Atheist Liberals Rage at Cee Lo Green for Altering Lennon's 'Imagine'

Aside from the constant anger and paranoia about the nefarious "one percent," perhaps the toughest thing about being a raging liberal is keeping track of who to hate. Each December, the politically correct crowd get riled up against people who think that no one should take offense to being wished a Merry Christmas. Instead of doing that, the left instructs all and sundry to use the generic "happy holidays" and assiduously avoid mentioning the holidays to which one is referring.

So what happens when someone tries to do the reverse of this, i.e. inject religion into something that liberal secularists like which is normally areligious? It hasn't happened often but thanks to hip-hop singer Cee Lo Green, we now know that such an activity is considered a mortal sin.


Green, whose real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, committed his sin against secularism on New Year's Eve by modifying three words to "Imagine," John Lennon's hymn to liberalism, turning it into a plea for religious toleration:

Cee Lo Green upset John Lennon fans on Saturday night by performing a soulful version of the songwriter's classic "Imagine" with the lyrics changed from "nothing to kill or die for / and no religion too" to "nothing to kill or die for / and all religion's true." According to some fans, Green changed the meaning of the song by switching out the line. "The whole point of that lyric is that religion causes harm," tweeted someone with the handle @geekysteven. "If 'all religion's true' it would be a pretty bleak place."

Green, who sang the song on NBC's New Year's Eve broadcast from Times Square, responded to criticism about the alteration by tweeting "Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys! I was trying to say a world were u could believe what u wanted that's all." He responded directly to other angry Lennon fans on Twitter, but has since deleted all of the tweets.

And that's only just a sampling of the lefty anger. Here's some from a Democratic Underground thread which is filled to the brim with peace, love, and tolerance (original spelling an punctuation preserved, paragraphs compressed for readability):

User malaise: Johm Lennon wrote 'no religion' in Imagine. That's what he fugging meant. Leave his classic alone ReTHUGS amd other morons - that is all.

User getdown: he showed no judgement. that's a moron. you don't just change lyrics like that. moron

User whatchamacallit: If you're gonna do that pick another fucking song! No coopting, no sanitizing!

Both DU and also Twitter are also full of super-witty insults to Green based on his famous song "F--- You" sometimes better known as "Forget You."

Readers of the Huffington Post are also outraged. Some even are showing their authoritarian side:

User JohnHopwood2: Cee Lo is a jerk for changing the lyrics. I find his bastardiza­tion of the song offensive.

User frank0926: go back to the Ghetto C LO (Charlie Loser)

User bigredva: had no right to change the lyrics--Le­nnon had it right--no religion--­over the past thousands of years how many people have died because of religion

User HappyCanadianGrl: what are you talking about????.­... you are definitely not Atheist if you are trying to give religion a place in song lyrics or anywhere for that matter. Religion represents evil, it should be banned. I think John Lennon would be offended at your comment.

The above is only a smattering of the online outrage against Green expressed by angry lefties. Unfortunately for them, however, Green's modification actually was not quite as context-altering as they would believe. Lennon himself actually seemed to mean it as an argument against organized religion rather than against religious belief itself as he said to biographer David Sheff:

Dick Gregory gave Yoko and me a little hind of prayer book. It is in the Christian idiom, but you can apply it anywhere. It is the concept of positive prayer. If you want to get a car, get the car keys. Get it? Imagine is saying that. If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion - not without religion but without this my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing - then it can be true.

"It can be true" doesn't sound appreciably different than "all religion's true" contrary to Green's ignorant critics.

Nor was Lennon against altering the lyrics of the song. He himself changed the words to deal with the very obvious hypocrisy of a multimillionaire wishing for others to give up their possessions. Instead of saying "I wonder if you can," Lennon later said "I wonder if we can."

Green should give it a week or two. By then liberals will have decided who else is more deserving of their hatred and bile. It's about how long their memories last.

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Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013