as "no religion too" is literally opposite to "all religion's true." What makes it all come out in the wash is the practical reality that to allow all religion to be true is to deny the exclusivity of any single faith. The only.way to do that is to argue that what's true about any and all religions is what's true about myths, fables, fairy tales and punchlines. It's the truth behind the storyline that matters.
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2 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2012 - 10:17PM #9
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,900

Jan 5, 2012 -- 6:12PM, mountain_man wrote:


... In this case, the revising of a few words in a song, can, in no way, be considered censorship.





BS"D


Indeed?  The addition of "under God" to the American pledge of allegiance significantly changed the meaning of the oath of allegiance into a deistic affirmation.  And the Christian Right DOES claim that reverting the Pledge back to its original form consitutes religious censorship.  And indeed it does, but that is a form of censorship mandated by the Constitutional provision for the separation of Church and State violated by the addition in the first place.


So changing something by adding something which changes the fundamental meaning may not technically be considered censorship, but removing what existed and substituting something else altogether certainly does as it censors John Lennon's own words replacing them with the exact opposite from an ignorant deist.  The substitution of the Satanic Verses may alone not be considered as censorship but the eradication and negation of the original for which they were substituted certainly is.


For an excellent illustration of this form of censorship, please refer to "Animal Farm" by George Orwell.

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2 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2012 - 11:18PM #10
mountain_man
Posts: 38,049

Jan 6, 2012 -- 10:08PM, BillThinks4Himself wrote:

MountainMan, you don't make any sense....


Your argument makes no sense, I'd explain, but then you'd probably accuse me of censorship too.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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