Sour Old Rocker Tom Petty: 'No One's Got Christ Wrong More Than The Christians'

Billy Hallowell at The Blaze passed along a Billboard magazine interview with classic rocker Tom Petty, who’s now 63 and writing protest songs about the hot issues of...2002. His new album “Hypnotic Eye” carries a bonus track called “Playing Dumb” that attacks the problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Is he playing dumb that the church hasn’t made any strides in correcting the problem? A Georgetown study found of the nearly 40,000 priests in the United States, there were 34 allegations made by minors in 2012.

But then, Petty doesn’t think much of religion overall, saying "No one's got Christ wrong more than the Christians."

“Catholics, don’t write me. I’m fine with whatever religion you want to have, but it can’t tell anybody it’s OK to kill people, and it can’t abuse children systematically for God knows how many years,” he told Billboard. “If I was in a club, and I found out that there had been generations of people abusing children, and then that club was covering that up, I would quit the club.”

Speaking of religion more generally, Petty told Billboard that “it seems … to be at the base of all wars.”

“I’ve nothing against defending yourself, but I don’t think, spiritually speaking, that there’s any conception of God that should be telling you to be violent,” he continued. “It seems to me that no one’s got Christ more wrong than the Christians.”


We're also told that One Percenter Petty thinks rich people are dangerous:

Petty takes aim at the unchecked greed of the One Percent on his latest. "Very few people know how to handle power and once they just become completely immoral, they're dangerous people," Petty tells Billboard. "That attitude is what, to me, wipes out the middle class." Tellingly, there's a hand-written warning that reads "Beware Cranky Hippie" outside the studio where he recorded this album.

Hemant Mehta at The Friendly Atheist blog lamented the church-bashing wasn't more available: “Too bad this is a bonus track and not on the actual album," as he joked Petty's hit song "Free Fallin" would be "a good name for a song about the Catholic Church."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis