If your only news source was atheist blogs, you might think that Cee Lo Green butchering John Lennon’s classic, “Imagine,” on New Year’s Eve was the big story (okay… you’d probably still know about the Iowa caucus coming up and Rick Santorum saying he doesn’t want to give money to black people to make their lives better).
I watched it live and I actually remember thinking, as he started singing, “I wonder if he’s going to say ‘and no religion, too.’” He didn’t; he said “and all religion’s true.”
I actually ranked “Imagine” as #2 on my list of anti-religious songs, and I frequently find that most people are either oblivious to the lyrics, or they will actually just hum certain parts they disagree with… which is weird to me, because I don’t omit mentions of God or Jesus when I sing along to songs. I even have a top ten list of songs I like that mention religion.
Frankly, I was more surprised that he sang about the parts where we are asked to “imagine no possessions” while donning a huge gold watch and a fur coat. I was also amused to hear that he cursed people out on his Twitter account when they criticized him for butchering one of the few songs that actually promotes non-belief (then tastefully deleted all his comments). How very Christ-like.
Does it bother me? I guess a little… atheists can’t even have that one line without some religious asshole hijacking it on live TV for the whole nation to see. On some superficial level, it pisses me off, but I’m not going to go on some tirade like Bill O’Reilly might and claim there’s a “War on Atheism.” It’s just business as usual: douchebag religious people being their usual douchebag selves, making everything is about them, and ensuring that nothing they may disagree with is ever uttered in public.
Fuck revisionists, and their religion, too.
On the bright side, while what he did was dumb and marks him as a mindless hack in my eyes, it got people talking about how this is another example of atheism being marginalized. I wouldn’t call the incident a blessing in disguise, but it certainly was a bald PR windfall wearing sunglasses at night.